Given that bicycle riding is allowed as outdoor exercise during the Covid-19 lockdown period, can ebikes be effective in achieving the health benefits of exercise?
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not directly recommend engaging in physical exercise as a method of warding off symptoms of the coronavirus, the agency underscores the importance of exercise in strengthening the body; particularly in promoting blood circulation and in reducing feelings of short-term anxiety.
Inasmuch as the CDC publication states that moderate-to-vigorous physical exercise like brisk walking can help in improving health, it can be surmised therefore that riding a pedal-assist ebike as a form of outdoor exercise, can achieve the same healthy effects.
Actually, several research studies on the health benefits of riding pedal-assist electric bikes have been conducted. The most notable of which is the study conducted by Brigham Young University (BYU) researchers in 2016, because the findings were derived from a larger sample size. Moreover, most participants involved in the month-long study said they took to continuing their ebike riding, because they were experiencing so much fun.
BYU Study On Pedal-Assist Mountain Bikes
The BYU study, captioned as “Pedal-Assist Mountain Bikes: A Pilot Study…” delved on the exercise responses, perceptions and beliefs of experienced mountain cyclists in using ebikes, and in comparison to riding conventional mountain bikes for their regular biking activities.
First off, it should be clear that pedal-assist mountain bikes are very different from electric bicycles designed as self-propelled, throttle-and-go types, and categorized as mopeds or motorcycles.
That is why after making the comparisons, the results of the BYU study arrived at a conclusion that the heart rates of those riding pedal-assist electric bicycles and conventional mountain bikes, in trekking the same track for the same period, indicated that both raised physical exertion in similar levels.
The findings support the contention that the electrical power of ebikes merely augment the ability of bikers in navigating obstacles, whilst allowing them to cover greater distance without easily tiring out. Pedal assist ebikes come in different models, including portable electric bicycles, which although not included as part of studies, have also been noted as practical contraptions.
Some hikers are known to use a foldable ebike, so they can alternate between hiking and cycling, as doing so allows them to travel greater distances without foregoing physical exertion in their outdoor activity.