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Is riding an e-bike healthy?

Everyone knows the prejudices about riding an e-bike: “You don’t move at all”, “It’s not a sport”, and “The motor does everything”. 

In the first section of this article, we will clarify whether riding an e-bike is really something for lazy people or whether riding an e-bike can also be good for your health. Then it should also be clarified whether it makes sense to ride a bike while sick because almost everyone has experienced it before.

… And boom, there we have the salad. A sore throat, a running nose… And that, although you and I  were so looking forward to the bike tour. The buddies are coming too, the weather is in the best beer garden mood and the bike is gleaming in the corner and shouting “Ride me!”. 

The desire is great, almost consuming. But there’s that little man in your head that says, “Better not today. You’re sick”. Your heart, however, says something else and now you are standing there and have to make a decision. So what to do? Risk it and start cycling? Not going to be easy today. 

Maybe you read through this post beforehand, because it provides you with the answers that do need! When is a sport still ok when I am ill and when should I better leave it alone?  What can happen? All of this is now served in text form. 

Riding an e-bike keeps you fit and healthy

Health benefits of electric bikes

Contrary to many prejudices, riding an e-bike can make a significant contribution to health, just like “normal” cycling. Riding an e-bike is a relief, especially for people who are less fit and less fit. If this group of people would otherwise give up cycling, they now have a way to get moving with less energy. 

You can also cover inclines and longer distances and don’t have to do without cycling. In addition, every modern e-bike has different driving levels that can be used to adjust the motor support. This means that you can freely decide how much of your own energy should be contributed at what time. 

E-bike riding gets circulation moving and can help people with weak health to have more room to move. Thanks to the motor support, the knee load can also be reduced. Exercise can reduce health risks and just one hour of daily exercise promotes health. Riding an e-bike over a longer period of time can help to lose weight or counteract joint inflammation.

Riding an e-bike promotes the cardiovascular system

As already mentioned, the e-bike can help those returning to cycling in particular to regulate their exertion. In this way, physical fitness can be increased step by step and the cardiovascular system can be stimulated. 

Regular cycling trains the heart muscle leads to better blood circulation, increases the performance of the cardiovascular system, and can thus prevent diseases in this system. With the e-bike, you can slowly feel your way to your performance limits and still enjoy nature. See our selection of the best electric mountain bikes for the elderly.

Riding an e-bike prevents back pain

Health benefits of ebikes for elderly

If the bicycle saddle is adjusted correctly and the sitting position on the bike is also correct, then riding an e-bike or cycling strengthens the entire back. It is important that the back is evenly loaded and that no incorrect loading occurs. 

If the starting position is right, riding an e-bike will then ensure a stabilized spine and a healthier intervertebral disc and at the same time prevent back pain. The muscle groups along the spine are trained and dosing works particularly well with the e-bike.

🌡️ Sport when I am ill: when can I still do sport? Can I ride an e-bike if I am sick?

First of all, it should be said: We do not replace a doctor. It is advisable to consult the men and women in white, especially in the case of a prolonged illness. We can only make recommendations here, but no reliable diagnosis. 

So what if there are mild cold symptoms, as in the introductory example? In the example outlined, we would advise against riding the tour with your friends. Especially when it gets longer or harder. When you are ill, you should not overwork your body. After all, he is fighting an infection himself and can use all the energy he can. 

Nevertheless, a general ban on sports is not always necessary. If the symptoms are mild, cycling can be done with a low heart rate. The bike is particularly suitable here, as the pulse usually stays nice and low and is not driven up so much. Because the body cannot cope with this at all when it is sick. Walking or a good old walk can also be good.   

🛌 Cycling with a cold: when should I stop doing sports?

If the scratchy throat develops into a real sore throat or the body is plagued by fever, you should definitely refrain from any kind of sport. In this state, the body fights an illness very actively and cannot use it when the head of the house gives away important resources for the sport.  

The rule of thumb is: If you feel weak, have a fever, or have worse symptoms, then go to bed, cover it with a blanket, and have tea in your hand. You’re doing yourself good at the moment! 

Even if you are taking medication, you should avoid physical exertion. You may feel better, but the good old painkillers only fight symptoms. The disease continues to rage in the body. 

🤧 What can happen if I go cycling / riding an e-bike despite being ill?

We have to say it so blatantly at this point: In the worst case, you can die. Corresponding reports keep circling the internet and maybe one or the other has already had such a case in their circle of acquaintances: the inflammation of the heart muscle, called “myocarditis” in technical jargon. 

It is an inflammation caused by an infection, mostly viral due to the well-known influenza virus. Normally, the heart is rarely affected by a flu-like infection. However, if it is particularly challenged by sporting activity during the illness, the virus can spread to it in the worst case. 

The problem: heart muscle inflammation is difficult to detect and tends to have unspecific symptoms. Generally, reduced performance, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cardiac arrhythmias can indicate that something is wrong with the pump.  

However, since these symptoms are not always immediately associated with such a serious illness in everyday life, it often happens that heart muscle inflammation is only recognized late or not at all. 

However, the chances of recovery are not particularly good either. Only about 50% of those affected make a full recovery. The rest retain a permanent disturbance of cardiac activity. 

The bottom line is that the so-called “delayed diseases” are by no means to be trifled with.  

⏸️ How long should I take a break from cycling if I have an illness or a cold?

A cold comes a week, stays a week, and goes a week. This well-loved phrase is a bit broad, but if you want to be on the safe side, you can use it as a guide. It says nothing other than that you should give the body time to completely conquer an illness. 

Should you come back on board too early, you’ll have to deal with the consequences, which can be severe. Consult a doctor if you are unsure. If you are on medication, you should avoid participating in sports until you finish the drug.

⚽ Is cycling in case of illness different from other sports?

Yes, at least to the extent that it is one of the few sports that can be practiced with mild symptoms. A short, leisurely (!) bike ride can be an option when the illness subsides. It’s important not to over-stress the body, but hopefully, that should be clear by now. 

Sports such as jogging or team sports should be avoided. When jogging, the average heart rate is higher per se and due to the most explosive movement patterns in team sports, the cardiovascular system is put under significantly more strain than when pedaling comfortably on the flat. 

Myths: illness and sport

“Oh, you can sweat out that little bit of a cold” – if you ever hear this sentence somewhere, forget it again quickly. Because it’s simply not true. An illness cannot be “sweated out”. However, light exercise can still help to activate the immune system and fight the disease. The emphasis is on “LIGHT”. 

⏱️ How do I start exercising after illness?

When the illness is cured, the medication is off and the doctor gives his go, then of course you should start slowly. Your body is probably just weakened from a more or less severe illness and is not yet able to really step on the gas. It is advisable to increase the distance and intensity bit by bit in the first two weeks after the illness. 

Under no circumstances should you go straight back into it. There is still a small chance that there is a small outbreak somewhere in the body and of course, we want to prevent it from breaking out again. Here, too, I’m trying to use good old wisdom again: make haste makes waste!  

With this in mind, happy sports and take good care of yourself! 

PS: For the sake of completeness, it should be said again that this article only provides general information and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It can not substitute for a visit to the doctor.