Taking up bicycle riding could be one of the best decisions you ever make, whether it’s to improve your fitness, health, bank account, or as a green choice. Moreover, bikes have been our loyal friends since the beginning of time, and they are an integral component of the world. However, it’s also crucial to emphasize the health benefits of riding a bike, as these can be just as satisfying. There are a variety of bicycles available to suit diverse goals and sceneries. Have you ever wondered how e-bikes stack up against traditional bikes? Their prices, driving characteristics, travel distance, and speed are all very different, but not by much. Let’s see if an e-bike or a traditional bike is a better alternative for you and which will improve your overall health.
The Fluctuating Popularity Of Bicycles
The first-ever bicycle was invented in 1817 by a German baron Karl von Drais. It was, of course, a major upgrade from walking. Hence, bicycles were embraced by thousands of people around the world. However, with the invention of other modes of transport, the usage of bicycles saw a major decline. In the present time, only a few people ride bicycles and that too is as a leisure activity rather than for daily commutes.
Nonetheless, bicycles have once again started rising in popularity. One of the reasons for this is that more and more people are becoming aware of the impact of fuel-burning vehicles on the world’s carbon footprint, and they feel the need to be more responsible in what they consume. We all know that the carbon footprint of an average bicycle is much lower than that of an average car! Also, the fact that major companies like Tesla advocate for clean energy consumption through their electric cars influence their customers as well.
In addition to that, riding a bicycle is a fantastic way to get around even though the traffic of a busy day. It has also proven to be a good alternative that can be used to avoid public transport during the pandemic. People also use it as a way to entertain tourists that come around for hikes and sightseeing. Moreover, bicycles can be ridden by people of any age group. This makes it a fun choice when it comes to playtime, family vacations, and other activities that you share with your children.
Another great thing about riding bikes over other modes of transport is the health benefits you gain through it. As the years have passed, the average human has become unhealthy due to a lack of indulgence in physical activities. This has forced people to try out various exercises and cycling is one that is the most enjoyable out of all. It’s no secret that cycling is beneficial for you; we’ve all shed a few inches around the waist by riding just a few days a week.
Fitness Benefits Of Regular Cycling
One of the most effective strategies to lower your risk of health problems related to a sedentary lifestyle is to ride your bicycle on a regular basis. Cycling can help you avoid dangerous illnesses like stroke, heart attack, certain malignancies, depression, diabetes, obesity, and joint problems. Riding to the workplace or the store is one of the simplest ways to include regular exercise into your daily routine. Every day, an estimated one billion people use bicycles for transportation, entertainment, and sports. Cycling is mostly an incredible feeling, meaning it works your cardiovascular, blood flow, and breathing.
Here are numerous ways in which regular cycling can impact your health.
- Cycling is good for your cardiovascular health. Cycling engages nearly all of the body’s muscles, including the heart. You can lower your blood pressure by pedaling uphill, fast, or just at a faster speed than on a relaxing Sunday bike ride. This minimizes the amount of stress placed on the heart, lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease. Cycling can lower levels of harmful LDL cholesterol, which can cause fatty deposits in the arteries and lead to heart disease, according to the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health.
- Cycling can help you feel less stressed. It can be a great experience! Exercise not only makes your body generate happy hormones like endorphins, but it’s also a perfect method to forget about your worries while getting in shape.
- Cycling aids in the treatment of common health problems and may reduce the incidence of some cancers. According to research conducted in Finland, those who cycled for 30 minutes or more every day had a 40% decreased risk of acquiring diabetes. Adults who increase their physical activity, whether in intensity, duration, or frequency, can reduce their risk of colon cancer by 30-40% compared to those who are sedentary, independent of body mass index, according to other studies conducted in the United States and around the world.
- Cycling helps to enhance leg muscle tone and strength. Did you know that famous America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell, who recently lost a lot of weight after switching to a vegan diet, used to ride his bike down the beach with his family? Pedal power is a high-intensity leg workout. Your legs will look and feel stronger the more you cycle. This enhanced power will show up in everything you do, from climbing stairs to sprinting around the park with your kids or grandchildren.
When somebody hears the words “electric bicycle” or “e-bike,” the first thing that comes to mind may be a scooter or an electric motorbike, although the two are quite different. Consider a standard bicycle, then add various electrical components to it, such as a motor, a charger, and a processor, all of which are smoothly integrated into the design. These are the basic components of all e-bikes on the market! According to Mathilde Carlier, a Transportation and Logistics Research Expert, the worldwide e-bike business is worth roughly $25 billion. Between 2021 and 2028, it is expected to increase at an annual growth rate of just under 10%, reaching approximately 48.5 billion USD.
There are numerous reasons why one would opt for e-bikes. Some of them are as follows:
- Let’s admit that e-bikes are cool. Just like keeping up with the latest trends, having an e-bike makes you that tech-savvy (even though being into tech has nothing to do with it) cool friend who has got the latest gadgets in his possession.
- Unlike with other motor vehicles like cars, vans, and buses, it’s much easier to learn how to ride an e-bike. This makes it all the more appealing for people who find driving to be a nightmare.
- E-bikes utilize battery chargers to ride at speeds of up to 45 kilometers per hour, much faster than most people can cycle, getting you to your target destination and in decent condition. In a nutshell, they provide low-cost, energy-efficient transportation with long-term physical and health advantages.
- Cycling for leisure is very popular among adults but when it comes to conquering steep climbs, it can be very straining on your muscles and a tiring experience. Not everyone enjoys having sweat pouring down their bodies, and red faces with nerves bulging under the stress, on a ride they expected to be cool and pleasant. Well, in such situations, e-bikes truly come into their own. If you’re facing a particularly difficult climb, simply crank up your bike’s motor to its highest level and, despite the added weight of the motor, sail uphill like some sort of cycling superman! Besides, having a motor to assist you additionally implies that e-bikes are ideal for dealing with nature’s other major foe for cyclists: the wind. Strong gusts of wind are fine when they’re coming from behind you, but when they’re coming from the side or pushing upon you from the front, they can disrupt your excitement and even be risky. However, by boosting the quantity of energy your motor produces, you may significantly reduce wind ways.
- People nowadays have really busy lives and traveling with their private vehicles is something that most people do at least once a day. Due to the excessive number of vehicles on the road, finding parking space for your vehicle can be extremely hard. But with an e-bike, you wouldn’t need a large parking space! This also makes things very convenient for you if you live in an apartment that doesn’t come with a garage as you can simply store your e-bike inside your home.
- Governments and councils encourage people to give up their cars as it helps decrease traffic congestion, air pollution, and the excessive use of fuel. As mentioned previously, switching from fuel-burning vehicles to e-bikes will have a major impact on the carbon footprint without you having to give up on easy transport. Due to this, e-bikes are becoming increasingly popular in most cities around the world.
Why Do People Still Use Traditional Bikes?
No matter how many other new modes of transport appear, traditional bikes will always have a couple of advantages over them for certain communities. For instance, they do not need to be charged and do not require fuel in order to run unlike other vehicles or even e-bikes. This makes them a very cheap and eco-friendly option. What’s more, is that the bike itself is cheaper than other modes of transport and is easier to learn for people in all age groups. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a toddler or an elderly person, you can learn how to ride a bike, and ride without having to get a license for it. Moreover, traditional bikes are used for various leisure and sports activities, like bicycle racing, mountain bike racing, cyclo-cross, track cycling, BMX, freestyle BMX, artistic cycling, cycle polo, mountain bike trails, and more, that cannot be carried out by e-bikes.
In recent years, traditional bikes have suddenly gained popularity once again. This is because, in consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global market saw a significant increase in bicycle sales. Due to increased anxiety about public transportation and the decreased accessibility of other modes of transport, an increasing number of people started opting for one of the most basic modes of transportation, resulting in a so-called “bike boom.” According to Bloomberg News, fitness apps showed a large increase in cycling in unexpected areas like Los Angeles and Houston. Similar trends may be seen across Europe, according to the statistics. The fact that gyms and swimming pools have been closed for weeks in many areas, could be one of the possible reasons for the strong growth.
Moreover, in order to boost cycling during the pandemic, some countries compensated for the purchase of new bikes or bike maintenance expenses. Italy, for example, set aside €210 million (£190 million/$250 million) for a cash-back program that provided a €500 (£450/$590) compensation to Italian residents who acquired a vehicle without an engine, while France has launched a similar program.
All in all, good old-fashioned bicycles are a socially distant mode of transportation for critical employees and commuters, a healthier alternative to gyms or subways, and a fresh image of metropolitan streets. The streets were quieted, the air was clean, and people felt safe as a result of the lockdown. There was apprehension about taking public transportation, but largely it was the excitement of seeing cities as they could be.
Traditional Bikes Vs E-Bikes: Health Benefits
Some argue that riding a motorized bike is the easy way out. So, when you get on one, are you selling your workout and your fitness levels shallow? Journeys of e-bikers utilizing e-bikes are longer in terms of time and distance than trips of none-e-bikers, according to a study published in Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Those who cycled e-bikes reported greater average journey distances (9.4K), while those who used traditional bikes reported shorter trips (4.8K). E-bikers also covered an average of 8 kilometers each day, compared to 5.3 kilometers for traditional cyclists. These results are significant for one justification: they debunk the assumption that those who ride e-bikes are lazy. Since even though e-bikes are less physically taxing, they let you keep riding and exerting yourself for a longer period.
On the other hand, when examining the energy needed to pedal a traditional bicycle to an e-bike, researchers discovered that the difference is comparable to that between running and aerobic workouts. Riding a standard bike is considered intense exercise, as it burns roughly 430 to 560 calories per hour for a 150-pound individual traveling at 10 to 14 mph. Not surprisingly, riding a pedal-assist e-bike burns roughly half the amount of energy as brisk walking around 280 calories per hour for that same 150-pound rider. You could burn up to 390 calories each hour depending on how hard you ride, whether you’re carrying a load, and/or what power setting you choose. However, according to a recent poll of over 1,800 e-bike users in North America, getting an e-bike can drastically improve your ride.
Tips To Get Maximum Fitness From E-Bikes
Going through the same old routine every day can be boring and you’d lose interest in no time. This is what essentially happens with all exercising sessions. In order to get the best exercise out of your e-bike rides, you have to be a little strategic. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Focus on riding longer distances rather than exerting more power. If you’re already drained at the start itself, you won’t be able to continue your session. So try going at a normal pace for a longer distance. This ensures that your body gradually gets worked up and ready to break down fat. You can also have short bursts of increased speed at set intervals
- If you find it hard to ride your e-bike without motor assistance at first, you can start off with less peddling and then gradually increase the intensity by reducing motor assistance at a rate that’s more suited to you.
- Make your exercise sessions more entertaining. For instance, rather than riding on the same old path as always you can change the scenery and maybe try out mountain biking, traveling, etc.
Both e-bikes and traditional bikes have their own advantages over each other. With the recent developments like the pandemic, gradual realizations about the harm done by fossil burners, and increased awareness about health conditions that come to rise due to lack of physical activity, their popularity has surged once again. While there is much debate on the adequacy of exercise gained by e-bikes, we have come to the conclusion that both e-bikes and traditional bikes can positively impact your health even though an e-bike does show a lower impact. Cycling has been proven to be good for cardiovascular health, stress relief, and improve muscle strength. If you want to gain the maximum benefit of riding your bike, it’s important to be aware of the mechanics of it. Make sure to consult your fitness expert and get advice on how much you should ride per day and how it helps your body.