Benefits of Learning to Bike at a Young Age
If you’re reading this, you might already have an idea of how cycling benefits people of all ages. It comes with a whole range of benefits. It is physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and financially good. It is, consequently, recommended that everyone start cycling at a young age. It is an important skill that every child should learn. Let us tell you why.
1. Biking develops kid’s connection to the community.
Children who bike have a greater understanding of their community and perception of their territory. They see it as a place for both leisure and adventure. According to Holly Starley of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, kids who ride their bike around will have a better grasp of the landscapes around them – knowledge on local plants and animals.
“Children who were driven everywhere weren’t able to accurately draw how the streets in their community connected.”
Sarah Goodyear cites a study made by urbanist researchers Donald Appleyard and his son Bruce Appleyard. They showed how heavy traffic in cities erodes human connections with the community, eventually contributing to feelings of dissatisfaction and loneliness. Constantly being in and around cars affects children’s perception of their home territory. Kids who use bikes have a better understanding of the geography of the place than kids who travel around using cars.
2. Biking improves kids’ health.
There is a direct and positive relationship between bike riding and a kid’s cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness. It is proven to provide favourable body composition, and improved bone, cardiovascular, and metabolic health biomarkers.
Learning to ride a bike at a young age is a life-long investment as it increases longevity, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens the heart.
“It significantly improves the functioning of the whole body.”
It reduces the risk of obesity, cardiovascular events, type-2 diabetes, and hypertension later in life to name a few.
The Australian Guidelines for Health recommend that kids should engage in a vigorous physical activity for at least one hour every day. Currently, only 20% of Australian children meet these guidelines. Encouraging them to bike while still young promotes healthy exercise habits that are likely to stay for them for life.
Also, the more active the child is with biking, the less likely they are to eat junk food during boring times at home since there will be less time for boredom.
3. Biking improves mental and social health.
Not only does biking improve physical health, but mental and social health as well. Biking provides a positive influence on a child’s brain development and learning.
It improves cognitive performance since physical activities stimulate more brain regions for cognitive control. It increases the children’s ability to concentrate which may aid them during their time in school.
Studies show that biking, as a form of exercise, helps children with disorders such as ADHD. Molly Hurford, athlete-writer at Bicycling magazine, mentions that for children with attention disorders, biking helps to put the brain and body back into balance, which also regulates mood and behaviour. It offers children the ability to understand their own feelings.
Biking brings joy, self-confidence, and contentment through the experience of skill mastery.
“Bikes empower kids! Cycling is a source of feeling successful and a way for positive self-transformation.”
Children gain self-esteem and confidence through the experience of freedom, autonomy, and independence. It widens and stimulates their imagination. Children love the feeling of adventure and exploration.
Biking gives children more opportunities to make social connections. This enriches the social skills that may help them in their future socialising. It provides social and quality time with the family and friends. Stead Cycles offers a great range of bikes for the whole family.
4. Biking transforms culture and closes the gender gap.
Again, biking can empower the young ones. It can inspire the kids to learn and fix other things in their lives.
“Biking creates opportunities for both genders!”
Biking promotes gender equality since it is a gender-neutral activity. It empowers girls and young women to feel more comfortable with their bodies. It encourages them to get into sports and physical activities. They take that self-confidence into their wider lives.
5. Biking saves the planet.
Teaching your children the effects of pollution on our planet while they are still young is a must.
“It promotes ecological literacy and environmental awareness and responsibility.”
Riding a bike at a young age has long term benefits for the environment. As you know, bicycles do not emit harmful chemicals that degrade our air. Using bikes reduces the need for driving cars which then diminishes these hazardous carbon emissions.
Transport is Australia’s third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and as the highest rate of growth. Cars are responsible for roughly half of Australia’s transport emissions.
Between five and eight tonnes of pollutants from cars and trucks, (comprised of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide), are emitted per year. Throughout its lifetime, a car roughly produces around a billion cubic metres of polluted air. A bike produces zero.
Biking eases traffic congestion and eradicates parking problems. More bikes, fewer cars. Fewer cars, less pollution. Less pollution, less stress.
6. Biking saves you money.
It is known all over the world that Australia is an expensive country to live in. Deutsche Bank’s survey of global prices and living standards, Mapping the World’s Prices, shows that Australia has some of the costliest petrol prices in the world.
RACV’s latest Cost of Motoring report shows that it costs around $400 a week to drive a medium-sized vehicle. This doesn’t include the cost of parking which, according to RACQ’s recent study on parking, costs around $65-$75 a day.
The cost of riding a bike, on the other hand, is estimated to be a little over $20 per week. This includes the cost of the bike, gear and accessories, and regular maintenance.
“Plus, the parking is free!”
Learning to bike at an early age saves you and your family a lot of money. It saves you precious time as well if you no longer need to find a parking slot.
These are just some of the countless benefits of learning how to ride a bike at a young age. If you start teaching them now, odds are they will be better for it in the future.
Check out our high-quality bikes and bike accessories at Stead Cycles today to get your kids started at biking. For more NSW cycling tips, keep reading our blogs!