Do E-bikes Help Or Hinder Fitness?
A lot of people are understandably dubious about electric bikes. Many people ride their bike for exercise, so if the bike powers itself then surely the main purpose of the bike is lost. Some cyclists see electric bikes as cheating because they do not believe they can offer the same exercise benefits that manual bikes have. If you are curious about electric bikes but you’re not sure if they will actually give you a workout or not then read on to find out the truth.
Electric Bikes Are Not Motorbikes
Some people seem to assume that electric bikes do all of the work for you so that you can just glide along effortlessly. The truth is that most settings on an electric bike will still require you to pedal and put your own effort in. Electric bikes often come with different ‘assist’ option which may be determined by manual settings and/or by how fast or slow you pedal. You can use your electric bike as a regular bike with no assistance at all, you can utilise the electric motor to make it easier for you to ride uphill whilst you still get a nice workout, or you can rely more heavily on the motor when you get fatigued.
Electric Bikes Get You Out There
Many people may want to take up cycling but they are concerned that they are not fit enough to handle long distances and, as a result, they won’t travel as far as they want to because they don’t think they can. Electric bikes can help you when you get tired so you can ride for longer and rely on the motor when you need it.
Riding on an electric bike may give you the confidence to take up cycling and it may make the whole experience more enjoyable. If you start enjoying cycling with the electric motor it may encourage you to start pushing yourself to ride for longer distances without assistance because you are safe in the knowledge that the electric motor is there if you need it.
Electric Bikes Encourage You To Go Further
Electric bikes give you the reassurance and support that you need so you can travel for longer without the fear that you won’t be able to cycle back. As a result, you are likely to push yourself more and you may find you end up getting more exercise with your electric bike then you would with a manual one.
Electric bikes can also make it easier for you to push yourself. If you cycle manually until you’re worn out you will normally quit there and then. But if you have an electric bike you can turn up the assist level so you feel you can continue and you still get more exercise then you would have if you quit.
Lower Impact Exercise
Regular cycling can put a lot of pressure on your joints and knees which are not ideal if you already suffer from joint problems or if you’re a little bit older. Electric bikes take a lot of the pressure off your joints so you can still enjoy your ride without causing damage to your body.
Electric Bikes Are Heavier
This may sound like a bad thing, but it can actually be really beneficial for your exercise regime. When you use an electric bike without the electric assist you are basically just using a larger, heavier bike. The extra weight will force you to use your core and challenge yourself to pedal so even if you spend less time manually cycling and more time with the assist function you may actually end up pushing yourself more than you would with a regular bike.
Electric Bikes Encourage You To Cycle To Work
There are many reasons someone may not want to cycle to work. You’ll have to leave earlier than you would if you drove or got the bus, you may be too tired to manually cycle to work in the morning and if you do cycle to work you’ll get there all sweaty and crumpled.
Electric bikes can solve many of these problems as they will get you to your location quicker than a manual bike, they require less effort if you use the assist functions so you may feel more able to deal with it if you’re tired, and as they require less effort you won’t turn up at work looking like you’ve fallen out of the gym.
Electric bikes can help you burn more calories than you would whilst sitting in the car, they can help you get extra sunlight and vitamin D (which can help with your mood and immune system), and they also provide an environmentally friendly alternative to driving or using public transport.
Electric bikes are also generally safer than driving thanks to their slower speeds and access to cycle lanes, and they also work out cheaper than driving or using a motorbike as they don’t require petrol or licences.
Electric Bikes Make It Easier To Go Uphill
You may love cycling on flat surfaces but you don’t feel comfortable riding uphill. This may limit your cycling options if you live in a hilly area and it may discourage you from taking certain routes. An electric bike can make it a lot easier for you to ride up a hill so you won’t have to avoid certain parts of your route out of fear.
Some people only use the assistance options for hills and difficult terrain, so they can get their exercise on flat surfaces and travel for longer because they are now able to cycle uphill without getting exhausted and having to turn back.
Electric bikes are also a good choice if you want to cycle with other people. A group of friends may well have different fitness levels and it can be quite hard if you don’t feel you’re as fit as the others. The electric assist can help you keep up with your friends so you can get some exercise and enjoy each other’s company without feeling embarrassed.
Electric Bikes Make It Easier To Get Fit
Cycling can be daunting at the best of times, but if you feel you are unfit, you are recovering from an injury or you are older and you don’t feel as sprightly as you used to be then cycling may be the last thing you want to do. Even if you use a high level of assistance you will normally still have to pedal and thus you will still get more exercise than you would from sitting around at home. Electric bikes offer a more gentle and secure way of getting into fitness, and they will normally offer you various assistance levels so you can start pushing yourself when you feel able to do so.
It can be hard to get started on a fitness journey if you don’t feel up to exercise, and sometimes even the smallest first steps can make a huge difference in the long run. If you find the prospect of cycling unassisted quite terrifying then an electric bike can help you increase your confidence, get used to the sensation and slowly start pushing yourself more and more as you feel more competent.
Electric bikes are also a good choice for people who are just learning how to cycle and don’t feel ready for a manual bike. Riding with the electric bikes extra assistance will get you used to the general feel of cycling without requiring all that extra effort so you can get used to it.