In this eco-conscious and socially distanced world, electric bikes continue to gain popularity. Not only are they sound alternatives for cyclists, but they are also viable options for commuters. But is there more to e-bikes than their environmental and social benefits?
In this article, you’ll find about all the health benefits e-bikes provide. In a general sense, these health benefits may already be something you can get out of riding any type of bike. But the detailed discussion on each health benefit will show you just how much better it would be for your health to ride an e-bike instead of a traditional bike.
Let’s start with how e-bikes can give your heart health some love.
#1 Improves Heart Health
Cycling helps improve circulation, thus supplying your body parts with all the oxygen and nutrients they need. It also lowers blood pressure and fat levels.
While cycling, your active heart rate also increases, thus training your heart muscles. The more you train, the stronger your muscles become. In time, riding your e-bike can thus result in a strengthened heart. Think of it like working out for defined abs and arms.
Additionally, cycling lowers your heart’s resting rate. The lower the heart resting rate is, the more efficient your heart functions.
A study from the European Health Journal also cites an 11% decrease in the risk of cardiovascular diseases for those who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activities like biking.
All these benefits are apparent for both traditional bikes and electric bikes.
But using an e-bike has distinct benefits from simply using traditional bikes. In time, with the added support, your e-bike may leave you wanting more. And the more you cycle, the better you can improve your heart health.
Thus, e-bikes provide both short-term and long-term benefits for your heart health.
#2 Muscle Gains
From the last section, you already know that cycling trains cardiac muscles that move involuntarily. So, if cycling can train such independent muscles, how much more do you think it can train and tone your voluntary skeletal muscles?
When cycling, you mostly use your legs. So, with continued use of e-bikes, you can expect these muscles to become stockier:
- Calves: muscles in the back of the lower leg
- Gluteus maximus: muscles in the buttocks
- Hamstring: muscles running from your hips to your hind upper legs
- Quadriceps: muscles in the front thigh
- Shin muscles: muscles in the front part of your shin bone
The glutes provide power for every pedal you make, thus relieving your hamstrings of excess pressure. On the other hand, the hamstrings work the hardest as they’re responsible for the movement of your legs during pedalling. You even exert these muscle groups more as you climb slopes. With your e-bike’s extra power, you may feel confident to ride hills, thus exercising your muscles in the process.
Both the quadriceps and the calves work the hardest when you’re pushing down on the pedals. The calves also exert added effort when you’re hitting the pedal with your toes.
Lastly, the shin muscles work when you’re bringing your leg up from its extended position back to the 9’ocklock point of the pedal.
According to experts, the most efficient way to pedal is to add power using your hamstrings. So, proper cycling should tone your glutes, quads, and hamstrings more than your calves, shin muscles, and other connected muscles.
But your leg muscles aren’t the only ones at work. Your upper body may be stationary, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t working hard. While cycling, the muscles in your upper body function mainly to keep you upright, stable, and balanced.
Thus, cycling can also workout upper body muscle groups such as:
- Shoulder deltoids
- Upper and lower abdominal muscles
#3 Enhances Metabolism
Like many aerobic exercises, cycling with an e-bike can enhance your metabolism. Science says that the more effort you put in with each pedal, the more fuel or calories you can burn. However, remember that e-bikes come with a pedal assist. So, how can it possibly help you lose more calories?
The answer is that you still have control over your e-bikes pedal-assist feature. You can start by utilizing more power from your e-bikes motor. Then, you can gradually decrease the amount of power you’re outsourcing.
The gradual increase in workout intensity allows you to gain some momentum and practice rather than overexerting yourself on the first try. This way, you can then lose those calories at a healthy and sustainable pace.
Besides, one way to improve metabolism is the HIIT workout or high-intensity interval training. As its name suggests, this workout is composed of a short burst of intense exercise followed by a low-intensity workout. For this to be effective, you’d have to repeat the pattern up to 4-6 repetitions.
When riding a bike, you can easily do a HIIT workout by adjusting the added power you’re getting from the motor. For example, you can go on a high-intensity workout for one minute. Then, you can adjust the throttle to gain more power from the motor for a low-intensity workout.
Additionally, one study from the European Society of Cardiology implies that well-trained and efficient muscles use up more fuel. That simply means that your toned muscles will use up more fat and excess carbs for your workouts. So, the more you cycle with your e-bike, the more you can improve your physical health.
#4 Promotes Consistent Workout
They say that the first step is the hardest to achieve. And in the case of cycling, the first ride maybe your hardest. You may have finally decided to give cycling a chance because of the inspiring stories you see online. You may feel empowered to reach tens of miles on your first ride. But in reality, it can be difficult to cover long distances on your first try.
Luckily, having an e-bike can motivate you to start cycling. As a beginner, you can go long distances without feeling too exhausted with extra power from your e-bikes motor.
Then, as you improve your cycling skills and endurance, you can start to slowly depend less on the e-bike’s motor. You can even go farther distances if you’d like.
Additionally, e-bikes can give you the confidence to climb harder slopes. With the safety of the pedal-assist feature, you no longer have to climb hills with the fear of not reaching the summit.
E-bikes also present themselves as a better alternative compared to other common aerobic exercises like running. This is because cycling is a type of low-impact activity, which means that even if you cycle consistently, you won’t have an increased risk of knee and other joint injuries.
So, what makes e-bikes stand out is that they allow you to work out consistently and pace yourself accordingly.
#5 Provides Mental Relief
Last and most definitely not least, is that riding your e-bike brings positive neurological effects. Studies suggest that cycling reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your blood.
In addition to this, cycling enhances the production of serotonin. Cycling outdoors also allows you to gain some benefits from sunlight. Among these benefits are increased levels of serotonin. This change in hormone levels then leads to a better mood and even improved sleep.
Besides, you’d be spending less on e-bikes than on other modes of transportation. You can save up on licensing expenses, parking fees, and fuel costs. So, you’ll also spend less energy stressing on financial expenses for transporting.
Most especially, electric bikes allow you to travel without feeling guilty about your increasing carbon footprint. This way, you can still go to places and still contribute to the efforts of stopping climate change.
E-bikes continue to dominate the market due to their many benefits. Not only are they healthy for the environment, but they’re also healthy for your mental and physical well-being. With all the types of e-bikes being developed today, you will indeed find the best e-bike that fits you.
Specifically, e-bikes allow you to improve your heart health, train your muscles, enhance your metabolism, and boost your mental health. And by promoting a consistent workout routine, e-bikes provide all these health benefits not only temporarily but also in the long run.
So, if you want what’s best for yourself and the people around you, why not give e-bikes a shot? They might just be the best and healthiest investment you can make!