There is no doubting the fact that children are less active than they used to be. Kids don’t go outside as much as their parents did, and this has a lot to do with the technology that is available to them indoors. In fact, according to the independent media organization NPR, children today are taking ninety seconds longer to run a mile than kids did just thirty years ago!
It is not just technology that is to blame for children becoming less active and slower though. Grant Tomkinson, who is an exercise physiologist and who led a study at the University of South Australia into children’s fitness, said that increased weights can explain around 30 to 70 percent of the declines. According to U.S. health authorities, only a third of children are getting the recommended 60 minutes of active play each day. With more and more people driving nowadays, children are far less likely to get exercise on their way to school than they used to.
The Benefits of Encouraging a Love of Cycling
It is up to parents to encourage their children to be more active. A fantastic way to do this is to introduce them to cycling from a young age. It is not uncommon for parents to worry about their children, and many don’t like the idea of them being outside alone but by teaching your child to cycle, you can help them to get active and you can even enjoy this activity together.
Cycling is not only good for physical health, but it is also great for mental health. As with other forms of exercise, cycling encourages the brain to release endorphins, or what we also like to call, ‘feel good’ hormones. These hormones help to boost mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Kids that learn to cycle young will be much more active, and this will benefit their cardiovascular health. The act of cycling also improves blood circulation. More often than not, people who develop a love of cycling will usually continue to cycle right through to adulthood.
Those who cycle tend to be more active than those who do not, and this will lower their risk of developing health problems such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
Children Who Cycle are More Confident
Cycling is a great way for children to become more confident and independent. It can also help kids to socialize with others, and many go on to form friendship groups through a love of cycling. It might even be worth enrolling your child in a cycling club to further develop an interest in cycling. You never know, she might even go on to compete in the sport.
Cycling is a wonderful way of getting your child more active. The experts at Woom say that a lightweight bike for kids is all that most children need to get started. For younger children, balance bikes are good starter bikes as they help them to learn how to balance before they need to pedal. Older kids can learn to ride on a light bike with the pedals removed, to eliminate the need for training wheels.
One thing is for sure, and this is that most children love the thrill of cycling. It allows them to have fun with their friends but is also an activity that they can enjoy alone. For parents, teaching a child to cycle means knowing that they will be more active and healthier, both physically and mentally. It also means that they can keep their children away from digital devices for a little longer.