What to do, or not to do? Where to go, or not go? Who to see, or not see? Decisions are hard these days. They have been for a while now. The eruption of social media judgment and backlash can make anyone waver and hesitant to stand firm in personal choices. Connecting or reconnecting to self-confidence, inner strength, and belief in oneself might seem out of reach or at the very bottom of the priority list. But, self-confidence helps each of us stand firm in the decisions we make for ourselves and our families, and boosting it could be just a bike ride away – for both adults and children alike.
Our perception of ourselves affects all aspects of our lives. From feelings about starting school and making friends to having the strength to stand up for ourselves and others to overall happiness, having confidence in oneself is an essential part of health and well being. Experts advise on all kinds of ways to cultivate self-confidence, but hopping on a bike has shown to be increasingly effective. A meta-analysis of studies shows that physical activity has a positive impact on self-esteem. That same study also shows that a little goes a long way! The intensity or duration of the physical activity did not have a significant impact. So, whether it is a quick cruise to work or school or a day ride through the mountains, both have a positive impact on self-perception.
With all the forms of physical activities, why the focus on biking specifically? Well, we’re glad you asked. Riding a bike allows both kids and adults to overcome challenges and accomplish goals. Whether it is climbing up a tough hill, balancing with feet up, or learning to pop a wheelie achieving goals ignites the feeling of strength, power, and pride. The rhythmic nature of pedaling helps the brain focus, and the increased blood flow releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is known to boost mood and self-confidence. But, most importantly, riding a bike is fun and can take you places beyond where you could walk or run. For children, not only does it boost self-confidence but also offer a sense of independence and freedom – feelings that are empowering and healthy. That’s why we believe that ALL kids should learn to ride!
The truth is, the world might feel a little shaky for a while. Making decisions and deciphering what is best for yourself and your family won’t get easier as we shift from summer to fall. Adults and kids have fears and hurdles to overcome. It’s good to know that finding personal power, strength, and confidence are just a few pedal strokes away! A short bike ride can have a big impact on how you feel about yourself. Give it a try! Dust off your bike or borrow one from your neighbor if you need to, and if you believe ALL kids should learn to ride and have access to bikes in Kindergarten PE, GO HERE.