11 Sep Get Fit and Lose Weight with an Electric Bike
We’ve already covered in-depth why you ought to own an electric bike.
In this blog post, we’re going to focus on one particular benefit of ebiking that is really hard to ignore: health and fitness.
It is a well-known fact that riding a bike is good exercise and that it can lead to a myriad of health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular fitness and a lowered chance of premature death to due ailments.
But what about ebikes? Can you get fit on an electric bike as well even though they have a motor to help you out?
The good news is that yes, riding an electric bike is still good exercise despite the fact that they are assisting you.
To get the most out of your ebike though and get the best workout possible, you will need to ride a certain way and adopt a certain lifestyle. It’s nothing radical but with a few changes of habit, you can get fit with an electric bike and start to lose weight.
Let’s dive into the health benefits of electric bike riding and how best to exercise with them right now.
Getting fit riding an electric bike
There are a TON of proven health benefits associated with regular bike riding. We’re going to focus on the biggest one right now: heart health.
Cardiovascular health improves greatly with regular bike use. In one study, participants demonstrated increased respiratory function and efficiency after only four weeks of consistent riding. This test was conducted using ebikes as well and not just regular ones.
In the long term, regular riding and increased cardio result in a generally improved quality of life as well. People who ride regularly live longer, are less susceptible to diseases – such as cancer – and have an overall lower mortality rate.
Because electric bicycles are heavier than regular bikes, they also require a bit of core strength to ride. Riding an electric bike properly requires more stability than usual (otherwise the sensors get confused), and keeping these things steady can be a bit of an ab workout!
Biking 30-45 minutes per day seems to be the sweet spot and the amount that allows people to reap the most health benefits. Whether or not these minutes are clocked on the way to work, the grocery store, or during a workout sesh doesn’t really matter. Most health professionals recommend just getting out there and being more active overall. Overly sedentary lifestyles are the real killers in this modern world.
Does riding an electric bike help you lose weight?
That’s the big question for most people interested in buying an electric bike. Some are in it for the sake of convenience but a huge number of people just want to look better in their birthday suits.
So how much weight can you actually lose by riding an electric bike?
Well, it depends really on how much you ride, how intensely, and for how long in a single session. Some people estimate that one can burn off around 400-500 calories during a one-hour ride on an electric bike, and, at the moment, that seems to be the rule of thumb.
How much weight loss does that 400-500 burn convert to? Well, if you believe in the 3500-calorie standard, riding your ebike an hour each day, 7 days per week, then you stand to lose almost a pound each week, maybe even more if these experts are to be believed.
A pound per week can be life-changing! 100 days of riding could result in 100 pounds lost. For a lot of people with unhealthy lifestyles, this could mean the difference between a long, healthy life and a premature death.
Those interested in losing weight with an electric bike, will of course need to apply themselves: change their habits, eat well, apply a routine, and stick to a plan. Like any other exercise routine, this may seem daunting, but with the proper mindset, losing weight is absolutely possible, and electric bikes make things so much easier.
Electric bike exercise – more convenient, less intense
Here’s the real motivating factor when it comes to using an electric bike for exercising: they’re so damn convenient.
Riding an electric bike isn’t the same as riding a regular bike. Thanks to the pedal-assist, ebikes have an easier time handling steep terrain, enable riders to travel longer distances, and accelerate with less effort.
Individuals who normally lead a sedentary lifestyle, in particular, stand the most to gain from this extra push.
Getting into serious bike riding can be intimidating for some people. It’s not like jumping into a car or a motorbike; you need to be active to ride a bike and willing to put work in. Hills especially can be really demoralizing and I know several people who quit biking just because they didn’t want to deal with them.
We have to consider those with injuries and bodily ailments as well. Not everyone can physically ride a bike full tilt, especially the elderly whose deteriorating bones and joints make riding a bike more difficult.
But electric biking lowers these hurdles a bit and makes biking riding as a whole more accessible. Those who are concerned that they may not be fit or capable enough to even start now have help. All they need to do is start at a higher pedal-assist mode and then work their way down. In no time, they’ll be riding with little if any assistance from the ebike motor.
Except maybe on hills – no one, not even the serious bikers, ever like doing hills.
But wait, isn’t riding an electric bike cheating?
After reading the above, you might be thinking that, because of the additional assistance, ebikes are not as good as regular bikes when it comes to fitness, that they might be “cheating” in some way.
This is not the case: riding an electric bike is NOT cheating, in any way.
First, let’s be fair: riding a regular bike will result in more calories burned than an ebike over the same distance. Riding the former will result in about 20-25% more calories burned the latter. This is for obvious reasons: without the pedal-assist, regular riders will have to exert more effort overall than ebike riders, especially on challenging terrain.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t ride an electric bike and get fit. Quite the opposite, in fact.
A study performed in Europe shows that those who regularly ride ebikes are actually healthier than those who ride regular bikes. This comes down to one big reason: ebikers ride more than regular bikers.
Why might someone ride an electric bike more than a regular bike? Because it’s a more reasonable form of transportation. When people are able and willing to ride their ebikes more, they make up for the disparity in caloric burn and end up riding longer.
It should also be mentioned that there’s nothing stopping someone from limiting the pedal-assist and only using it sparingly. It doesn’t mean they can’t push themself either – ebike riders can still get their heart rate up and a good workout in. With the extra assistance, it just means that, by the end, they will have done more and gone further.
Ebikes are such a convenient form of getting around that they start to become more than just about fitness. They become a means of getting around town, running errands, and commuting to and from work. This last bit, in our and many other experts’ opinions, is crucial when it comes to changing one’s life and really reaping the benefits of ebikes.
Get started – exercise with your electric bike while going to work
Listen, in order to get the most out of your electric bike and to get healthy using it, you need to start using it more. There are SO many ways that you can incorporate bike riding into your everyday life, but the best by far is commuting to work.
Commuting to work with an electric bike is a game-changer. Besides being better for the environment and your bank account it is an ENORMOUS opportunity to get some extra exercise.
For starters, the average daily commute for bikers is conveniently around 45 minutes in total. Tack on an extra 15 minutes and you’re already on track to losing a pound or more a week (at the outset).
Next, consider the amount of time you’re saving. By riding your bike to work, you are essentially doing two things at once: commuting and exercising. By combining the two, you have one less thing to worry about in your daily schedule, which we all know is getting tighter each day.
Finally, ebike riders have a lot of control over how much of a workout they actually want to get in. Got a big meeting at the office and don’t want to arrive at work drenched in sweat? Use the pedal-assist to its maximum and cruise in! Feel like your fitness needs improving? Hit a couple of extra hills on the way to work and try climbing them without your trusty motor this time.
More and more people are opting to take their ebike to work rather than a car. The number of ebike users is predicted to rise from 200 million to 300 million, according to this report, and we aren’t surprised. Once you start exercising with an electric bike, the ride to work seems a lot less irritating. In fact, you might actually find that you’ll enjoy it more.
Not convinced? Read 18 more reasons why biking to work is incredible!
The best electric bikes for exercise
There are a ton of different kinds of ebikes available and, to be frank, it doesn’t really matter which you buy. Most will all offer similar features, at least when it comes to fitness.
When buying an electric bike to exercise with, just make sure to consider the following:
- What kind of riding will you be doing? Depending on what kind of rider you are, you will need a specific kind of ebike. Long-distance riders will want to invest in an electric road or hybrid bike. Commuters can use the same bike but might find their high prices a little too much. A standard city bike or even a foldable bike should be reliable enough for both commuting and exercise.
- Where will you mostly be riding? People who like to ride on the trails and even those who are particularly hard on their ebike while exercising should get an eMTB (electric mountain bike). Those who intend on traveling with their ebike should invest in a hybrid. Those who stick to the roads and don’t plan on traveling vast distances will have the most options when it comes to choosing a bike.
- How often will you be riding? This is a big factor when it comes to the costs of an ebike. Cheaper models will be worn down and break much quicker. If you’re exercising with an ebike every day, then expect more wear and tear. Spend at $1500 on a good bike, take good care of it, and it will last for years.
Be sure to check out the selection at the official Linky store! All of our bikes are perfectly capable of being used for common fitness routines and feature enough riding modes for all levels of riders.
Tips for getting more out of your electric bike workout
Ready to take your electric bike fitness routine to the next level? Here are some ways you can more out of your bike and really start to burn those calories.
#1 Find the right riding mode
Usually, ebikes have a separate set of gears and riding modes that need to be set in conjunction.
The gears, like regular bikes, determine the resistance and the rate at which the bike wheel turns. Riding modes dictate how much the motor is going to help you in applying force to the gears (pedaling).
Finding the right balance between gears and riding modes is crucial, not just for exercising with an electric bike but also for casual riding. Riding in a gear that is too low on level terrain will result in one just spinning the pedals and going nowhere fast. On the other hand, using a high gear on an incline will require a lot of effort, especially if your riding mode is set to low-assistance or off.
Get to know your electric bicycle. Learn about its gears and riding modes and know when to use them. If you’re seriously into fitness you may not use the pedal assistance at all, outside of some difficult terrain.
#2 Only use pedal assist on hills
As just previously stated, many people may not use the motor on an ebike at all. This means you will be using more human power and battery power, resulting in more effort and calories burned.
That being said, no one is going to judge you for enlisting a little help on those steep hills. Even the most experienced riders let out a little sigh when they a big incline coming up ahead.
Save your strength – use the pedal assist on hills. Not gassing yourself on them means that you’ll have more energy for the rest of the ride. You can burn just as many calories on flat ground.
#3 Incorporate riding into your daily routine
We’ve already covered in detail why commuting is one of the best ways to use an ebike in your everyday life, but that’s not the only option. There are dozens of opportunities to ride one in the course of a day – each one is a chance to burn a few extra calories
Here are some ideas on to use your electric bike more often:
- Go grocery shopping or run errands – make sure you have a bike basket installed.
- Pick up the kids from school – you can find many child carriers on Amazon.
- Go shopping – bike riders actually contribute significantly to local economies because they are less rushed than motorists and tend to browse more.
- Visit friends and family – this is a good chance to show off your shiny new ebike. You might even get the whole family to ride with you.
The more you use your ebike, the healthier you will become. Stay active every chance you get and your quality of life will improve dramatically.
#4 Have a regiment
Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment: losing weight isn’t always easy. Gurus and diet pill salesmen promise that you can do so just by taking this one simple supplement or doing this one simple activity.
Being fit requires planning and willpower. You need to find a routine that works best for you and then stick to it. It’s not the case that you can just ride your bike every once in a while and then expect to be in peak shape. You need to be consistent; you need to have a regiment.
Having a regiment means riding your bike a certain amount each day and each week. Try 30 minutes every, then work your way up to an hour. Eventually, you’ll be riding for hours at a time.
Altering your diet is also a proven way to lose weight and improve overall health. Cut out the red meat and have a more vegetable-based diet – you’ll also be doing the environment a favor as well.
#5 Consider traveling with your ebike or going on a cycle tour
It happens all the time: we find a routine back home, stick to it, and the moment we go on vacation, it all goes out the window. We gorge ourselves, drink too much, and all those hard-fought pounds are piled back on.
Why not keep the routine going by taking a more active holiday?
Bike tours are a great way to stay in shape whilst experiencing new and epic locations. They range in intensity and style from relaxed itineraries in enchanting European cities to full-blown expeditions in remote lands. Africa and Central Asia are particularly exciting places that are growing in popularity at the moment.
Bike tours are often all-inclusive and cover most of the usual vacation expenses, such as lodging, food, and transport. If you wanted to cut costs, it is possible to self-organize a trip as well. Check out our guide on bike touring for more information.
Reward your health: keep fit by riding an ebike
The health benefits of bike riding are proven and numerous. Cardiovascular health improves with as little as 30 minutes of riding each day. Bump those numbers up to an hour and the pounds will start to melt off.
If there’s one thing that I want readers to take away from this article though, it’s that ebikes AREN’T cheating – you can still exercise with an electric bike. Yes, riding a regular bike is still – mile-for-mile – a better workout but not by much. In order to get the same workout, you just need to ride a bit more.
Riding an electric bike is so much more convenient than a regular one though. Long distances and hills are much less intimidating with a motor helping out and with these out of the people are able to enjoy their rides more. In fact, electric bike riders are generally healthier than regular bike riders because they’re riding so much more.
So make a change in your life: start using your electric bike for exercising and watch your quality of life exponentially improve. Find reasons to ride your ebike more and ride hard. Those pounds and illnesses don’t stand a chance.
Do you have a particular electric bike workout or habit that you find particularly effective? Leave a comment below and let us know what it is!