WPS Health Insurance Blog

Bike smart this summer

Posted by Camille Albert

Jun 6, 2013 9:00:00 AM

Biking familyWisconsin, and especially Madison, is home to some incredible bike paths. In fact, Madison was rated No. 6 out of the top 50 bike-friendly cities in the U.S. in 2012 due to its numerous bike paths and bike lanes.

Riding your bike outside in the summer is a fun way to get your exercise in and enjoy the warm weather all at once. Cycling is beneficial to your heart, muscles, mental health, coordination, and immune system. It can also help you stay in shape and slim down by burning calories and speeding up your metabolism. Best of all, cycling is also believed to lengthen your lifespan.

Even though going on a bike ride with your family is encouraged, it’s best to wait until your child is between 4 and 7 years old and can ride on his or her own to decrease the risk of serious injury. If you need to ride with a very young child, make sure he or she wears the appropriate helmet and avoid riding on busy streets or in bad weather. Riding with a child trailer is much safer than biking with a child on a mounted seat or in a back or front pack.

There is nothing more exciting to a child than learning to ride a bike for the first time. Tricycles are a great way to introduce kids to bicycles if used properly. To keep your toddler pedaling safely this summer, make sure to:

  • Wait until your child is around 3 years old, or has the proper muscle coordination, before riding a tricycle
  • Get your child properly fitted for the right size tricycle
  • Keep a close eye on your children while they’re riding, and make sure they avoid dangerous areas such as near cars or swimming pools
  • Make sure your child always wears a helmet when riding

Leave a comment below to share some of your favorite areas to bike in or around Madison in Wisconsin.

Topics: Wellness