Electric bikes and a faster, fitter, leaner you

Why an electric bike will help you keep your News Year's resolutions

As I’m typing this there are probably millions of people around the world “cutting down” or detoxing after packing on the odd kilo or two over Christmas.

It’s no secret that the Number 1 New Year's Resolution for 2014 is to lose weight and get healthier.

ABS statistics show that sedentary activity (i.e. things we do sitting down - watching TV, working on a computer etc.) now takes up more 39 hours a week for the average Australian.

It’s also no secret that we lose or maintain weight if we burn more calories than we eat. So if we exercise more we don’t need to worry about what we eat?

Not necessarily….

Some of you may have seen the ABC documentary on the Truth About Exercise? The scary part was when they calculated just how far you would have to run to burn off one small muffin (almost 45 minutes of running just for one muffin!)

So where do electric bikes come in?

Well there are a number of areas of research which support electric bikes as a way to lose weight...

1. You need to repeat something at least 30 times before you can form a new habit

OK, so what? Well I know from my own experience of say joining a gym or singing up to group training that when you have to add another “task” to your day, getting to the gym on day 27 when you’re already had a tough week suddenly gets all too hard.

Whereas if we look at the research on the “Nudge” or “Switching” studies and we take an electric bike to ride to work, visit friends or run errands instead of taking the car then things become a lot easier. As long as this is a positive experience! Which brings us to our next point.

2. We tend to focus too much on the bad things that happen to us

We’ve all met people in our lives that are eternal optimists, who always see the glass as half full not matter what. And others who are the exact opposite. The life’s work of a Nobel Prize winning psychologist has been dedicated to the study and understanding of bias, and how we see the world, make decisions and remember experiences.

Imagine you're try riding to work on a bike you’ve had sat in the garage gathering dust for a while. You have a fantastic ride in, the sun’s shining, its mostly downhill, and you’ve got a nice new bike path that takes you into Brisbane’s CBD.

It’s 5.30 and you get changed into your riding gear to make the same 10Km journey home. The breeze has picked up, so you’ve got a bit of a headwind and as you get closer to home you start to realize that the Western Freeway bike path (insert your least favorite Brisbane hill here) is a lot steeper than you remembered.

Next time you think about riding to work, instead of remembering the 18 or 19Kms of pleasant, fun riding you had, you’ll focus on that one hill that had your heart racing, thighs burning and maybe even struggling for breath. And if you’re like a lot of people you’ll take the car, bus or train instead.

With an electric bike the story reads more like this…

At 5.30 you jump on your bike, and because it’s been a hard day so you’ve decided to up your level of power assistance to give you bit more help. As you’re riding along you’re feeling great, and noticing that you’re overtaking quite a few other riders (on their expensive looking non-electric bikes).

You see the hill ahead and with a couple of pushes of your thumb you’re on full power and actually accelerating up the hill on your electric bike. Suddenly riding up hill becomes fun!

The next morning you can’t wait to jump on the bike again, and so the cycle begins (excuse the pun).

30 days later (after riding your electric bike to work 5 days a week) you notice that some of your clothes are a bit looser. You jump on the scales and you’ve dropped a few kilos, and without it feeling like a work out or a chore.

Ok, we can’t guarantee that “Switching” to an electric bike instead of taking the car will see the Kilos fall away. As we said before all the benefits of exercise can be wiped out if you grab a full fat flat white and muffin on the way up to the office!

But we can guarantee that you’ll ride your electric bike more often than a non-electric bike (studies have shown up to six times more)

Oh, and if you thought that riding an electric bike doesn’t burn calories then you might want to read our blog about why electric bikes are a great from of exercise.