Riding a bicycle is, apart from being a physical activity and fun, an exercise that helps children in their personal development.
As a means of transportation in different sizes, colors and forms, biking has long been part of our history, and has transported the small children in the neighborhood into many adventures.
However, it has been only a few years ago that the experts determined that it is not only the means but also an outcome. The outcome provides an excellent setting for the integral development of motor, cognitive and socio-affective skills of the child.
Among the motor skills the child develops are physical strength, balance, resistance, flexibility, speed, and coordination in addition to necessary abilities of cycling such as linear balance and control.
When cycling is done in different environments, several natural obstacles have to be overcome, such as shifting gradients or varied textures of the terrain. Here the cognitive aspects of decision-making help develop the child’s intellect.
Also, values such as effort, empathy, tolerance, and respect that are present in any sport— from which cycling is not an exception—prepare children to face real-life situations by feeling more secure and confident, therefore, developing their socio-affective abilities.
Now knowing the potential that cycling brings, you, as a parent, should teach your children this sport to promote a better quality of life and to return to the life of sharing among family members that has been lost with the onslaught of digital technology.
When buying a bicycle for your child, take into consideration that it is more than a toy, but as with any other sport, cycling contributes to good childhood health, introducing them to good life habits that will extend into adulthood.
Benefits of cycling
• Increases muscle resistance
• Stimulates ecological awareness
• Reduces anxiety and stress, which is ideal for those children who suffer from hyperactivity.
• Creates healthy habits, strengthens the immune system, improves the joints, strengthens bones, increases breathing capacity, prevents back pain, and combats obesity, among others.
• Helps with self-esteem.
• The child knows his ability to progressively increase the length of his rides.
• Promotes social interaction by sharing the outings with family and friends.
Interesting data about the bicycle
* The first bicycle prototype was designed by the German Karl von Drais in 1817, and it was called Laufmaschine, which literally means “running machine.” * The smallest bike for adults that has been built had silver dollar coin wheels. * Outside of China, Amsterdam is the city with the largest number of bicycles. The term bicycle was popularized in France in the 1860s. * The city of Bogota, Colombia, is considered the most bike-friendly city in Latin America. * On January 7, 1877, American Thomas Stevens completed the first trip on a bicycle around the world. It took him three years.