Electric Bicycles: Is It Really Exercise?

Exercise.

Some people love it, some hate it.

There’s a variety of different ways to get physical and work on your fitness.

You could be a runner…

A weightlifter…

Or, you could be the one who fancies biking.

There’s a massive range of the different types of bikes out there, ranging from tricycles to motorcycles, to BMX bikes.

One bike, the electric bike, has seen a spike in popularity in recent years.

But along with the popularity, the nature of the bike itself is raising an important question that a lot of people want to know when it comes to making their selection…

Do electric bicycles really help you exercise, or is it a subtle way of cheating?

The Thing About Electric Bikes

Since you’re here, you, like countless others, are curious about electric bikes and their effect on your fitness.

But there’s a hang-up in people’s eyes when it comes to these bikes. How can you exercise if there’s a motor there to move you along?

Can you even exercise on an electric bike?

So to answer it in a concise, nice and neat way, yes, electric bikes do allow you to get some exercise in when you hop on and get to pedaling.

It’s an understandable question, considering that taking a normal bike and slapping a motor on that bad boy doesn’t exactly scream physical exertion.

However, while they do come with a motor that takes a lot of pressure off of you to pedal as hard as you can, electric bikes aren’t there to do all of the work for you.

Electric Bikes Work With You

Electric bikes are capable of allowing you to get a workout every time you decide to ride it.

And the best part?

You get to decide how much of a work out that you are up for.

They come with motors, unlike your standard bikes. And unlike the average motor that you think of when you hear the word (cars, boats, etc), electric bikes provide assistance instead of just allowing you to sit back and enjoy the ride.

You still have to put forth a bit of effort, although that effort is entirely on you. Most of the bikes come with adjustable settings that help you have control of how much assistance you want when riding.

Don’t want to work up a sweat on the way to work?

Set it to the highest setting and you can practically cruise with little effort!

Want to challenge yourself and get a good burn going on your lower half? 

Use little to no assistance and light your legs on fire as you pedal to your heart’s content!

There’s also the fact that these bikes are a bit heavier than the regular ones.

They come with motors, after all, so one could expect them to weigh anywhere from 35 to 80 pounds. You’ll definitely be catching a workout by just having to lug it around when not riding.

Electric Bikes And The Fitness Benefits

So now that you know that you can actually use these to work out, what sections on your body are getting all of the attention?

Since it is a bicycle, your legs will obviously be put to the test.

But your legs aren’t the only ones who get to see some action.

Remember when I said that these bikes are a bit heavier than their normal counterparts? That extra weight means that your whole body is going to have to chip in to help.

© Vintage Electric

Especially your core. Your core is going to be one of the most important muscles during the workout, since biking in general targets your lower body and core in general.

Your core is going to be key in helping you hit those corners, maintaining your balance, as well as maintaining your control over the bike.

Not only will you feel the burn while riding, but the simple acts of wheeling the bike out and moving it around will put pressure on your core.

Then, as an added bonus, your joints and bones will be reaping the benefits as well. Riding a bike, especially one with a bit of extra weight attached to it, can count as a weight-bearing exercise.

Who Benefits From Electric Bikes The Most

No matter who you are, there’s always a product that you can find that works just right for you.

But with electric bikes, who are they geared towards the most?

Would it be the purist of a cycler, who scoffs at the idea of putting a motor on his bike and getting away with not putting in as much effort?

Or would it be the girl who loves to ride bikes, but hates getting exhausted twenty minutes into her riding session because she’s not the most physically fit person on the planet?

What if it was for the person who loved to commute to work via bike, but hated showing up drenched in sweat with visible sweat marks all over their clothes?

The answer?

All of them.

Electric bikes are at the end of the day, bikes. They just come equipped with a motor and maybe some nice flashy lights on the handlebars.

So as long as you’re a lover of bikes, they’re exactly made for you.

So what if you think that a motor on a bike defeats the purpose of it having pedals? The motorized settings and adjustments allow you to tweak how much work the motor does, which means that you can hop on the bike and have little to no assistance at all!

Conversely, you could also hop on, crank it up to the max, and still pedal to reach speeds that you wouldn’t be able to usually reach unless you were going downhill.

Maybe you’re the one who likes to ride bikes for the fun of it, yet you don’t like the fact that your riding sessions don’t last long due to how quickly you tire out.

That’s what the motor is for. You could set it to maximum assistance and cruise without a care in the world!

What about our friend who wants to help the environment and also incorporate more activity in his life during his daily commutes?

Yes, biking to and from work is fun and a great way to exercise, but the amount of effort that you put forth to move the bike means that you may or may not be drenched in sweat by the time that you clock in.

That’s where an electric bike comes in with the assist. Turn the motor on to the highest setting for assistance, then pedal and glide on your way to work. 

You show up without being as damp as a dishrag, and now you have the option of cruising back home with the same settings…

Or taking off the assistance altogether and pedaling like the wind.

Electric bikes give their owners options. So there’s plenty of wiggle room to find out what setting fits you the most.

They Really Do Get You Fit

There has been plenty of research conducted on electric bikes and the effects that they’ll have on your health.

© Specialized

For starters, riding electric bikes will definitely improve your cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular health is what affects your heart, your lungs, your blood pressure, and even your blood vessels.

They’re providing your body resistance to work against, which strengthens your muscular health as well.

How To Get Fit With Electric Bikes

Okay, so we’ve established that electric bikes really do work when it comes to fitness.

So how do you actually use it to get fit?

There are three options that are proven to work.

Method #1: That Electric Bike Is Your New Transportation

We all love our cars. 

They get us from point A to point B in our everyday lives.

But when it comes to keeping you in shape, cars aren’t the best choice…

That’s why your electric bike should become your new car, in the sense that it becomes your new primary mode of transportation if you want to get fit quick.

Just imagine working a five-day schedule, taking a least an hour to get to work each day via the electric bike.

That’s already five hours a week of moderate exercise, and that’s not even counting the ride back home.

You’ll be seeing improvements in no time if you ride it frequently like this.

Method #2: Ride To A Training Spot

Do you have a nice spot that you know about that’s great for workouts?

Ride the e-bike there, with assistance or none! That in itself could be considered a warm-up.

Then once you get there, you can turn the assistance off completely and work up a good sweat.

Method #3: Use The Bike To Travel

Maybe you want to dive into cycling.

Y’know, grab the bike and go explore the city. 

Or maybe you’re up for even more of a challenge, so you want to take it to the next level and pedal over to a different city…

No matter what you do, the sheer versatility of the electric bike helps you achieve whatever you set out to do!

To wrap things up, electric bikes do get you in shape. The ability to set how much of the assistance you want makes it user-friendly, and provides everyone a chance to get more active when it comes to their health and fitness!

Do you own an e-bike? How has it affected your level of fitness? Let us know in the comments below!

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