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Can Electric Bikes Get You Fit?

October 4, 2021

As electric bikes grow in popularity, many cycling enthusiasts wonder if they can get a proper workout while riding an e-bike. Assistance with pedaling can seem like cheating. After all, you're not working as hard, right? In actuality, e-bikes provide outstanding exercise opportunities and can be used by a wide variety of riders to achieve their fitness goals.


3 Ways E-Bikes Get You Fit


Most e-bikes have different settings to choose from, such as motor off, pedal assist, or full motor power. You can decide how hard you want to work by selecting how much the motor helps you. Here are three ways e-bikes can improve fitness levels.


  1. If you've always biked the same distances or taken easier trails because you didn't quite have the strength and stamina to do more, use pedal assist to help you bike farther or climb higher. As you get used to your new distance, decrease pedal assist until you can tackle it completely on your own.
  2. Recent studies have shown that commuters are more likely to bike to work on an e-bike than on a traditional bike. The mild rise in heart rate and respiration they experienced provided daily moderate exercise and burned calories.
  3. E-bikes with pedal assist can offer exercise opportunities to riders who might not be at peak physical performance. For example, people who have been sedentary, in poor health, are older, or have specific physical needs may find e-biking a good way to begin a fitness program.


How Biking Helps Mental Health


Biking isn't good for physical health only, it's good for mental health, too. Aerobic exercise, including cycling, has been proven to do the following:


  • Release the feel-good chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin to boost your mood and increase the feeling of positive well-being
  • Increase the level of oxygen in your brain which helps control anxiety and depression
  • Generate new neurons in the brain to improve cognitive function, memory, and mood


In addition to the benefits you enjoy from the exercise, getting outside into nature is good for you, too. Minds need the break from screens and fluorescent lights that a bike ride can provide.

Are Electric Bikes Good for Cardio?


Don't worry that your e-bike won't give you the cardio workout you want. All you have to do is turn the motor off and you've got a regular bike that demands all your effort. In addition, electric bikes can encourage you to push yourself a little harder or a little farther. You can rely on the pedal assist to get you home if necessary. This is helpful for bikers who need some courage to take their cardio workout to the next level.


Losing Weight Using E-Bikes


Your e-bike can be part of your weight-loss plan. There are some key principles to remember:


  • Regular exercise is important. Make a schedule that gets you out on your bike at least three days a week.
  • Alternate biking with other fitness activities, such as walking, running, or rock climbing.
  • Set realistic goals that challenge you. Increase distances gradually.
  • Join a biking club or head out with friends once or twice a week. Biking with others maintains motivation.
  • Over time decrease the amount of pedal assist you use to build more cardiovascular strength. 


In addition, be sure to eat healthfully. You can't "bike off" an entire carton of ice cream. With a good balance of protein, carbs, and fruits and vegetables, you'll have the energy you need to power your rides.


If you'd like to incorporate biking into your exercise plan, check out local or online bike shops to learn more about e-bikes and their fitness benefits. 

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