DO YOU GET ANY EXERCISE ON AN E-BIKE?
The joy of cycling, commuting, enjoying nature, and exercising are all reasons for people to hop on their bikes. E-bike exercise is not to be underestimated even though there might be preconceptions due to the support the motor provides. E-bikes hold great potential in improving your health by being a moderate form of exercise that is easily integrated into everyone’s routine.
General health benefits of cycling
First and foremost: what are the general health benefits of cycling no matter the type of bicycle? The effects that cycling has on our bodies are very well-known. Cycling is considered an aerobic form of exercise also known as cardio. As a result, benefits include:
Cardiovascular functioning and decreased risk of heart disease
Studies have shown that regular cycling such as commuting to work improves your cardiovascular health. According to a 2017 study researchers from the University of Glasgow found that the risk of developing heart disease declines by 46%. The chance of premature death also decreases by 41%. Data from 264,377 participants were analyzed over five years.
Improves lung functioning
An increased lung capacity, as well as strong respiratory muscles, can be a result of cycling leading to overall improved lung functioning. This happens due to a faster rate of in- and deflating of your lungs and an enlarged amount of oxygen.
Helps maintain a healthy weight
To put it simply, cycling burns fat and requires energy. Thus, in combination with a healthy diet, it can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Not only is cycling a great way to burn calories, but it also builds muscles. Especially, the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves are being used. Apart from your leg muscles, your arms, abdominals, and back can get a light workout.
Positively impacts mental wellbeing
Cycling and most other physical activities release endorphins. These hormones reduce stress and anxiety and increase pleasure. Overall, they improve your mood. Additionally, cycling can lessen the amount of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.
Safe to say, cycling is an effective and comparatively easy method to enhance your overall fitness while being an accessible mode of transport.
E-bike for exercise: Does it take away from the health benefits?
Physical exercise might seem up for debate when riding an e-bike instead of a classical one due to their motor assistance. Contrary to some misconceptions electric bicycles do not take away from the physical benefits provided by conventional cycling.
It also largely depends on how you ride your e-bike. Most models offer different levels of assistance so that you can switch up according to your needs. Naturally, a lower power mode requires more pedaling and thus results in greater physical activity. Especially within the EU, where pedelecs are the most common form of e-bikes, the health benefits do not get lost.
E-bike riders can keep up with cyclists
Researchers using an online survey in seven European cities found that e-bike riders benefit from similar physical activity as regular cyclists. The underlying reasons for that are mostly interconnected with the habits of cyclists. While looking at a single trip of the same length conventional bicycle rides are mostly more intense. Depending on the level of assistance e-bike rides require 15-25% less energy. Taking a look at the overall trips taken, it turns out that on average e-bike riders go on longer trips and more frequently since e-bikes can be more suitable for substituting cars, trains, and busses.
Another study issued by researchers from the University of Basel also concluded that there is only a small difference when it comes to health benefits. Over the course of four weeks, two groups of people have monitored: one riding e-bikes and the other one cycling with pedal-only bicycles. Professor Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss stated that “those who use e-bikes on a regular basis benefit […] not only in terms of their fitness, but also in terms of other factors such as blood pressure, fat metabolism, and their mental well-being.”
In other words, the e-bike is a zero-emission vehicle that is fast, low maintenance, long-term low costs, ideal for commuting, and beneficial for your health. An e-bike designed with a torque sensor instead of only a cadence sensor subconsciously changes the riding style from high cadence/low gearing to a more comfortable cadence with more actual power being put into the pedals. The effect is longer battery life and more exercise. Without you even noticing this.