Electric bikes come with a range of benefits to users. Chief among them is the ability to exercise without wearing your muscles and joints out. Unlike traditional bikes, e-bikes offer motor assistance that allows you to stay on the bike longer and cover more distance.
At the end of the day, you can gradually build on your fitness and strength even when you’ve had a long period of inactivity. In this post, we consider several ways on how to use an electric bike to get fit.
Can You Get Fit on an Electric Bike?
The interesting part about electric biking is that you get as much exercise (if not more) as riding a regular bike. According to research, it is possible to benefit from effective exercise on an electric bike as long as you use the pedal-assist feature wisely.
You can choose to ride it as a normal bike on gentler stretches of the road. Ideally, the throttle and higher levels of pedal-assist should be used on steep climbs and against persistent headwinds.
Meanwhile, using lower levels of electrical assistance boosts your stamina, enabling you to continue cycling for longer. Note that electric bikes weigh at least 20 pounds more than a traditional bike, which means you need more effort to move the vehicle.
Various studies have shown that electric bikes boost your cardiovascular fitness by enhancing the function of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. This leaves you with an efficient circulatory system and optimal blood pressure.
But that’s not the only health benefit you get from riding an electric bike. It also enhances your blood sugar processing to stave off diabetes, as well as help to resist cancerous cells. Research has proven that people who get effective e-bike exercise exhibit improved fitness both physically and mentally.
Overall, it is surprising how much workout you can get from an e-bike compared to a regular bike. This is something that naysayers have always had against electric bikes but it is getting clearer every day that e-bikes can be an amazing workout tool.
How Do You Get Fit on an Electric Bike?
There are several ways you can use your electric bike as an exercise tool. Let us look at just some of the things you can do:
Use it for Transportation
One of the things you can do is to adopt an electric bike as your primary commuter vehicle. By replacing your daily car rides to and from work, you’ll be able to get moderate exercise with positive effects on your overall health.
The US government advises its citizens to try and get at least two and half hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This is something you can achieve when you start using an e-bike as your primary mode of transport (check out the prodigy e-bike review).
When you ride your bike to work, it allows you to get exercise twice a day and five days a week, which is within what experts advise for weekly aerobic exercise needs. Depending on the proximity of your home to your workstation, this is very possible.
The best part is that with an e-bike, you don’t always have to ride when you feel tired. Some formats of e-bikes (folding) are practical enough to be carried into the subway thanks to their collapsible design.
Use the Pedal-Assist System Wisely
Another way to stay fit on your electric bike is to use the electric assistance to your advantage so that you get the most exercise while riding. In this case, it will mean pedaling more and using the throttle less.
With electric bikes, you get the advantage of electrical power to compliment your pedaling effort, but with this power comes responsibility. Fortunately, you can choose the level of assistance you want for your rides.
To maximize your exercise sessions, it would be wise to select the lower pedal-assist levels. This way, you’ll be required to ride harder to move the heavy e-bike, which results in a greater workout for your leg muscles and joints.
Only move to the higher levels when you feel fatigue kicking in to prolong your riding stamina. This will also come in handy when you get to steep ascends on the trail, which require a lot more effort.
Furthermore, the electric assistance on e-bikes allows you to extend your normal ride distance. You can ride further and longer without the risk of wearing yourself out. If you typically ride 15 miles every morning on a regular bike, you can stretch this to 20 or 30 miles when you start riding an e-bike.
Also, it will be a great opportunity to tackle more challenging trails that you once avoided during your bike exercise sessions. Aim for hilly sections that push you to work extra hard and rougher surfaces that pose a greater physical and mental challenge for better exercise.
Progressively Use Less Assistance
The best way to exercise on an electric bike is to progressively reduce your dependence on the motor to move the bike. When you start working out with an e-bike, you’ll find yourself relying on the turbo mode a lot, especially on hilly stretches and against strong headwinds.
But as you get fitter, it is advisable to switch to the sport and eco modes so that you are relying more on the power of your legs. This will be a great way to increase your fitness without straining your muscles and joints.
Start Exercising Slowly
The biggest disadvantage of riding a regular bike for exercise is that it is almost possible for old people and those recovering from injury. It can be too great of a challenge to pedal when you only have a sore knee or fragile hips to depend on.
Luckily, electric bikes prove to be more accommodating to people who are not in their best physical shape. Whether you are struggling with old age, recovering from a hip injury, or simply coming out of a long period of dormancy, e-bikes offer you the easiest avenue to regaining your fitness.
With the motor assistance available, you can start riding gently and gradually improve your fitness over time. Start with shorter and easier routes to ensure you don’t overdo the exercise. As you get more fit, you can increase the frequency and length of the rides before eventually enhancing their degree of difficulty.
Go on a Cycling Vacation
Another great way to use your electric bike for fitness is to go on a cycling vacation. When you are finally free from all the stresses of work and you have free time to yourself, you can choose a nice vacation spot with a biking tradition.
There are numerous e-bike tours organized around the globe that will offer you the perfect way to spend your holidays. Aside from improving your physical fitness, e-bike tours also go a long way to keep you mentally fit.
All the peace, quiet, and ambiance of riding in remote routes surrounded by greenery has a way of easing your anxiety and other psychological pressures.
Electric bikes can be an effective workout tool for those trying to get back in shape. Despite the motor assistance, you can get moderate to high-intensity exercise as long as you use it wisely.
So, if you’ve been wondering how you can use an electric bike to get fit, the above post provides valuable tips and tricks.