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DC 2nd Graders Will Learn to Ride Bikes in School

Cropped SingleCare logo By | November 25, 2015

All D.C. public schools are set to begin teaching second graders how to ride a bike. With unexpected tumbles always a possibility, SingleCare’s expansive network of pediatricians ensures that members stay in tiptop shape so they can ride on.

The streets of D.C. may soon be filled with a new group of eager cyclists: second graders. The district’s public school system recently launched a program that will teach all students how to ride bicycles as part of their second grade physical education.

The Washington Post reports that the new initiative is part of a larger, nationwide trend of physical education programs that are putting a greater emphasis on teaching healthy lifestyle habits, instead of promoting activity through competitive sports.

In addition to learning how to ride, second graders will also learn basic bicycle safety, including how to wear a helmet and proper hand signals for sharing the road. With the skills gained in this program, D.C. children will not only have a new method of transportation at their disposal, but also another fun way to stay in shape.

The Benefits of Biking

According to the US National Library of Medicine, people who switch to biking as their primary mode of transportation on short trips increase their lifespan by up to 14 months. One Journal of Occupational Health study that biking can make for better mental health, while another showed that learning to ride a bicycle can also improve balance, as reported in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health. Put it all together, and it’s hard not to see how biking is a healthy, active alternative to using a car or public transportation.

It’s important for kids to rack up as much physical activity as they can. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends that children aged 6-11 participate in at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity daily.

However, a recent report put out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that nearly 30% of American children ages 2-11 years old are overweight or obese. According to the National Institutes of Health, an inactive lifestyle is a primary contributor to becoming overweight or obese.

On a local level, the District has one of the highest rates of child obesity in the nation. According to a report put out by the D.C. Department of Health, one in three children living in D.C. is either overweight or at risk of becoming so, and more than half of all adults are either overweight or obese.

And of course, as the University of Maryland Medical Center makes clear, there’s a long history of medical research that says being overweight puts you at greater risk for contracting Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and high blood pressure.

The D.C. Public Schools bicycle program will be a great way to provide elementary school children with more outlets for aerobic activity, and teaching second graders how to participate in a sustainable form of exercise may help them lead a healthy lifestyle well into adulthood.

Feel Good on Your Bicycle

A woman with a bike.
vau902/Thinkstock

But staying healthy isn’t just about riding bicycles. It’s also about staying in shape. And SingleCare’s extensive network of pediatricians are committed to keeping its members in tip top biking shape.

Whether it’s through medical care, physical therapy, prescription refills, or otherwise, SingleCare provides its members with the services they need to keep living healthy, active lifestyles. The SingleCare platform promises affordability — you only pay for what you need. That means adults and second graders alike have every reason to jump on the bike and head out for a ride in our nation’s capital.

(Main image credit: Polka Dot Images/Thinkstock)