10 Benefits of Cycling for Teens
Why you should encourage your teen to start biking
The Australian Government’s health guidelines state that teens and young people should engage in physical activities for at least 60 minutes per day. This means that they need to put their devices down more often and cycling is one such activity that offers a wide range of benefits.
The Benefits of Cycling for Teens
Once you have bought a bike from a reputable cycle shop, there are numerous advantages to be gained from cycling, apart from the fun and enjoyment of getting out there at a pace that is faster and less impactful than running. Here are the reasons that make cycling an exceptional activity for teenagers and we will go into more detail about them below:
- Improved Heart Health
- Regulated breathing
- Developed self-confidence
- Decreased body fat
- Improved bone density and muscle tone
- Improved focus and coordination
- Reduced stress
- Smaller carbon footprint
- New experiences and adventures
- Opportunity for family time
1. Cycling Improves Heart Health
It’s never too early to get teens aware of the positive impacts of cycling and an active lifestyle on cardiovascular health. A sedentary lifestyle leads to a weaker heart – a 2019 study found that sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity are major heart disease risk factors. Cycling gets the heart going and improves circulation, reducing the risk of heart disease. Moreover, the increase in heart rate strengthens the heart muscles and lowers blood pressure.
2. Cycling Regulates Breathing
Fitness is typically measured in terms of VO2 max, which is the highest rate of oxygen consumed during maximal exercise. During cycling, the body learns to manage the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide more efficiently.
Then, when the body can use oxygen in an efficient manner, the cyclist develops the ability to go long distances and this ability is called endurance. The great thing about it is that it is not confined to cycling alone; endurance is an ability that spills over into other areas of life.
3. Cycling Develops Self-Confidence
Developing self-confidence and a healthy degree of self-esteem is crucial in the teenage years. Moreover, positive self-esteem allows teens to try new things, take healthy risks, and solve problems.
The positive effects of cycling and aerobic exercise on self-esteem are not something to be taken lightly. A 2014 study in the International Journal of Exercise Science explored this issue. Their findings stated that students who engaged in aerobic exercise scored higher on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Assessment compared to those who didn’t.
Moreover, cycling for teens helps with goal setting, a crucial element in building self-confidence. When teenagers set their own fitness goals and achieve them, it is intrinsic motivation at its best. They find out how rewarding it is to work towards and achieve goals on their own.
4. Cycling Decreases Body Fat
Obesity is on the rise in Australia. The number of overweight people, including children, has continued to increase over time. Cycling is an excellent way to burn fat since it raises metabolic rate. Generally, kilojoules and calories burned in cycling have a 4.184:1 ratio, which means that a ride of 41840 kJ translates to approximately 1000 calories burned.
5. Cycling Builds Bone and Muscle
Teens are going through a period of rapid growth in their lives and cycling is a wonderful way to support bone and muscle development at this time of growth spurts, once you can get them to a quality local bike shop to choose their ride. The repetitive motions of pedalling help build muscles in the lower body. This resistance activity pulls on the muscles, which then pull on the bone, increasing bone density as a result.
Cycling also helps develop core strength, which is key to maintaining balance. With constant training, abdominal muscles and upper body muscles become stronger and more capable of physical exertion.
6. Cycling Develops Focus and Coordination
Riding on a bike involves whole body coordination. From top to bottom, all the muscles in the body work to keep the rider balanced on the bike. This kind of coordination, plus the need to be aware of one’s surroundings at all times, requires tremendous focus.
Biking also works to build more connections in the brain. The constant pedalling and manoeuvring actions stimulate blood circulation and send oxygen and nutrients into the brain. As a result, it fires up nerve cells and areas of the brain that house memory formation and spatial intelligence.
7. Cycling Reduces Stress
With all the many stress factors that teens face, it is vital that they learn how to manage stress. Some examples of these are hormonal changes, school activities, and relationship issues.
It is no secret that exercise is a great stress buster. Cycling releases adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine, which are instant mood boosters. Add to that the excitement of seeing beautiful views on a ride and the result is what riders call “the cycling high”. For many teens, therefore, cycling is a healthy way to learn how to deal with stress.
8. Cycling Is Environment-Friendly
Bike riding isn’t just healthy for the body; it’s also great for the environment. It is one of the easiest ways to lower carbon footprint and is a pollution-free way to get around. It does not need petrol to function so it’s free of harmful emissions or smog. Maintenance is also minimal and produces no hazardous fluids that can escape into waterways.
9. Cycling Opens Up New Experiences and Adventures
For teens, providing new experiences that are healthy and wholesome is essential. Cycling allows to view the community around them. It also helps them see the wonders of nature and appreciate the beauty of a life away from the internet. It can also lead to new friendships as they meet like-minded people along the way.
10. Cycling Promotes Family Time
With all the pressures and interests pulling on individuals’ attention, most families nowadays rarely spend meaningful time together. Moreover, there is a real lack of activities that all family members can engage in.
A commitment to ‘cycling together’ is an effective way for everyone to unplug and spend quality time in the real world. For teens who spend too much on the internet, especially, it is important to stay connected with their parents and siblings.
Even just going on a trip to a bicycle store to check out bikes and accessories is already a great opportunity for teens to bond with their family. Fortunately, there’s a one-stop shop for all your cycling and bike accessories needs in Newcastle.
Check Out Premium Bikes and Accessories at Stead Cycles
Getting your teen interested in cycling is one of the best gifts you can give them. Cycling for teens opens up a world of benefits that go beyond their time on the bike. But more importantly, it puts them on the right track to a healthy life early on.
If you want to get them started, visit us at Stead Cycles. Our wide range of options for bikes and accessories makes us your perfect supplier for your teen’s bike needs. Feel free to contact us on (02) 4966 2141 or drop by our shop at 29 Landor St, Beresfield NSW. We are open Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm and every Saturday from 8:30 to 1 pm.