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3 Tips for Mountain Biking With Your Family

3 Tips for Mountain Biking With Your Family

Families always seek ways to spend leisure time together. Mountain biking is one sport that family members can undertake to increase camaraderie. Unlike other cycling disciplines, mountain biking involves riding specifically designed mountain bikes over rough terrain on the mountainside. Mountain biking falls into several categories such as cross-country, trail riding, downhill riding, and all mountain riding. To properly undertake mountain biking, one needs to experience how to handle a bike, have personal balance, endurance, and strength.

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    Be Patient With Kids

    Mountain riding with children can be intimidating and overwhelming for moms and dads. Still, mountain biking can be a good way for families to bond and exercise. Parents need to be patient with children as they learn biking skills.

    First, families should ensure everyone has the correct riding gear. Planning the specific trails is an important aspect of riding. Families should endeavor to have bikes with a baby carrier to involve the children from a young age. Trailers used during family biking expeditions should be fairly rough. During the beginner biking sessions, the parent rides with the child. The time spent during biking brings a bonding session as families pass through various trails in the forest. As children grow and improve on their biking skills, they can ride alongside their parents.

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    As parents teach children how to mountain bike, it is important to keep instructions brief. Wordiness may derail kids’ understanding. Basic skills of riding should often be reviewed to ensure children know what to do during mountain biking. A treat during riding may motivate children. Parents can bring something yummy such as chocolate for the kids to eat.

    Create A Packing List

    Before setting out for biking exercise, there is a need for various items to be put together. Apart from mountain bikes, a family needs to set up an emergency pack and sustenance for the duration of the trail. Water is essential for the biking experience as mountain biking can be dehydrating. At least one to two liters of water per person should be enough for the journey.[1] Having the right clothing and equipment is important for safety. Make sure that every person has a helmet as well as a small first aid kit.  Yoga or tighter shorts will increase flexibility and ensure comfort when riding, and bringing along a light weight jacket will protect you if the weather turns bad. Make sure to take breaks, so that everyone can catch their breath and also spend time to enjoy snacks and chat. You want it to be enjoyable for all and not too strenuous. Family biking is simply for fun and as such, frequent stops should be made during the trailing.

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    Practice, Practice, Practice!

    Skills practice is an important component of the mountain biking experience. Children get to enjoy milestones achieved during skills practice. The whole family can head to a training ground to practice on important elements of biking. Starting with gear handling and braking, children can get to learn how to manage the mountain bikes during the riding experience. Balancing is an important element of biking. Each member of the family should have sufficient knowledge of balancing before setting out on the real mountainous trails.

    During skills practice, communication is essential. Each person should learn how to express themselves clearly and take in instructions as offered by the leader. Families come together with the intent of listening attentively so that soon enough they can set on a real mountain biking experience.

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    Mountain biking is a great way for uniting families during leisure time. With these steps, your family will be mountain biking in no time!

    Image Credit: Mountain biker via Thomas Schweighofer Hundsham

    Featured photo credit: Sam X, Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1]Outdoor Families Magazine: Mountain Biking With Kids, the 101 Version

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    Last Updated on January 14, 2019

    7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

    7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

    From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

    What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

    1. Take the scenic route.

    Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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    Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

    2. Distract yourself.

    No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

    3. Listen to music or podcasts.

    There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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    4. Bring a friend.

    Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

    Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

    5. Accessorize.

    There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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    For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

    6. Compete.

    A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

    7. Relax.

    The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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    With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

    Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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