PROVO – For many adults, the phrase "as easy as cycling" may sound like a misnomer.
Because let's be honest – sport is not fun for everyone.
But researchers at Brigham Young University found out in a recent study where electric mountain bikes are almost as exhausting as conventional bikes, without the driver feeling like they've just completed a difficult workout.
Results May Help Many Find a New Path to Recovery
The idea for the study, recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, came from three BYU professors for public health, all of whom were avid mountain bikers In recent years, they have brought students to foreign stays in Europe. said Cougar Hall, lead author of the study.
The popularity of e-bikes has skyrocketed, Hall said.
The students told us, "Man, I hate cycling. I'm home because it's so hard. However, these are so simple that I think I would cycle more often, "Hall recalls.
The professors wanted to find out if electric bikes are really easier for people and if they still offer decent training. [1
They found that e-bike rides put participants in the "intermediate to strong" heart rate zone, averaging only 9.9 beats per minute less than a traditional bicycle.
"It was pretty cool, they actually got the exercise that we hoped would get them," Hall said.
During the ride on the e-bike, the participants' heart rates were in the so-called "strength training zone", which strengthens the heart.
These results may open new paths for many who find training painful.
A large part of the population faces various obstacles to gaining physical activity, such as lack of walkways. bad air quality and cold weather. However, one of the biggest obstacles for many, according to Hall, is "that they realize it's difficult."
"And we often have these really negative feelings because we may have been over-pressurized when we were young." Maybe physical activity is associated with athletic competitions when you were a little kid. Or we had to run the mile in eight minutes to get an "A" and we did not. That's why we feel bad and tell ourselves that we do not like to run. There are all sorts of things that actually hinder the physical activity of a whole population, "he explained.
After the participants rode the course with the e-bike, they reported that it did not feel like a hard workout.
"If we can get people on e-bikes, they might feel, 'That's not so hard. This is something I can do and something to hold onto and cling to, "Hall said, adding that e-bikes are a potential catalyst to help people move more generally and overcome the barrier of perceived discomfort.
] "We really suffer from so-called lifestyle diseases. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes. These are all diseases that are directly related to our lifestyle. To get people moving more and to find a healthy opportunity for the stress that we feel in our work and in our families, this is essential. And so I see e-bikes just as an extra tool, as an additional way to help people who are otherwise quite sedentary or do not enjoy physical activity. Hall acknowledged that the participants were experienced bikers, but said the results still show that e-bikes gave them a good – albeit easier – training and showed that they could benefit most of all, who have a sedentary lifestyle, the elderly and those recovering from injury.
"It could give them the confidence they need to get back on track and engage in a really, really fun sport," the professor said.
The study is particularly suitable for Utah due to its many popular scenic cycle paths.
When the study began, the researchers knew that this was not the case Everyone in the bike community is passionate about electric mountain bikes. Some are resilient and do not want to see more people on the paths, which can lead to erosion.
"And I believe there is a perception that there is natural progress in mountain biking such as hiking and skiing and other things. That you build both your cardiovascular and endurance base, as well as your abilities. So it's an activity that many users think deserves and that is earned when you spend so many hours on the bike trying to get on the trails. "
The researchers knew that this attitude exists and asked the participants a few questions regarding their opinion on e-bikes. 61% of them said they had a better opinion on e-bikes after driving.
This is the kind of activity you have to try before making a decision, Hall said.
But he stressed that he does not. I do not think e-bikes replace traditional bicycles. He says he does both and enjoys both.
Hall's favorite use of e-bikes is when he drives with his 82-year-old father, who is still active but can not ride a traditional mountain bike because it's too heavy for his legs to climb hills.
"The support is just enough to get him through some of the places he thinks are too difficult at his current age," Hall said.
During an E-Bikes Hall, it is unlikely that many people in Utah will benefit from it as technology improves and becomes more affordable. The price ranges from about 1,000 US dollars to several thousand US dollars.
Next, the researchers want to repeat the study in an older group and in people with sedentary lifestyle. These studies still need to be approved by the university, Hall said.