I do love skiing, but I don't like the gear, the bulk, the cold, the boot fatigue etc. I hate wearing tuques (yeah, I was born in Canada). The summer is a time when we all come alive and being in a t-shirt and shorts and covering 20 miles with ease, seeing epic country sides, forests, rivers and streams - there really isn't any other sport like it.
Nick English recently wrote a post titled "Running Is The Worst Way To Get Fit" and I completely agree with him. I know the majority of people who are in shape incorporate running into their routine. It is simple and easy to do. When you travel you don't need to pack much etc. Agreed, but I say leave the running for when you do travel and you can't get to a gym or pack much, you can bring a pair of runners for those occasions.
Running is tough. There's a reason that up to 79 percent of runners get sidelined with an injury at least once per year: It's an incredibly inefficient way to build strength.
A bicycle is the most efficient way to move a human being from one place to another under his own power.
My personal philosophy on the issue is that other forms of exercise are much more fun and have a much greater overall health impact than running without the high impact wear-and-tear on the body.
Best sport in the world to get fit: mountain biking.
I completely and utterly love mountain biking. It is a daily thing but also a destination thing. It is a new sport that Joe Breeze is credited with inventing in 1977. Unless you grew up on a mountain bike, you may not appreciate just how awesome it is. Similar to golf or skiing, mountain biking has become a destination sport with most of the top resorts in the world building, maintaining and expanding their trail parks constantly. Have you always dreamed of going to Whistler but aren't into the cold and skiing? Try biking their hills in the summer. You still use the ski lift to get to the top of the mountain. It is a very similar experience, but I think even more enjoyable.
Mountain biking is the best sport in the world because it combines the “cardio high” of an endurance sport with the flow and adrenaline rush of an action sport like surfing or skiing. The combination of these opposites creates a sport that demands things of its participants that no other sport does.
I used to be majorly into road biking, covering 100 miles in a day regularly with my buddy David Poole (the guy had tree-trunks for legs). So I hear ya roadies, your sport is cool too, and provides a lot of the same benefits mountain biking does. But it is just not the same to me. There is not as much variety in the terrain, and being alongside traffic is a total buzzkill for me.
Nope, mountain biking provides the ultimate in outdoor activity in my opinion. It's boat loads of variety for your daily exercise routine, unlimited resort destination possibilities, peace and tranquility while working out, full-body workout along with cardio and massive terrain variety since you cover so much distance with each ride. When I MTB, the time flies by and it just doesn't feel like exercise. It feels like fun.
This summer I was lucky enough to spend nearly a month at high elevation, mountain biking at various locations such as the newly re-opened Tamarack Bike Park, the Avimor trail system outside Boise, ID, Bogus Basin mountain (#1 trail in Idaho and top 40 in the country), Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch in Stanley ID at the base of the Sawtooth mountains and Phil's Trail in Bend, OR. This was by far the best summer of my life! No other activities or trips I have taken compare to the epic scenery, adventure and enjoyment I experienced on a bike this summer. As a side benefit, I have really gotten in better shape as well (even though I still have a long way to go).
Being in a gym lifting weights or on a treadmill or running through a neighborhood simply doesn't compare.
If you've struggled with working out, don't like the social element of a gym, or find that being on a treadmill is the longest hour of your day, then consider getting a mountain bike. Fresh air, adventure, adrenaline and variety all add up to a much better lifestyle for healthy living. Ditch the runners and strap on a carbon frame! Honestly, what could be better than a majestic ride with your best friend in the whole world? The lovely and mountain bike fanatic herself Jennifer Gosse!
Backcountry.com is where I bought my bike recently: a RIP Niner. They still have incredible deals going on and will custom build the bike for your specifications. I highly recommend this site and here is a link to the best mountain bike deals they are offering.
See you in the mountains! And après-MTB - chilling!
Oh and check out this epic MTB video below of a guy and his dog cruising down a trail. Look how awesome and fun that trail is! Now that is exercise!