5 Reasons Riding Bikes is Great for Your Family

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  • By Danielle Wolter Nolan
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5 Reasons Riding Bikes is Great for Your Family

There are so many activities that families should have on their list of things to do together. Family activities allow the entire unit to be involved and engaged as well as feel heard and encouraged. There are many great activities from which to choose. Here are the top 5 reasons family bike rides should be on that list: Fitness/Exercise, Mental Health, Family Bonding, Open Communication, Being in Nature.

There are so many activities that families should have on their list of things to do together. Family activities allow the entire unit to be involved and engaged as well as feel heard and encouraged. There are many great activities from which to choose. Here are the top 5 reasons family bike rides should be on that list:

 

  1. Fitness/Exercise

  2. Mental Health

  3. Family Bonding

  4. Open Communication

  5. Being in Nature



Fitness/Exercise

 

Exercising as a family not only encourages adults to stay in shape, but it is also a way for them to teach children how to enjoy staying fit. Children learn more life and social skills at home and at a very early age than they do in school. That is why it is so important to imprint those skills as they develop. Starting with balance bikes, training wheels or tricycles, getting your child on a bike is a great start to developing a healthy habit.

 

Adults need around 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week to stay healthy. That is 30 minutes a day for five days or less over the course of seven days. This exercise will aid your body in removing toxins through sweat, aid in healthy blood pressure and work your lower core and leg muscles - which can also aid in digestion.

 

Getting kids on bikes and letting them peddle circles around you have many positive fitness effects. It exhausts them and ensures that YOU get a great night’s sleep! It will also give them the same positive results it does you as well as creating that habit of exercise as something fun to do.




Mental Health

 

Getting outside has a positive effect on your mental health. So does exercise. Taking a bike ride is a great way to combine both of these so you can clear your head and let things go. Mental health is something that Americans tend to put on the backburner. This increases anxiety, depression and usually digestion issues. When the body is stressed, it does not work correctly. By allowing yourself the time to do an activity that both keeps you fit as well as aids in your mental wellbeing, you can reduce your chances or levels of anxiety and/or depression. Riding a bike will not cure these, but it can help you find a positive outlet to reduce them. 

 

Adults sometimes forget that children can experience stress, anxiety and depression. We forget what it was like to be a child sometimes. Allowing children the positive outlet to help them reduce these same issues we adults have can help them to see those issues for what they are and potentially better communicate what and why they feel that way. Taking a bike ride and thinking about why your brain is telling you something or asking what your brain is trying to tell you, can help both you and your children recognize that you are not your brain. Then, you can better understand what it is that your brain is trying to tell you.




Family Bonding

 

Family bike rides are also great for just catching up. Talk about your day and what adventures you all had. Make it about more than bike riding. Make it about bonding and sharing with one another. Involving children - letting them teach or teaching them new skills - can also help reinforce that family bond. Sometimes children have different perspectives, and that perspective might be more amazing and more wonderful than the conventional thought. You won’t know until you ask them.

 

Let the bike ride be an adventure. Sometimes the daily route needs to change. Sometimes the ride can be an unexpected surprise to a new place. It is always great to keep things new and exciting with kids, so make sure that your time together on bikes does not become mundane or start to feel like a chore. Exercise can be and stay fun if you let it.



Open Communication

 

Part of exercise and mental health is bonding. Taking a bike ride to exercise and clear your heads allows you and your family the opportunity to open up with one another and say how you are feeling. The nice part about bike rides for children when they need to talk is that you cannot look them in the eyes. This is less intimidating for them and allows them to feel more comfortable talking about uncomfortable things. It is a kind of safe place to communicate. Keep it like that. Helping children to learn to communicate in healthy ways at a young age will help them in the long haul. 

 

Keeping the child active and ensuring that they feel like a part of what is going on will help them to feel included. Letting them make important decisions and changes in direction helps them build confidence and aids them as they continue to learn decision making skills. This will help them to see that their voices matter and that you are listening. Great communication starts with listening. 



Being in Nature

 

You do not have to be a dirt trail rider to be in nature while riding. Yes, some people use stationary bikes indoors. Sometimes, that is all there is time for or maybe all the weather will allow for in given circumstances; but being outside has so many positive attributes, so make the time and effort to get outside. Greenways, railtrails, roads and parks all have paths designated for outdoor exercise, including biking. Research has shown that being outside can decrease stress, anxiety and depression. It can increase the ability to focus and retain information. It can reverse elevated heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. Being outdoors also increases your absorption of vitamin D- an essential vitamin. 

 

It allows you to connect with nature- to see, hear and feel nature. Being in nature allows you to settle the mind and focus on you and where you are in that  moment. It allows you to settle the noises that clog your ears and hear birds and the breeze. By being in nature, you can better see how connected we all are and how much we affect everything in life. Once you feel that rush of energy, you will be hooked. And that is great!  

 

These are some wonderful reasons to get outside and ride bikes with your family. City, suburban or country, there is time and space for everyone to ride a bike. Find your space and enjoy the laughs and family time spent on saddles. With so many positive attributes, biking is a great way to spend time with family. Check out our store or website for more information on how to get started! 

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