Most people know that both children and adults can benefit from regular physical activity, yet we still find it hard to motivate ourselves — and our children — to exercise. Biking isn’t just exercise; it’s also fun, and an easy way to get your recommended daily dose of physical activity.
By understanding the specifics of how biking can improve you and your child’s health, you may find yourself suddenly more motivated to get out there and start pedaling also!
Benefits of Biking for Kids:
Cardiovascular exercise is any exercise that elevates your heart rate, requires oxygen and works large muscle groups. Biking is a highly effective form of cardiovascular exercise. Regularly elevating your heart rate improves heart functioning.
Over time, it can lower blood pressure, improve circulation, decrease your pulse and reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Although children don’t typically have cardiovascular health problems, the problem is rapidly increasing along with the childhood obesity epidemic.
Your child can reap the cardiovascular benefits of biking even if she doesn’t lose any weight or diet, and going biking with your child is a much better strategy than telling her to go on a diet!
Improved Muscle Health
When your child is pedaling hard on her mountain bike, she isn’t just increasing the strength and size of her muscles. She’s actually promoting their long-term health. Bicycling isn’t just a form of aerobic exercise; it also provides strength-training by forcing cyclists to exert their muscles to pedal.
When muscles have to work hard, the body must pump extra blood to them. This can improve their long-term health, decreasing your child’s risk of injuries, muscle problems and pain.
People who remain physically active are less likely to suffer from ailments such as osteoporosis and arthritis, so by getting your child into biking now, you’re setting her up for a lifetime of health.
Biking is hard work, and whether your child is pedaling on a performance bike or a small children’s bike, her body has to learn how to breathe properly. This improves her lung capacity and overall lung health, which can reduce her risks of some illnesses and may even make her more resistant to allergies and colds.
When your child bikes outside, she learns how to control her breathing. This helps with everything from maintaining lung health to teaching her how to calm down when she’s anxious.
Strong lungs are the foundation for a strong heart, strong body and longer life, and every time your child gets winded by biking, her lungs get a bit stronger. Note that if you live in a very polluted area, it may be safer for your child to bike indoors, as breathing in contaminated air is not healthy for anyone.
While biking certainly isn’t the only activity that offers these amazing physical benefits, it’s one of the easiest ones. Beyond learning to pedal, bicycling requires no special skills. Even better, it can be done in a group and promotes family togetherness as well as social skills.
When exercise is fun and easy, children are much more likely to do it, and a child who loves to bike now is more likely to grow into a healthy adult who loves bicycles and values exercise and physical fitness.
Guest post by Christobel Edwards became a grandmother two and a half years ago for the first time. Although keeping quiet is difficult for her, she’s learning to let her child and grandchild make their own decisions. She can’t wait until her grandchild is old enough to learn how to ride her very first bike.