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Couple in orange biking in the park October 8, 2018

Biking: The Key to Learning a New Language Fast?

Knowing many languages has many rewards. But as your daughter who studies Spanish in school would tell you, it is difficult. Recently, research says that there’s one unassuming activity you can do to speed up learning. And that is, to get sweaty on the bike.

What the Study Says

The researchers gathered 40 college-age Chinese men and women who want to learn English. They were already being taught in a language class, but they weren’t making significant progress yet. The participants were divided into two groups. One group kept their routine — learning the language while seated in vocabulary classes, while the other would have the sessions while riding bikes and 20 minutes before the beginning of the class.

After eight sessions within two months, participants who had exercised were better in the vocabulary tests than the other group. The cyclists also retained vocabulary information and comprehension longer than the sedentary participants.

What This Means

The bottom line of the research is that physical activity done while learning can improve acquiring information. From other studies, experts say that exercise facilitates production of neurochemicals in the brain that increases the number of brain cells, boosting the ability to learn. Perhaps, it’s indeed a good idea to encourage kids to bike to school — and join them while they’re at it. It’s like a warm-up for the brain for the day’s activities.

If your child doesn’t know how to ride yet and may be afraid to try it, MADSEN Cycles recommends easing them into the physical activity by having them on a bike ideal for families. This will relieve their fears of crashing or not being able to balance, as they grow more familiar with the equipment.

Consider planning a day of family bike rides as well — let’s say on weekends. Exposing them to nature could also help in improving brain health. Just make sure to find safe, quiet cycling routes. Look it up on Google or ask around your neighborhood which paths are kid-friendly.

Learning a new language is hard, but not when you’re biking. Remember that as you flex those brain cells, flex those muscles too.