Have you ever wondered what are some of the health benefits of BMX?
Well, I have.
I’ve been riding BMX for more than 20 years, which allowed me to discover sixteen of the most excellent perks of riding BMX.
And I’m someone who’s very health conscious, continuously optimizing my thinking, fitness and eating habits.
What’s the point? I just WANT TO ride BMX for as long as possible!
This post covers:
- Physical Health Benefits Of Riding BMX
- Mental Health Benefits Of Riding BMX
- Other Benefits Of Riding BMX
But BMX is a very physically demanding sport that can take a toll on your body if you don’t care for yourself.
However, riding BMX offers a WIDE range of health benefits that I’m stoked to share with you.
From improving cardiovascular fitness and building muscles to enhancing balance, coordination, and mental well-being (and heaps more) – it provides a unique combo of physical and mental advantages.
Now let’s take a peek at why BMX is GOOD for you.
Physical Health Benefits Of Riding BMX
1. Promotes Weight Loss
BMX is a high-intensity activity and an excellent cardio that can burn a lot of calories.
It’s hard to say how many calories it actually burns because it all depends on your height, weight and your riding style.
But BMX will have the biggest impact on weight management if you couple it with a balanced, healthy diet.
Remember, you can experience weight loss (only) if you ride BMX regularly, multiple times a week for at least an hour.
2. Helps Build Muscle
Yes, BMX can be an excellent workout that can build muscles. Pedaling, pumping, bunnyhopping, spinning, etc., requires the use of multiple muscles throughout your body.
However, it’s not a full-body workout.
I remember when I first visited a gym (after already riding BMX for five years) how weak my shoulders and triceps were. I also had a pretty weak core.
But on the contrary, I had a really strong back and biceps.
Of course, you’re legs, particularly quads, get a solid workout from riding BMX. But calves not so much.
That’s why I don’t recommend you rely 100% on BMX.
I advise you also to lift weights and do (plenty) of stretching to achieve optimal performance.
Getting stronger and more mobile promotes longevity and prevents injuries.
You may also be interested in reading my article explaining if BMX is a good exercise.
3. Cardiovascular Fitness
Because BMX is highly aerobic, it gets your heart pumping hard and increases cardiovascular endurance.
However, BMX is an explosive sport, so it doesn’t contribute to overall body fitness endurance – unless you can ride your BMX for hours straight (which is highly challenging and not something I’d suggest).
For this, you would need to run or jump on a road bike.
However regular BMX sessions can improve the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, leading to a healthier heart and increased overall stamina.
4. Contributes To Bone Strength
“If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
BMX riding is a weight-bearing activity, putting (a lot of) stress on your bones.
This stress stimulates bone growth and helps develop strong and healthy bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures later in life.
But if you break or crack your bones, take the necessary recovery time to heal properly before you jump back on your bike.
5. Improves Balance & Coordination
Whether you have balance and coordination on lock or not, you will develop them with time, thanks to riding BMX.
It’s a sport that’s full of quick and agile movements as well as balancing ((nose) manuals, rail rides, etc.) – all this will help you work on your balance and coordination.
I was lucky that I did gymnastics for around a year when I was very young, which did me really well in terms of having complete body control.
Finally, it won’t hurt if you add additional balance and coordination activities into your schedule – or just do more balancing stuff on your bike!
I’m still working on mastering rail rides – they’re so fun but, at the same time, so scary.
Mental Health Benefits Of Riding BMX
6. Reduces Stress
It’s no secret that BMX riding (and cycling in general) is an excellent mood booster.
It happened so many times to me when I was down and stressed that I picked up my bike and went for a session. I experienced immediate relief!
Although the intensity of the sport is high, it relaxes your mind and makes you feel good, which I’ll talk about later.
7. Improves Sleep
What reducing stress also means is an improvement in sleep.
The intense exercise of BMX boosts the production of endorphins, reduces stress levels and promotes a sense of relaxation.
But also, just the fact that you’re outside (I recommend you don’t ride indoors all the time – get outside and enjoy some fresh air!) in the sun helps regulate the body’s internal clock.
Sure, you’ll be exhausted after a multi-hour session, but you’ll also be more relaxed, enjoying a night of more restful and rejuvenating sleep.
8. Boosts Immune System
The intense physical activity involved in BMX stimulates the body’s immune system.
It doesn’t matter if you ride flatland, street, park or trails – your immune system will be happy.
Regular BMX sessions increase circulation, promoting the efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all body parts.
I recently read The Oxygen Advantage book by Patrick McKeown, where he promotes breathing less and breathing exclusively through the nostrils – not the mouth.
Air hunger is actually good for you.
As soon as I applied this method, I noticed a massive improvement in my recovery. Sure, it’s challenging initially, but you progress slowly to nose-only breathing.
But read the book if you want to learn more – it’s SO worth it!
9. It’s Fun & Makes You Feel Good
Just holding my grips makes me feel good – but this is something only a BMX rider would know.
And pedaling around, doing bunnyhops, 180s, grinds, whatever, BMX makes life a lot funner.
BMX releases adrenaline and endorphins, which give us the epic feeling we all strive for.
Sure, we might be adrenaline junkies, but for as long as you find a healthy balance, it’s all good and beneficial for your body and mind.
10. Stimulates Creative Thinking
BMX riders are artists. Period.
Put ten riders at the same spots, and all ten will come up with something different.
Even if there’s a spot where everyone thinks nothing new can be done at it, a rider will come and blow everyone away with something unique.
BMX makes you look at things differently, developing your own creative approach to everything.
All this combined is an excellent contribution to a healthy mind.
11. Builds Confidence
Pick up a BMX bike if you want to challenge yourself and build confidence.
It doesn’t matter if you’re learning a bunnyhop or a backflip double tailwhip; BMX will teach you to persistently overcome obstacles.
And because it is so much fun and makes you feel good, even when you fall, you’re excited to get back up and do it again – and again – and again.
Other Benefits Of Riding BMX
12. Improves Social Life
BMX is a social sport.
And because everyone is super welcoming and open, you can easily blend in, even if you think you don’t have any social skills.
What I particularly like about BMX is that it’s so easy to make new friends everywhere I go.
BMX can easily connect you with like-minded dudes, creating new friendships (for life!).
13. BMX Doesn’t Require A Membership
Except for going to an indoor skatepark, BMX doesn’t require paying a fee or a membership.
Street riding is free and most outdoor skateparks are also free to use.
Riding trails is usually also free but a donation is helpful because it’s usually a group of riders who manage and maintain the jumps privately.
14. Motivation & Support
Being in a group of BMX riders can provide motivation and support to stay active and continually improve.
Shredding with others can inspire you to push your limits, overcome challenges and achieve your goals faster.
15. Skill Sharing & Learning
Whether riding with a professional or just anyone who’s slightly better than you, it allows you to learn and master new tricks quickly.
And then you can offer help to others who might be struggling with landing a trick.
Sharing knowledge and experiences with fellow riders can enhance your own riding abilities and contribute to personal growth.
16. Great Family Time
If you have a kid and you ride BMX, there’s nothing better than going to a skatepark or even a pump track and having a session with your little one.
Even though BMX is a heavy-impact sport where injuries are almost inevitable, it still has SO MANY benefits.
Everyone who lives and breathes BMX knows that.
Just jumping on your bike and pedaling around feels fantastic.
But when you hit a skatepark, a street spot or dirt jumps, the hype goes over and beyond.
BMX can do so much good for your body and mind that even if you decide to quit, chances are HIGH that you’ll come back a few years later.
This is precisely what happened to me.
I injured my knee very badly, which made me stop riding BMX for around four years, but I got back stronger than ever, and enjoying it even more than before.
And if you ever need any encouragement or help with tricks or parts, you can always email me or hit me up on Instagram.