Tips to follow when teaching your child how to ride a bicycle

Most of us treasure the memory of learning to ride a bicycle and teaching your child this skill can be a real joy. Cycling is also a great activity to get kids to exercise while having fun. According to the World Health Organization, children aged between 5 and 17 years need to get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous levels of physical activity each day. If they get even more physical activity, their health can benefit even more. 

Fitness through fun 

With childhood obesity rates soaring in India, cycling is an ideal way to make up those recommended aerobic minutes and keep fit. A study (The Global Burden of Disease Study 1990–2017) reported that around 14.4 million children suffer from obesity. In a news report, doctors estimate that the prevalence of childhood obesity in urban areas is as much as 15-20%. Exercise can help children maintain healthy body weight. Besides the physical benefits, exercise has been associated with helping with anxiety and depression symptoms, improving mood and boosting confidence. 

Getting started

Bike expert Isla Rowntree says that the best time to teach your child how to ride a bicycle is when they’re between four and six years old. Any later and it can become harder for them to learn. However, there are lots of useful tips and tricks that can help your children on the way. Here are some of our favourites. Helmets at the ready!

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Cycling is an especially good option for exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic, while social distancing is still the norm. You can spend one-on-one time with your child while getting a workout in. Keep in mind to always ride down safe streets or within your building compound and wear protective gear such as a helmet, and elbow and knee pads. In India, many of us aren’t used to prioritising safety gear – even wearing seatbelts weren’t the norm a decade ago! However, accidents can happen (especially when learning to ride) so it is best to take precautions in case of falls that can lead to nasty scrapes and bruises. Think of it like buying good health insurance in case of an illness or unexpected future ailment.