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A Danish study in 2012 showed that kids concentrate better after biking or walking to school. The study titled Mass Experiment 2012 looked at the links between concentration diet and exercise. The survey explored nearly 20000 Danish kids between the ages of 5 and 19. It found that kids who cy- cled or walked to school rather than traveling by car or public transporta- tion performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration such as solving puzzles and that the effects lasted for up to four hours after they got to school. The study showed positive cognitive benefits from cycling and not just for school-age kids. And yet these connections are only beginning to be adequately explored. More recently Specialized Bicycle Components founder and CEO Mike Sinyard has long dealt with the effects of attention deficit hyperactivity disor- der or ADHD in his own life. He no- ticed that those symptoms seemed to dissipate after returning from a ride. He also saw the positive benefits that riding has had on his son Anthony who also suffers from ADHD. In try- ing to better understand ADHD and bicyclings apparent positive effects he decided to explore more of the science behind ridings impact on the brain and began to assemble a team to study ADHD through evidence-based youth cycling programs. The Specialized Foundation fund- ed research to investigate how aerobic exercise specifically cycling can be- come an integral part of a comprehen- sive treatment program for kids with ADHD. Through its pilot programs researchers have been finding encour- aging results. Here are some of the pro- cesses and observations With research partners in the field several six-week pilot programs were established in middle schools across the United States. Indications are that kids brains are better prepared for learning when they take part in cycling activities improving many of the core deficits of ADHD like attention mood and behavior. And these programs have also shown improvements in academic performance as measured by standard- ized test scores. Furthermore bike riding has shown itself to be an ideal conduit to these pos- itive effects as its easily accessible for kids with varying degrees of fitness. So this means that students are able to par- ticipate at a higher rate than with other forms of aerobic activity. Beyond early findings of improved attention riding also develops physical fitness in kids. Researchers found a significant reduc- tion in participants Body Mass Index or BMI on average in their study. The evidence is stacking up that bi- cycling and active lifestyles can have a positive impact on mood self-esteem attention and academic performance as well as general fitness. Nearly six million children in the United States have been diagnosed as having ADHD. While many parents worry about the medications often prescribed to help their kids what they might not know is that help may be as close as those bikes sitting in the garage. CANCYCLING MAKEYOUSMARTER H id you know that riding a bike for an hour has a powerful effect on your ability to pay attention So whether youre studying for midterms or preparing for a long day of meetings getting out to ride will show you brain-boosting potential firsthand. D By RICH COOK