Before buying your kid a bike, a possible question could be the cycling benefits and disadvantages. We have had this quite many times lingering in our minds. We are often controlled by the benefits of cycling for kids when judging the decision to buy them a bike.
Given the status quo, most parents would go for bikes. We are tired of the tech drama in our homes. Homes are becoming toxic parenting grounds and maybe getting the kids outdoor is an unexplored option B.
Bike riding is recommended as one of the ways to make a child more active compared to other sports. Most often, we lack control over screen time. We find it hard to keep our kids off the screens for fear of being perceived as harsh parents. Well, cycling has glittering benefits that any parents should not ignore.
Why should you bother to teach a child how to ride a bike? A waste of time you might think! However, is it worth taking a child to the movies, out for pizzas, or video games? Think of it this way, are you adding up to their health or destroying their future health? Cycling has numerous benefits for your kids.
If you are asking why kids should cycle, this post is for you.
We cover the health and physical benefits of cycling and the body parts that cycling works. No doubt, after reading this, you will fully understand the benefits of biking to school and get your son or daughter this wonder two-wheel machine. Let’s save our kids from the digital black hole.
The Importance of Cycling for Kids
Kids naturally love riding a bike. When introduced to cycling at the right age, it can grow into a routine and a hobby. Cycling has more than just the obvious benefits: keeping the kids engaged, reducing screen time, and making you a favorite parent. Here are the benefits of cycling for kids:
1. Cycling Helps in Kids Development
When you teach your kids to cycle, they develop their entire body muscle. Cycling is also linked to bone health and strength in children.
Most importantly, cycling helps develop the lungs and heart of your child.
Cycling has been proven to help in the development of the cardiovascular muscles. Undeniably, as the kids stroke the pedals to stimulate their body stamina, their heart rate increases.
In this sense, the excited heart muscles are worked out. Irrefutably, this can be good for weight control.
2. Emotional Wellness
As we explored how to teach a kid to ride a bike, one thing became clear. Cycling boosts confidence in children.
The kids become independent and as a result build high self-confidence. Riding a bike helps the kids to be aware of their bodies and their surroundings.
It makes them accountable and responsible. You will realize that a child who cycles gets out of the fear zone faster compared to those who do not.
Besides, the fact that children can ride with their families boosts the bond within the family and creates lasting memories.
3. Social Development
As we live in a fast-paced world, we can forget whom our kids interact with. However, with cycling, your kid can never get into bad company.
Cycling helps build social discipline that makes the kids socialize with children of the same interest: cycling. As the children get busy in the neighborhoods with their friends, they get to build social skills.
When cycling, the kids share their ideas, aspirations, ambitions, views, secrets, and discuss problems. A small bike riding competition in the neighborhoods for the kiddos can also bring parents together; helps you in parenting.
4. Building Muscle Mass
Even though cycling mostly works out the muscles in the lower extremities, the upper body muscles are also used.
As a result, a bicycle ride within the neighborhood can help strengthen the entire body muscle load of your child. The beauty is that cycling helps build the whole body muscles uniformly.
5. Good for the Environment
Cycling is one of the ways to raise eco-conscious kids. A bike pollution-free form of transport. Even better, if your kids love cycling outdoors, they get to interact with Mother Nature.
6. For all its Health Benefits
Riding a bike can be therapeutic. It helps relieve stress, stay focused, and remain younger. Cycling helps kids shed and maintain their weight.
You can be sure that if your kid is cycling, the chances of getting obese are very slim. It helps raise metabolic rates in kids which burns calories.
Thus, cycling helps kids stay fit. It cuts the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
7. End to the "Remote Battle!"
If you have kids fighting over the remote to the TV or access to phones and laptops, getting a bike could solve the status quo.
As soon as kids get into cycling, they tend to forget technology. Cycling gives them the advantage of focusing on being aware of themselves better than technology does.
Therefore, instead of gifting kids with gadgets, get them a bike and see the magic.
8. Family Bonds
Family cycling has the benefit of creating and maintaining lasting relationships. Cycling with kids can help you be close to the kids, understand their problems and worries, and advise them about life. It makes you get in charge of the family and push the right parenting button.
Mostly, as for men and boys, cycling sessions can be man-man talk time. Boys love talks with their dads, especially when in the company of Mother Nature.
9. Improves Brain Power and Mental Health
Riding a bike needs coordination, pedaling, and control skills. Studies have linked cycling to brain health and power. As the kids engage in cycling, blood flow to the brain is increased.
Consequently, their brains stay healthy. Such kids always perform better in class, especially if they ride to school each day compared to those taking the school bus. In sum, cycling improves mental health for the kids.
10. Not Technical-Easy to Learn
Riding a bike is one of the kids’ activities that requires little skills. There are kid’s specific bikes that can help build confidence in riding.
Unlike other sports, all you need is a bike, and some safety gear such as helmets and your kid’s fitness journey is on.
As soon as your kid knows how to ride a bike and achieves different milestones, they can roll down the inclines and wind up the hills with ease.
11. Reduces Stress
Riding a bike to school, in the park, and in the neighborhood has immense mental benefits. It increases happiness and relieves kids of stress.
Cycling busts stress and can help children avoid negative stressors. It can help reenergize the kids after a long day at school. Just the kids and their bikes and all they do is focus on their inner happiness.
A Highlight of the Health Benefits of Regular Cycling for Kids
1. Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness.
2. Boosts muscle flexibility, development, and strength.
3. Strong bones and joint mobility.
4. You stay forever young due to exposure to the sun for vitamin D. Thus, skin health.
5. Reduces stress, depression, and anxiety.
6. Brain development, mental well-being, and mental health.
7. Postural balance and coordination.
8. Control of body weight
9. Obesity and diabetes management
10. Reduces the chances of bowel cancer
Read more on what cycling does to the body that will make you embrace cycling and encourage your kids to do so as well.
Parts of the Body that Cycling Works
Cycling is second to swimming as a low impact activity that offers full body workout. When your child is cycling, almost all of their major muscle group gets into action. Even though riding a bike primarily depends on the muscles on the lower body, the muscles on the upper body are also engaged.
When you allow your kids to cycle, they will use their legs to push the pedals. As they do so, they recruit the quadriceps and the hamstrings. Besides, they also use the smaller soleus muscles and the gastrocnemius muscles.
Your kids will also have the advantage of working their arms. As one rides, they engaged the deltoid muscles on their shoulders. The biceps and triceps also get into action when gripping the handle for stability, especially when leaning in an aerodynamic angle.
The lower back muscles are also worked by cycling. In this case, it is more of a give-and-take situation. You utilize the back muscles to stroke the pedals, and they get strengthened in the process.
For the children who do more of uphill cycling or cycling through rough terrains (mountain biking), the back muscles become more strengthened. Encourage the kids to straighten their backs when cycling to reduce back aches after long rides.
Riding a bike also works out the core and the abs. As it is a great exercise, cycling builds the abs for kids. When a kid is cycling, they get to strengthen their core, which increases coordination and balance. Always encourage the kids to engage their core when cycling. However, this should only be done after they have learned how to ride a bike and are confident.
Let’s get them Riding: Over to you!
Does bike riding improve kids’ health? The definite answer would be yes given the above reasons. Riding a bicycle is fun and has mental, physical, and emotional health benefits. It is no longer a question of: is cycling good for kids? But what does a kid miss out when they are not cycling.
Apart from the health benefits, cycling helps in creating strong family bonds, building social skills, and contributing to the environment. It is some sort of statement for eco-conscious kids that we must love the world through action. As bikes do not have engines, the chances of pollution are nil.
Rising to school can save your kids time and at the same time make them sharp. All you need to do is to ensure that they wear safety gear such as helmets. Bike riding can only be as fun as you think when you ride with the entire family.
Today, most families are adopting family cycling as a way of staying fit together. Well, such are those that enjoy the benefits of cycling for kids and the entire family. You can choose to have car-free days where you cycle with your kids to school.