Why Bike? It’s good for your body, your family and your soul.

We all know biking is fun – but did you know it has a lot of other benefits? Not only do you get to have the wind in your hair and feel like a kid again, but it’s great for your body, mind, pocketbook and more!

Family fun

Biking is a great way to be active and bond as a family. It can start with a memorable teachable moment, where you bond with your children while teaching them to ride a bike. Then continue for life. It’s a skill they will keep with them forever.

It’s also something you can do together no matter the age. Biking can bring together your teenagers, toddlers and grandparents. Everyone can do it! And don’t forget, by biking with your family, you are modeling a healthy behavior for your children. From a small age, children observe their parent’s behavior and internalize what they see and hear. So, why not take the chance to model healthy behavior by being active and having a blast on your bikes.

Break away from technology

Technology has become such a big part of our lives. It is important to take a break from the screen and show your kids other ways to enjoy life. Biking is a perfect way to break away together and connect with your local parks, rivers and paths while being active.

Burn calories instead of gas

Biking is free! It’s free transportation and free fun. Biking can save you money that would’ve been spent on gas for a car or even for a bus ticket. Think about the traffic you won’t be sitting in and the parking spot you won’t have trouble finding. You don’t need fancy and expensive equipment, all you need is a bike, helmet and a lock.

Don’t have a bike? Consider going to Sixteenth Street’s Bike Day, May 19th, 2018, and enter the raffle for a chance to win a free bike, helmet and lock. Or, you can rent a bike through Bublr, a bike sharing transportation service, that has service stations around the Milwaukee area. You can either pay $3 for every half hour you ride or get a membership – so there are options for everyone.

Healthier you, mentally and physically

Biking is a great way to be active and stay healthy. It is low-impact, which means it is easy on your joints and doesn’t put pressure on your knees or ankles. So, if you have struggled with knee or joint pain, biking is a great option for activity.

Biking is also great for your heart, lungs – and even weight loss! You can build muscle and the shed pounds without ever stepping on a treadmill or in a gym.

Aside from physical health, biking also helps improve mental health. It is a great stress reliever. Being outdoors, breathing in fresh air and focusing on the beauty of your ride helps you forget the everyday troubles and just enjoy your moment. And this can lead to better sleep. Being active has been shown to help sleeping patterns by decreasing stress and anxiety.

Make new friendships with your community and environment

Yes, biking is a practical form of transportation, but it also gives you a new view of your neighborhood. While biking, you will notice things you’ve never noticed before. We pay less attention to our environment when we are in a car. On a bike, you see it all and you take all of it in. It’s a great way to really experience your neighborhood, parks and local nature.

Biking also helps you engage with neighbors. It’s much easier to wave hello and start a conversation on a bike than in a car or bus. By creating these friendships, you often feel more at home in your community and more connected to your neighborhood.

Authored by Dr. David Waters, Sixteenth Street Pediatrician

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