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Wednesday 9 May is National Bike to School Day! In preparation, we’ve rounded up a few fun facts about how regularly cycling to school can benefit you, your child and the environment.
It builds confidence and encourages independence
Cycling to school means that your child is in complete control of getting to school themselves. This responsibility is great for building self-confidence and giving them a sense of independence. Children will have to learn the importance of time management in order for them to get to school on schedule, and once they’ve done it they’ll feel an enormous sense of pride and achievement.
For younger children who still need parental supervision when getting to school, these benefits can still apply – simply allow them to cycle beside or just ahead of you. This way, you can keep an eye on them whilst they get a little taste of independence.
It’s good for the environment and reduces congestion
Reducing the number of cars on the road by encouraging your child to make their own way to school instead of dropping them off is great for the environment, as it will reduce the amount of pollution in the air. Less traffic also ensures that the roads around schools and the school gates will be quieter and safer for children walking and cycling into the building.
Provides an active start to the day, meaning that children will be more alert during lessons
Some studies have shown that children that cycle to school are much more alert throughout the morning and afternoon. Starting your day in an active way by cycling through the fresh air wakes you up and creates energy that helps concentration levels in class.
Cycling in the morning can also help to increase the way that children perform during lessons. The early exercise gives them a quick boost of energy and is a great way to prevent them from being lethargic throughout the school day, meaning that they will be much more willing to participate in class.
It counts as part of your daily exercise
It is recommended by the NHS that children should get at least one hour of exercise per day to promote an active and healthy lifestyle. Outside of PE lessons, a large number of children today are not meeting this requirement.
Cycling to and from school increases the amount of exercise that children get each day by a substantial amount. You can help promote a healthy lifestyle to your children by encouraging them to cycle to school instead of using public transport or asking for a lift.
It saves money!
Cycling to school means that you don’t have to fork out money for the bus every morning, saving you or your child a couple of pounds that can be put away for a rainy day instead.
If you usually drive your child to school, swapping car tyres for bike wheels can also save you money on fuel costs, as it takes away those journeys to and from school twice a day, five days a week.