Why bicycling might keep your kid’s mental health in high gear

Why bicycling might keep your kid’s mental health in high gear

The science behind why riding a bike might boost mental well-being, plus 7 ideas to get children pedaling.

Published September 6, 2022

Shannon Brescher Shea’s nine-year-old struggled with focus and following directions at home and at school. He felt calmer after riding his bike around the park and to school.

“We called it moving meditation,” says Shea, who is a family biking advocate and author in Maryland. “We saw how incredibly helpful it was for his focus, emotional regulation, and ability to follow directions.”

Shea’s experience isn’t unique. Research has repeatedly shown that physical activity can improve mental health. “Exercise, no matter your age, is the single best thing you can do for every organ in your body, including your brain,” says Allan Reiss, a psychiatry and pediatrics professor and director of the Division of Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.

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