Everyone knows that cycling is good exercise and for many it’s a good place to start when they’re looking at losing weight or getting themselves fit again. After all, with a bicycle you can stop and rest whenever you like, but when you get to that hill you either have to pedal or push your bike up. This is where an eBike can help you in your journey to getting fitter.
eBikes are very similar to normal bicycles but they have an added motor and a battery. They are not classed as scooters or mopeds, so they need no tax or insurance and they can be ridden anywhere where you could ride a normal bicycle. They also offer power assisted pedaling, so they are a really useful tool to help you get fit. With the motor in operation you can choose whether or not you want to pedal, and if you do you don’t need to use as much leg power when you first start.
Here’s how you can use a combination of an eBike and hills to strengthen and tone your muscles.
Getting fit on hills the easy way
eBikes come with three different modes of operation: motor only, pedal only and motor and pedal combined. Using these the right way can make a big difference to getting the best out of your cycling and make it easier and less stressful for you to tone up.
Start slowly. First you need to get used to your eBike on the flat. Depending on your level of fitness you can start with the motor powering the bike and gradually start pedalling. Pedalling while using the motor makes it easier for you and puts less stress on your muscles. Over time you will be able to pedal harder and you may find you use the motor less as your fitness levels increase.
Tackle your first hill. The best thing about an eBike is that hills don’t have to stop you in your tracks. For beginners you can simply rely on the motor to get you to the top. This will have the effect of running the motor down quicker, but that means you have to pedal a little more on the flat to keep the battery charged up.
Start pedalling. As your fitness levels increase due to using your eBike you can start properly tackling hills. With the motor running pedal slowly and for short periods of time as you go up. You won’t need to use much effort to start with as the motor will do the bulk of the work, but even pedalling gently can help you build up your fitness.
Pedal harder. As you tackle more hills, start to pedal more and a little harder each time. Using the motor means you don’t have to pedal as hard as you would on a normal bike, and if you start to feel pain in your muscles, you can stop pedalling and let the motor do the rest.
Turn off the motor slowly. As you get fitter, you can start to turn the motor off. Don’t just turn it off altogether though. Start by turning it off for small stretches of the hill. This means you will be pedalling using the same energy that you would be using on a normal bicycle, but you can stop anytime you want simply by turning the motor back on. As you increase your fitness, you can turn the motor off for longer stretches, giving you a better workout on that hill.
Control that hill. Once you’re ready, you can tackle that hill under your own steam, or should that be with your own legs. Leave the motor off and go for it. If at any time you’re struggling you always have the motor to rely on, but if you’ve increased your pedal power gradually, you should be able to take control of any hill.
An eBike is a great way for anyone to get fit, no matter what their fitness levels are. They are even suitable for people with health problems who need help getting around. The assisted pedal power means you can still pedal, but you choose how hard and how long you pedal for. For those serious about getting fit, cycling up a hill is a good sign that you can tackle anything, and once you’ve done that you’re ready for longer journeys over various terrains, so you may need to upgrade your eBike.
eBike conversion kits are available so you don’t have to buy a whole new bike, you can simply adapt the one you have to provide extra power so you can enjoy your new found fitness.