Don’t Like Biking for Exercise? What About Electric Biking?

Exploring Intensity

Don’t Like Biking for Exercise? What About Electric Biking?

The Tour de France just ended, and the winner did not use a motor on his bike. The officials have to check for motors since a pro cyclist was busted with a tiny motor helping him pedal his bike during races. Wow.

It may seem like there is nothing less strenuous than riding a motorized bicycle. You may think it’s pretty much like getting exercise from riding in a car. But a new study has shown that a certain kind of motorized bike may actually help the exercise-averse get their hearts beating a little faster.

Researchers gathered together 20 overweight men and women and gave them bikes that don’t do all the work, but just some. In other words, you still have to pedal, but a motor on the bike gives you a boost so the strain isn’t as bad. They then, according to this article, set up the experiment:

The researchers first brought their 20 sedentary volunteers into the lab to check their body composition, aerobic fitness, blood sugar control, blood pressure and cholesterol profiles. Then they provided each with an electric bicycle, heart rate monitor, GPS device, instructions on the use of all of this equipment, and asked each volunteer to don the monitors and ride his or her new bike to and from work at least three times a week for the next month, spending at least 40 minutes in the saddle on those days.

After a month, the subjects came back and not only had all of them accomplished 40 minutes per day, but some even double their riding times. So that was a success. But more importantly, despite having a motor helping them move, the average heart for the bikers was about 75% of their max which is not too bad. it’s no high-intensity but it’s still on par with a jog.

Now, here’s the catch — this kind of bike, which may be exactly what some people need to get a decent workout, costs thousands of dollars right now. And it still doesn’t give you as much exercise as a regular bike you can buy for thirty bikes at the pawn shop.

But this is a good sign that if people can get a little nudge somewhere they may be more likely to work out. But they still need to do the majority of the work to make a difference.

  • Shane M.