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How E-Bikes Can Get You Fitter Faster Than Cycling or Other Workouts

Yes, you read that right. While you may think an e-bike has no business telling other workouts what’s what, the benefits of opting for an electric bike may surprise you. Sure, when comparing mile-to-mile e-bikes certainly aren’t burning a ton of energy, but being healthy and fit is much more than that. So, how exactly can e-bikes make you fitter faster?

E-biking with pedal-assist is a great way to get exercise and burn calories. Normal cycling will definitely burn more calories per mile, e-bikes will enable you to take longer trips you never could have done with a traditional bike and help you build a more active lifestyle.

So how can e-bikes pull this off? On paper, it seems like fitness is just not what they’re made for. I mean, when you think about e-bikes you don’t usually picture lycra-clad bodies sweating on the asphalt. E-bikes are typically a more casual ride. Even so, there is a lot more going on than just burning calories. Read on to learn more about e-bikes and how they can get you in shape.

Can You Exercise on an Electric Bike?

Woman on electrick Mountain bike in the Oy Tal Valley

First things first, let’s get some common misconceptions out of the way. You might have heard a lot about e-bikes and their supposed, or un-supposed, health benefits. So what is the truth? What’s the reality when it comes to exercise and these motorized two-wheelers?

Yes, you can get plenty of exercise on an e-bike. While you might not get the same level of sweat as a pedal-powered cruiser, you’ll still bring your heartbeat up and burn some calories. This is especially true for pedal-assist models. Using an E-Bike for its health benefits is actually one of the ways we discuss getting the most value from your E-Bike.

Pedal-assist is a big part of the equation when talking about e-bikes and exercise. This can really make the difference if you’re looking to get an e-bike but still want to do some pedaling every now and again. While most bikes have a pedal-assist feature, not all do.

Always check the description of the e-bike to see what kinds of motor modes they support. Chances are, especially if you’re in the U.S or Europe, pedal-assist is part of the e-bike’s features.

We say the U.S and Europe as they both have laws regulating how fast an e-bike can go. In most cases, e-bikes sold in these areas can only top 20 mph or so. Not that this is anything to call slow, but it means that top-speed isn’t the prime driving mode and to hit higher speeds you’ll need to pedal.

All told, e-bikes can be a great way to burn some calories. But how many? While this will depend on several factors like size and health history; average pedal-assist e-bikes allow users to burn around 280 calories per hour.

Is E-Biking or Cycling Better Exercise?

Let’s talk about how e-biking compares to traditional cycling. While you may automatically cast aside the idea that e-bikes can actually hold a flame compared to regular cycles, the truth may surprise you. Sure, going up against each other head to head, mile by mile, a regular bike will win. It’s really hard to beat the exercise from using a pedal-powered bike when you start adding motors.

E-bikes just aren’t going to give you the same kind of sweat that a regular bike would, and why would they? That’s not the main goal, after all.

But, there is some evidence to suggest that e-bikes have more than just an effect on your leg muscles. They can also play a role in motivation. You see, when you’ve got the extra juice, it might mean you pedal a bit farther, up a steeper hill, or just at higher speeds.

Those extra few miles traveled might be just what you need to hit your daily exercise goals. So in a way, you might get even more exercise through using an e-bike.

An Example of How E-Biking Can Get Your More Exercise

Let’s say you’ve got a 10-mile journey to work each weekday. The route is up a few hills and can get pretty steep. While you’d love to ride the bike you take out on the weekends, every time you’d ride to work you would end up in a slump on your desk, exhausted, by the time noon comes around. That amount of daily riding is just too much for anyone. It’s too far.

However, now that you’ve got your e-bike, well, things are different. You ride to work daily and use the pedal-assist the entire way. It’s far easier than the previous rides, and it means that you’re actually doing that daily ride five times a week.

Now, before, you just rode your normal bike on the weekends, maybe twice. Now that you’ve got your e-bike, you are riding more. You might not be burning as many calories as on a normal ride, but you’re doing it more often.

All told you’re burning more calories across the five days of e-biking than the two normally cycling. In this way, an e-bike can get you riding longer distances, riding more often, and burning more calories overall. The best exercise is the one you do daily.

Consistency is key, after all. Besides, it doesn’t matter if you get a little help from the pedals. So while you can generally get a lot out of using an e-bike, can you get fit riding one?

Can You Get Fit on an Electric Bike?

A senior couple with electrobikes cycling outdoors on a road in park in autumn

Here’s the thing about exercise, it’s a habit. If it’s not something you do regularly, it can seem extremely daunting to take up a routine. Let’s be real; gyms and commitments can be scary. For some of us, it’s hard to get into the cycle of working out, eating well, and getting enough sleep. So when we talk about if e-bikes can get you fit, it’s kind of a complicated question.

Think about this; do you need a gym to get in shape? Do you need weights, treadmills, and stair steppers? It can be quite a logical fallacy to fall into the trap of finding the right equipment to get in shape. The more you think you need, the farther you can get from the goal. While, yes, a gym can be a great resource when it comes to getting fit, it is in no way the only option.

What we mean by this is that an e-bike is often more than enough to get you into shape. But much like the gym, it’s just a tool. You’ll need to build an appropriate lifestyle around your new hobby and put in place some other habits to make sure you reach your health goals. Riding daily is a good start. Even riding weekly is a good start; it’s better than doing nothing!

Lifestyle is Key

As you progress, you’ll need to develop a healthy lifestyle that transcends equipment. It’s about changing how you view the world around you, and yes, I know that sounds a bit up in the air. Really, though. For example, think about your daily commute to work.

Getting an e-bike might give you the push to start riding daily. This would be changing the way you see that ride to work. Would taking a car be easier? Of course, but you’ve changed the way you view the world, so now you want to ride your e-bike.

Keep adding up those good decisions, and you’ll be on the way to getting fit in no time. Your e-bike can be a great asset to your journey, but never leave out other healthy habits that you can employ daily.

Wrapping Up

Alright, so we’ve plowed through some myths and truths about e-bikes and exercise. While they might not quite meet the mark when you compare them to regular bikes, you can certainly burn some fat with an e-bike. In most cases, your e-bike will feature pedal-assist. And if it doesn’t, you can actually add it to a traditional bike (reference our related article on that here).

This is where the bridge between pedal power and motorized movement meet. If you utilize pedal-assist, you’ll certainly burn some calories.

Additionally, an e-bike can be more than just a quick, convenient way to get around. It can play an essential role in your new healthy lifestyle. Making good choices and implementing healthy habits is easier when you make exercising easier. E-bikes are a great choice for anybody looking to get outside, get healthy, and get around.