Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Biking for Kids
If you are trying to find the perfect activity that is both fun and healthy, you can’t do much better than riding a bicycle.
Let’s explore some of the biggest mental and physical health benefits of bicycling.
1. Full-Body Fitness
Biking gets kids breathing hard, sweating, and pumping their legs. That yields a whole slew of benefits, including...
2. It’s Never Tedious
One of the best parts of biking is the fact that children don’t even realize they’re getting a good workout. That means they work harder, exercise longer, and stay happier. After all, who could be bored while gliding around with friends and exploring the neighborhood?
If you’re looking for ways to make bike riding extra fun for your kids, here are a few great places they can go to take their bike for a spin:
- Forest with a bike trail or path
- Friend’s neighborhood
- Trails by the beach, lake, or river
- A nearby park
Of course, cycling doesn’t have to be limited to local areas. Take a family trip and explore new surroundings while biking together! This is great for your relationships with each other, as well as your health as individuals.
3. It Builds Autonomy
The thrill of exploration is a huge appeal for most kids. By discovering the world on their own, children build confidence and inner strength.
When kids are too young to drive, but old enough to be out on their own, bike riding is a great way to bridge this gap. While it can be difficult to let your little ones go out into the world, there comes a time when it’s necessary to allow a little independence. Of course, having an appropriate amount of freedom is vital for children’s mental health. Some benefits of encouraging autonomy include:
The best way to help build self esteem is by equipping kids with safe, reliable bikes they feel comfortable riding. Our Guardian Bikes come in a wide variety of sizes to offer the perfect fit for different children.
4. It Gets Them Outside
In the age of technology, it’s become increasingly difficult to get children into the great outdoors. While video games and television can be fun in small doses, every child should have the life-affirming experience of playing outside.
Outdoor play promotes myriad mental and physical health benefits, including:
5. It Protects Against Anxiety & Depression
You’ve probably heard before that exercise is excellent for mental health - but you may not fully understand why.
- A physical aspect: Exercise is a natural anxiety reliever. Setting your body in motion is a great way to work out the muscle tension that anxiety causes. This helps take care of the physical side effects of stress.
- Complex chemistry at work: Physical activity causes the brain to release endorphins and dopamine. Endorphins reduce pain while dopamine is the famous “feel good” chemical. This means that exercise literally makes people happier.
- Mental health issues, particularly anxiety and depression: These issues have increased in the adolescent population in recent years. In the United States, approximately 3.2% of children aged 3-17 suffer from diagnosed depression. That number jumps up to 7.1% for anxiety disorders in the same age bracket. While exercise is not a mental health cure-all, it can certainly help reduce the risk of your child suffering from these disorders.
Certain studies show that biking helps promote healthy white matter in the brain. This is basically the part of the brain responsible for developing new skills - and children’s brains have particularly large amounts of this white matter. In addition to physical health, getting your child to ride their bicycle is likely going to help improve their cognitive abilities and mood as well.
The Power of Cycling
The many benefits of biking don’t stop here. This list is simply a glimpse into the ways cycling can improve your child’s mental and physical health.
If you want a bicycle that will help your child feel confident riding (and help you feel better about their safety) look no further than Guardian Bikes.
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CDC. Anxiety and Depression in Children: Get the Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/features/anxiety-depression-children.html
Psychology Today. Bicycling Can Sharpen Your Brain and Improve Your Mood. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/minding-the-body/201505/bicycling-can-sharpen-your-thinking-and-improve-your-mood#:~:text=Study%20after%20study%20has%20shown,%2C%20a%20stress%20hormone%2C%20declined.