Grab Childhood by the Handlebars: The Benefits of Biking for Kids
(BPT) - Unstructured playtime outside of school, like the kind children can experience during the summer, is critical to children's physical, mental and emotional health. However, unstructured outdoor playtime is drastically declining. According to a study by the Child Mind Institute, the average American child spends only 4-7 minutes of their day playing outside and over seven hours a day in front of a screen — despite nearly endless proven benefits that the outdoors can provide.
With the summer season back in full swing, there is no better time to get outdoors and active, and back on bikes.
This summer, Schwinn wants to encourage families to stop scrolling and start rolling through 'Let's Play Bikes,’ a new campaign designed to support parents and caregivers in getting kids back outside and off their devices. Check out these benefits cycling can have for your child this summer and beyond.
1. Encourages independence and community
For kids and adults alike, one of the great pleasures of cycling is doing it with friends or discovering new friends as you bike around your city or neighborhood. In a time when it's far too easy to be disconnected from other people, biking can help keep people connected, but it's more than just social connectivity. Bike riding allows kids to explore their surroundings on their own terms. They get to decide where to go, assess risks and learn to trust their instincts. Making these choices helps them become more independent and can build their confidence. Whether exploring the neighborhood, the park, a friend's house or school, biking allows children to experience self-reliance.
2. A great way to get physically active
Starting the day off with active movement, like bike riding, is beneficial for kids and adults of all ages. For younger kids, learning to ride a bike helps develop balance, coordination, and large motor skills. Physical activity in pre-teen years has shown to improve both mental and physical health. Put simply, bike riding is healthy and wholesome fun for everyone!
3. Regulates mental and emotional well-being
Regular biking can help children (and adults) of any age feel calmer and happier. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, biking lowers stress levels and stimulates the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormone. One study found that young and older bike commuters reported lower stress levels than those who drove or commuted to work by other means.
4. Provides a break from digital devices
Childhood has changed — kids are stuck inside staring at screens all day. Kids view play as an inside endeavor — logging on, streaming, gaming, and digitizing their Saturdays. They need fresh air, sunshine, and a reconnection to the real-world. By logging off and riding on, kids can experience traditional, outdoor, physically active, play. Not to mention, it gives everyone a chance to enjoy the outdoors and breathe fresh air.
Ready to grab life by the handlebars?
Are you ready to teach your little one how to ride a bike, and to help them build a life-long love of cycling and wellness at an early age? Check out Schwinn's library of educational materials like its "Learn to Ride Guides" and "Guide to Kids' Bike Sizes," which can help you teach your children the fundamentals and also find a bike that's right for them. Don't forget to check out Schwinn's SmartStart kids bikes, specifically engineered for children's proportions and offering greater stability and comfort for young riders. It’s just about time to ride off into that summer sun!
As part of its 'Let's Play Bikes' campaign, Schwinn is offering even more incentives for families to get outside and bike with a SmartStart Sweepstakes. Throughout the month of June, you can enter to win $10,000 to put towards your child’s college fund by posting a photo or video of them bike riding on Instagram. Tag @SchwinnBikes and use the hashtags #SchwinnSmartStart and #sweepstakes in the photo or video caption to enter. To learn more, visit SchwinnBikes.com.
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