By now, you’re probably already aware that physical activity can improve not only your physical health, but also your mental health. Going for a run, lifting weights, riding a bicycle — all these things are great stress relievers that can add years to your life and make you generally happier.
That said, exercise doesn’t have to be limited to jogging and typical cardio or weight training workouts. And though we encourage riding a traditional bicycle due to how good it is for you, there’s another option even beyond that: electric bikes. As it turns out, electric bikes have a lot of unique mental health benefits that may make them an even better fit for you than regular bicycles.
If you’ve been wondering whether riding an e-bike can help boost your overall mood, you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of ways in which electric bikes can help you with depression, anxiety, and even your sleeping patterns.
Exercise Fights Depressions, Stress, and Anxiety
You can have such a good time riding an e-bike that you may not even realize you’re exercising, but you are! Exercise offers many benefits for your physical health, and it’s also a great way to relieve stress and battle depression.
Typically, e-bikes make it so that you don’t have to exert as much energy pedaling as you would on a standard bicycle. That said, there are plenty of electric bikes that encourage you to pedal — specifically, low wattage e-bikes. A 250w e-bike is great if you want smoother pedaling without completely eliminating the force you would normally use.
Getting a good workout and enjoying a ride on your e-bike is about more than just staying fit. It keeps your mind in check, too. Studies show that staying active can reduce depression, anxiety, and negative feelings, as well as improve your self-esteem and cognitive function. This is because your body releases chemicals called endorphins when you exercise — endorphins work in your brain to reduce pain and can also give you feelings of euphoria, or intense joy.
According to further research, just 150 minutes of exercise a week can help reduce anxiety and depression. Riding an electric bike is a great way to stay active while also enjoying a relaxing experience.
You can go on a ride around town with friends or take your e-bike through a nature trail. If you go with an electric mountain bike, for example, you’ll be able to enjoy some beautiful scenery and likely forget you’re even exercising at all — especially once those endorphins kick in.
- To fight the blues and battle carbs around town, we recommend the Micargi 250W Kona Electric Bicycle and the Nakto 250W Camel City Men's Electric Bike.
- If hitting the trails puts a smile on your face, the Olic 250/350W LMB-26 Leopard Mountain Fold Electric Bike is a great option.
Improvements in Cognitive Functions
In addition to improving your moods, riding an electric bike is also great for improving memory and other cognitive functions. This is because it’s an aerobic exercise, which increases blood flow to the brain. So whether you’re tackling inclines on an off-road e-bike or going for a stroll on a beach cruiser electric bike, you’re actually helping your brain’s blood flow.
This is especially great news for older adults who are interested in riding e-bikes, because aerobic exercise has been shown to counteract declines in the hippocampus that come with aging. In case you’re wondering, the hippocampus is the part of our brain that deals with our memory. This means riding an e-bike regularly can greatly improve memory retention and actually help prevent or slow diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
One study showed that bicycling for just 8 weeks can help improve cognitive functions. Furthermore, research from the University of Reading and Oxford Brookes University suggests that riding an electric bike can have an even greater effect on brain function and mental health than riding a standard bicycle. The study found that adults aged 50 to 83 benefited from riding electric bikes, and that e-bikes used at a variety of settings often provided more benefits than traditional bicycles.
In short, riding an e-bike is great for our brain functions, and older adults interested in boosting their memory and preventing diseases should definitely give it a shot.
- To help your bones, muscles, and joints move smoothly on dirt trails, we recommend the Emojo Wildcat Pro 500W Aluminum Mountain Electric Bike.
- Riders who want to improve their memory and bodies around town should definitely check out the X-Treme 300W Malibu Electric Cruiser.
More Exercise = Better Sleep = Better Mental Health
Not surprisingly, exercise is a great way to develop a better sleep cycle — and maintaining a good sleep cycle is a super important part of your mental health.
Exercising, whether you’re riding an e-bike, jogging, or lifting weights, helps reduce your body’s level of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that can make it difficult to sleep. The right amount of exercise will energize you throughout the day and leave you feeling tired enough when it comes time for bed. That means if you ride an electric bike regularly, you’ll be more likely to get a good night’s sleep to heal your mind and body.
The great thing about riding an e-bike for exercise is that you can easily prevent fatigue, burn-out, and exhaustion by moving between pedal assist settings on your bike so as not to tire yourself out too much. A lot of electric bikes, from folding bikes to commuters, offer multiple levels of pedal assist, so depending on how far into your bike ride you are, you could switch between settings so you don’t overexert yourself while still getting your daily exercise.
- When you want a vigorous, tiring workout with enough energy to get back home, the GigaByke 500W Swift Electric Bike is a great option as it offers 5 levels off pedal assist.
E-Bike Riding Promotes Mindfulness
Riding an electric is an excellent way to boost your mindfulness. This is the act of staying present and focusing on small actions in order to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as improve focus and other brain functions.
Mindfulness is often used in meditation and can do a great deal of good for anyone who is struggling with their mental health. The main benefit is that it brings a sense of calm to one’s mind. When riding an electric bike, you focus on the act of pedaling, the path you’re riding on, and how your body feels. This is a simple way to calm your mind, de-stress, and give your brain a break from any anxious or negative thoughts you may be experiencing.
Riding an electric bike is a fantastic way to practice mindfulness outdoors while exercising at the same time. In addition, if you’re a nature lover or enjoy a good adrenaline boost, mountain biking and off-roading are proven mood enhancers. So the next time you go for a ride through some tough off-road paths, you can rest easy knowing that the challenge is providing you with a sense of satisfaction and adventure.
In addition to getting exercise from riding an electric bike, assembling your own electric bike kit also promotes mindfulness. This is due to the fact that while installing and wiring the wheel, battery, and other small components to a standard bicycle, your mind stays focused on the act of putting everything together. And when you’re finished, the rewarding sense of satisfaction that comes from completing a new task will trigger a positive chemical reaction in your brain, further enhancing your mood.
- If you're experienced in off-roading or looking to get into it without any issues, you can't go wrong with either the QuietKat 750W 2020 Jeep Electric Mountain Bicycle or the Eunorau 1000W Fat HD All Terrain Fat Tire Electric Mountain Bike.
- Alternatively, if you enjoy working with your hands and want to put your own e-bike together, installing an electric bike conversion kit on a standard bicycle is rewarding and promotes mindfulness.
More Time Outdoors Means Better Moods
One major reason riding an electric bike can make you feel better mentally and emotionally is the simple fact that you’ll be spending time outside. Whether you’re riding in nature on an all-terrain electric bike or cruising around town on a comfort e-bike, getting out of the house for some fresh air can do wonders for your mental health.
Studies indicate that spending time outdoors can put you in a better mood, improve your cognitive functions like memory and focus, and boost your creativity. Research also states that spending time in nature can lead to lower anxiety levels. Moreover, psychologist Dr. Lynne M. Kostiuk says that being outdoors is important because the lack of stimuli helps us “tune back in to ourselves” and relax.
Not to mention, while riding an e-bike, you’ll enjoy some fresh air, but you’ll also have a good time doing something you love — it’s a win-win.
- The QuietKat Ranger Fat Tire Mountain Electric Bike is a great fit for adrenaline lovers looking to go on an off-road adventure.
- If you want to get some fresh air around your neighborhood during your free time, the E-Joe 500W Sunday City Electric Bike is perfect for carefree riding.
It’s easy to become withdrawn when you’re at a low point in your mental health. But the truth is that socializing is one of the best things you can do for your brain when you’re experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, or depression. In fact, research shows that those who socialize often are more likely to experience lower levels of depression.
Having a friend to ride with is a great way to stay motivated and keep up with exercise as well as time outside. You can take time to catch up, breathe in some fresh air, and get your daily dose of exercise all at once. Not to mention, if you’re part of an off-roading club, it’s always fun to push your off-roading electric bike to the limit while engaging in some friendly competition.
Riding an e-bike with friends and family can be a great way to spend time with people and bond over a shared hobby, which will lead to feelings of joy and a positive state of mind. It should be noted, however, that while we do think it’s great for people to join hobby groups and outdoor clubs, we still encourage you to practice proper social distancing during this period.
On the other hand, if you do prefer to ride alone, that can still have its own benefits. Riding an electric bike can lead to a greater sense of independence, especially for those with physical disabilities or anyone who may be intimidated by the prospect of traditional bicycling. Riding an e-bike is a super accessible and low-impact activity. It’s also a great way to increase mobility and exercise for anyone who may face physical limitations.
- For folks looking to join an off-road riding club, the QuietKat Apex Fat Tire Mountain Electric Bike and the Rambo 1000W Rampage Electric Bike are two top-tier e-bikes.
Riding an E-Bike Can Improve Your Mental Health
There are plenty of ways your mental health can improve when you regularly ride an electric bike. For starters, you’ll get all the mental health benefits of riding a bike. In addition, you’ll get the advantages of comfort and relaxation that are only possible with an e-bike since you get to control how much work you’re putting into pedaling.
Of course, if you want to get a nice workout, you can still pedal your e-bike, go on longer rides, and challenge yourself with uphill climbs — this is especially true if you ride a lower-wattage electric bike like, say, a 250w e-bike. An electric bike affords you both comfort and physical activity, but above all, it’s great for your mental well-being.
Riding an electric bike will help reduce your stress, anxiety, and depression levels while boosting your overall mood. It’ll also improve your cognitive functions, and it’ll give you a reason to go outside and get some fresh air.
If you’re interested in taking up a new hobby to keep you active, healthy, and happy, an electric bike is an excellent way to go.