Did you know that electronic bicycles are the largest growing transportation sector in the United States? Americans are increasingly recognizing the e-bike's benefits. From eco-friendliness to convenience, the e-bike offers advantages that are getting some warranted attention.
Another reason we're all going wild for e-bikes: They're a practical way to get in a good workout. Riding an electric bike can benefit you physically in many ways. It can enhance muscle tone to improve cardiovascular health — and there's plenty of data to prove it.
For example, a new study on the physiological effects of riding an e-bike for commuting purposes — not even trying to work out — showed that it met the intensity levels considered "healthy" physical activity set by experts like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
That's just one of the many pieces of evidence that suggest e-cycling is a great way to boost fitness levels. Read on for a quick primer to the ways that riding an e-bike can help you enhance your health.
1. Set your pedal-assistance level as low as possible
First things first: If you want to use an e-bike for fitness purposes, it's important to understand their mechanics — and you can even make some changes to the way your bike works to get the most out of it.
A battery-powered e-bike has an electric motor which helps power the bike forward. The level of electronic assistance you get as a rider is controlled by "pedal assist." Most bikes have different levels of pedal assist. For example, the Velotric Discover 1 has five-level pedal assist along with the Velotric Nomad 1.
The higher the pedal assistance, the more help you'll get pedaling — and the less effort you’ll have to put in. If your goal is to get more fit, however, set your electric bicycle's pedal assist to a lower setting. The lower you set it, the harder you’ll have to peddle, and this will give you a higher intensity exercise.
2. Riding an e-bike still gets your heart rate up
Just because your e-bike has pedal assistance levels doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some awesome advantages when it comes to getting a good workout.
This study compared the physical effects of riding e-mountain bikes with riding standard mountain bikes. To conduct their study, researchers used heart rate monitors to see how hard their participants’ hearts had to pump while riding.
The results? Cyclists on e-mountain bikes had 94% the average heart rate of those who were riding normal mountain bikes.
E-bikes provide a great cardiovascular workout which is great for protecting your heart, lungs, and circulatory system as a whole. While you might not get your heart rate as high or burn as many calories as on a conventional bike, the above study implies that there can still be some advantages to riding an electric bike. The activity qualifies as "at or near moderate intensity." Translation? It's a great way to get your physical activity.
3. E-bikes allow you to ride farther, more often
Exercise isn't just about intensity. It's also about regularity. This is another area where e-bikes score major points. Research shows that e-bike riders tend to ride more often than people who ride regular bikes. In one study, e-bike riders were found to more than double their cycle use.
Why do you think e-bikes made the difference? Logically, we may ascertain that people might be more eager to bike if they have pedal assist to help them through the tough parts of their ride, like going uphill. However, research also suggests that riders find e-bikes more enjoyable than regular bikes.
4. E-biking has psychological benefits
Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical wellbeing when it comes to conversations about health. And this is one area where e-bikes have advantages too. E-bikes are shown to have psychological benefits since they boost endorphins and improve your mood.
On top of that, e-biking can improve mental health because pedal assist makes it easier to ride further, and when you can ride further, you get more opportunities to explore the great outdoors. People can explore their favorite outdoor destinations like these gorgeous biking trails, for example. And research shows that spending time in nature is good for combatting stress and anxiety.
With pedal assist, you can spend the same amount of energy to ride longer and go further. Want to ride regularly around your city or town and explore the small adventures around you? Pick our Discover 1 with 60 miles of range. Looking for more off-road adventures and to experience the great outdoors? Consider our Nomad 1 fat tire e-bike with 55 miles of range but a stronger 750w motor and thicker, more comfortable 4” tires.
5. E-biking is less physically demanding on joints and muscles
Certain types of exercise such as jogging can be rough on your knees. When you're running, your knees absorb shock every time your foot hits the ground. Cycling, in contrast, is a low-impact exercise. For this reason, it's recommended for people with knee pain or issues like arthritis.
The e-bike's pedal assist can further support healthy exercise for people with knee problems or weak musculature. You can ramp up pedal assist for support while still maintaining mobility. As you get stronger, you can dial down pedal assist for more of a workout.
For people with knee problems, one of the best solutions can be building up leg muscles, and this is where bikes come in handy. By enhancing muscles around the knees, like the quadriceps and the hamstrings, you can often alleviate stress on the joints themselves.
6. E-biking can help you recover from injuries
The versatile nature of e-biking also makes it a great form of physical therapy. In general, cycling addresses many objectives of physical therapy. It improves mobility and range of motion. It builds muscle and enhances cardiovascular health. With e-biking, the conditions of cycling are easier to control. The pedal assist levels can be adapted to a person's fitness levels, and this feature is congruent with many goals of physical therapy.
E-biking can also be a great way for people who don't normally exercise to get into the habit. Consider the aforementioned study that found e-cycling is more enjoyable than regular cycling. If people are enjoying their physical activity, they're more likely to stick to it, right? Additionally, regular exercise can help prevent certain types of injury.
Riding an electric bike has proven health benefits comparable or even preferable to those of riding a conventional bike. Want to reap the rewards? These frequently asked questions cover some basics for newbie e-bike riders:
How often should I exercise on my ebike?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that the average adult gets 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week, plus two days of muscle strengthening activity. There are many ways to achieve this goal using your e-bike.
For example, you could ride 30 minutes for five days a week to get your 150 minutes and keep the pedal assist low to get your heart rate pumping. You could then add a couple days into your routine where you focus on climbing hills, which would require your muscles to work harder — and there you have your two days of muscle strengthening activity.
What is the difference between an electric bike and a regular bike?
The main difference between an electric bike and a standard bike is that an e-bike has an electric motor. The e-bike motor allows for pedal assist, which powers the bike forward even if the rider isn't pedaling strenuously. A regular bike will thus provide a more high-intensity form of exercise than an e-bike.
However, you can still get a good workout with an e-bike if you lower the level of electrical assistance. Plus, an e-bike can encourage you to ride for longer periods of time. In the big picture, this can encourage you to exercise longer and more frequently.
What are other benefits of using an ebike?
E-bikes have many other benefits beyond improving your physical health. They can also enhance mental health, since research shows that exercise boosts emotional wellbeing and reduces the risk of issues like anxiety and depression. E-bikes can also encourage you to get out into nature, which has also been shown to improve mental health.
E-bikes are a great alternative to cars, providing a safe, quiet, and emission-free mode of transportation. Since they don't require gasoline, they don't burn fossil fuels or contribute to dangerous carbon emissions.
Finally, e-bikes are a great way to improve mobility. Since they aid with pedal assist, they can make exercise more appealing. With an e-bike, you might be encouraged to ride further more often.
Discover the best Velotric electric bike for you
Riding e-bikes can help you improve your physical fitness in many ways, from boosting cardiovascular health to enhancing muscle tone and encouraging mental wellbeing. Best of all, e-bike users report enjoying their chosen form of physical activity more than everyday bikers. You may be encouraged to ride more often if the experience is something you enjoy.
If you’re ready to ditch your traditional bike and get an e-bike, Velotric has you covered.
For everyday riding around town, try the Discover 1. It has a five-level pedal assist, a 500W battery, and hydraulic disc brakes.
If you want to explore the great outdoors, we recommend our Nomad 1, which has fat tires for greater stability and comfort on uneven surfaces. The Nomad 1 has a five-level pedal assist, a 750W battery, and hydraulic disc brakes.
All Velotric bikes come with a battery certified by Underwriter Laboratories (UL 2271), a global scientific safety organization, so you can be confident in the quality you're getting.