Why Cycling Is One of the Best Exercises for Children
The ultimate wish a parent has for their child is for them to live a long, happy, and healthy life. Teaching children cycling is an invaluable and empowering skill that can help them do just that. Not only is it great for the body, it can also give children an instant mood boost and increased self-esteem.
Cycling improves physical fitness
Cycling is a great cardio-vascular workout that’s also low-impact — meaning it protects children’s developing joints. Most obviously, regular cycling can help control weight and curb childhood obesity, a serious issue on the rise due to sedentary lifestyles.
There are also many other physical benefits children can get from learning to cycle. It increases muscle mass and stamina, as well as ensures a healthy heart and lungs. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine even found that cycling increased the longevity of cyclists in the Tour de France — by a whopping 17 percent!
Cycling is safe
Some parents may be concerned about the risks of cycling, but with the right preparation and precautions, it can be entirely safe. In fact, a study conducted by the British Medical Journal found that the numerous health benefits of cycling vastly outweigh the risks.
Make sure your bike rides are safe and enjoyable by choosing the right bike and wearing weather-appropriate clothing along with a well-fitting helmet. Bring water, snacks, sunglasses, a bike pump, and emergency tool kit, too (you can even teach your child important life skills, such as, how to fix a flat tire or tighten a loose chain, once they’re old enough). The all-round better you make your child’s experience of cycling, the more eager they’ll be to do it again.
Cycling is fun
Cycling is one of those rare physical activities that doesn’t feel like exercise — it’s just fun. Kids love the sense of freedom and independence cycling gives them. They’ll also get hours of enjoyment from being out and about, exploring their local area, and discovering new and interesting sights and locations. Cycling is truly a great way to encourage and foster their adventurous spirit.
Lastly, cycling is the perfect opportunity for the whole family to bond — and much better than simply zonking out in front of the TV. Family bike rides will give you time to talk and laugh together, which elevates everyone’s mood, as well as make positive memories you’ll all treasure for life!
Article contributed by Jenny Wise