It’s not news that regular exercise is the best thing you can do for your health. But, people still resist. For some, the stumbling block is time, while for others, it can be physical limitations. But, there is an exercise method that can work for people who are either very busy or not sure they can handle other regimens—an electrically assisted bicycle.
Electric bicycles allow the user to cycle and get a workout, but it also allows them to use electric power when facing difficult hills, or when exertion makes pedaling painful or tiring. Because the electric motor can take over for when the user gets tired, an electric bicycle allows the user to control how much exercise he or she wants.
Researchers at the University of Nice in France recently conducted a study to analyze the physical demands of pedaling on an electrically assisted bicycle. They wanted to test its potential as an alternative way to perform exercise.
The study compared 10 participants who were trained in endurance exercise against 10 novices. All 20 participants performed the same cycling protocol composed of nine five-minute cycling periods without electrical support. That was followed by sessions on the e-bike with light electrical support or with high support. The cycling conditions were tested at two different imposed speeds (10 and 13 miles per hour), and one freely chosen speed.
Not surprisingly, power output, intensity, and energy expenditure were significantly lowered by the use of electrical support. But, using the e-bike at light or high support settings still offered a dose of moderate-intensity, health-boosting physical activity for all the participants.
Riding an e-bike is good exercise, even if you have to rely on the electrical assist from time to time.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
A Way to Get Regular Exercise, Even if You Think You’re Too Busy or Not Able
Louis, J., et al., “The electrically assisted bicycle: an alternative way to promote physical activity,” Am J Phys Med Rehabil. November 2012; 91(11): 931-40.