Get On Your Bike: The Benefits of Getting the Kids to Cycle to School

There has been a virtual explosion in obesity rates amongst children and when you think about all of the times that you ferry them around in the car, such as taking them to school, they are often missing out on the opportunity to get some useful exercise.

Bad habits can be difficult to break once your child becomes an adult, which can turn to resolutions such as rehab for drug issues in certain situations. When it comes to regular exercise, which can be as good for your mental and well as your physical well being, it makes sense to encourage some positive exercise habits, such as getting them to cycle to school.

The many benefits of cycling

Cycling has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in recent years amongst adults and it is easy to understand why when you consider the many benefits associated with getting on your bike.

A big plus point about cycling is that it is probably one of the easiest ways to introduce some exercise into your daily routine, as it can be incorporated as a form of transport, meaning that you might not have to make some extra time in the day just to get some useful exercise.

It is a low-impact form of exercise which means that you can get some aerobic exercise without putting undue stress on your joints, like you could do with running for example.

Other benefits attached to cycling include the fact that while you are getting fit you are also doing your bit for the environment, as well as saving money, when you use a bike to get to your destination rather than get in the car.

You can build your cardiovascular fitness by riding your bike about three hours every week, so the commute to work or the cycle to school for your kids, could prove to be just the workout you need to make a noticeable difference to your fitness levels.

Good for your kids

Your children shouldn’t normally require much persuasion in order to get cycling, as this is an activity than many of them really enjoy doing.

It is actually worth remembering that cycling can also play a pivotal role in the general development of your child. This is because it can help them to gain physical strength, improve their decision-making skills and improve their mental and physical development as well.

Kids can become vulnerable to a range of health issues when they are physically inactive, which is why the idea of encouraging your children to use their bike regularly, including cycling to school, should be embraced.

It is also important to note that cycling is an excellent cardiovascular workout for your kids, as they end up raising their heart rate and improving their stamina levels, while working those muscles in their legs.

Cycling also has the capacity to strengthen the whole of your body and unlike some other workout activities which could prove too strenuous for children, cycling tends to build your muscles on a more gradual basis, which is better for their developing bodies to cope with.

Don’t underestimate the emotional benefits

As well as the positive physical exercise aspects associated with cycling, kids can also derive some emotional benefits.

Cycling has been shown to boost self-confidence in children, as it gives them the opportunity to learn more about the capabilities of their body and to be more comfortable with their surroundings and their peers.

Teaching them how to plot a safe route to and from school and other journeys, will help their emotional development and give them a useful amount of exercise on top of all the other benefits attached to this popular form of exercise.

Teaching them basic bike safety

One of the reasons why there has been a decline in the number of children cycling to school in recent times, is the understandable road safety concerns that parents have.

These concerns can be addressed and overcome if you approach the idea of cycling to school and look at all the aspects that you need to address to ensure they are safe and confident.

Work on getting your child to be totally confident with their bike and arrange to go out with them on the roads, so that you can teach them good road safety. Also make sure that they are wearing a bike helmet and that their choice of clothing is suitable, and makes them highly visible to any other road users.

It is well worth getting your kids bike-ready and able to tackle the journey to school, especially when you consider all the benefits attached to leaving the car at home.

Abby Howe is a personal fitness instructor and a Mother of two girls ages 5 and 9. She is keen to encourage kids to get outside more, and in doing that, needs to get parents to motivate their kids. She shares ideas for getting kids outside, offline, and enjoying themselves.


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