Baby Blessings Preschool - happy children

Early Childhood Development: Why All Children Should Be Riding Bikes

Baby Blessings Preschool - happy children

Early Childhood Development: Why All Children Should Be Riding Bikes

From the first toddler push-bike to the independence of cycling to a friend’s house – bikes are important part of early childhood development.

But rather than an early childhood rite of passage, why not make sure cycling becomes a part of your child’s life? Not only does it provide a number of health benefits like improved concentration and mood control, but it’s also great for their confidence.

Early childhood development - child riding bicycle

EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT – SKILLS AND FITNESS

Regular cycling helps with the child development of leg muscles, core strength and general fitness. It improves stamina and cardiovascular functioning and sets your children on an early path to a healthy heart.

It also allows children to practise their fine and gross motor skills, co-ordination and balance, all skills that will help them as they grow into young adults.

Cycling also helps to improve children’s spatial awareness and navigational and observation skills. Whether they are dodging potholes, negotiating rough off-road terrain or finding their way to a friend’s house, they are learning and developing essential life skills along the way.

But the benefits are more than merely physical.

STIMULATING NEURONS AND IMPROVING NUTRIENTS TO THE BRAIN

Studies have shown that, aside of courses for early childhood development, regular aerobic exercise like riding stimulates neurons and improves the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

This, in turn, increases energy levels and cognitive functioning, including social and creative skills. The benefits are immediate.

Research conducted in Denmark recently studied almost 20 000 children between the ages of 5 and 19. It concluded that cycling to school increases concentration during school hours, with the heightened concentration still evident four hours after the cycle to school.

CYCLING AND ADHD

Some have taken this correlation even further and the last few years have seen a number of studies around the benefits of cycling on children with ADHD.

Research applying physical exercise as an alternative treatment for ADHD has consistently produced positive results. In 2012, Specialized Bikes and RTSG Neuroscience spent five days a week for a month measuring the effects of cycling in two groups of children with ADHD (or displaying ADHD-like symptoms).

The researchers concluded after the study that cycling is highly beneficial for children with ADHD, improving attention, mood, processing of information, emotional intelligence and cognitive performance. Even more impressive is that cycling to school isn’t a chore for children – 87% of the subjects continued with the cycling programme once the study had ended.

Girl and her bike (early childhood development courses)

A HEALTHIER, HAPPIER CHILDHOOD

Cycling doesn’t need to be a skill children learn and then tire of – it can become a daily way of life and lead to a better functioning body and mind, and a happier, healthier childhood.