There are so many memes across social media about Coronavirus (COVID-19), that it’s hard to know what is true, what is half-true and what is just plain crazy.
One of the memes, if you search for “cycling and Coronavirus” or “e-cycling and Coronavirus” is that e-bikes can help some people fight off the COVID-19 virus.
This might sound to some readers like fake news but it turns out to be quite true – at least up to a point. It is certainly true that e-cycling cannot cure the Coronavirus disease, or stop the current pandemic. However, what is true is that, given the obvious health benefits of e-bikes, this sport and this technology can certainly be used to help improve one’s immune system and build resilience.
In fact, riding an electric bike regularly and sensibly is far more likely to be effective against the virus, than some of the crazy and risky “new age” ideas going around about COVID-19 on Facebook, Instagram, etc.
So, we are going to address the rational and factual benefits of e-cycling to help fight Coronavirus in our article.
Riding e-bike gives moderate exercise
E-cycling is a form of moderate exercise. Very strenuous exercise can put your immune system under pressure and no exercise at all is bad for your heart and respiratory system. Moderate exercise will train the immune system without over-stretching it.
So the first rational and reasonable benefit of e-bikes is that exercise on them cannot stop coronavirus itself but could help you and your immune system to prepare and build resilience.
There are other forms of moderate exercise that will do the same job, but as we will see below, e-cycling has some definite and unique advantages.
Riding e-bike is solitary
E-cycling is a solitary exercise that keeps you safely distant from other people and things that other people might have touched. Covid- 19 can live for a while on many surfaces. That includes yoga mats, weights, balls, bats, racquets, towels, water coolers, vending machines, judo clothing, ice hockey sticks, faucets, taps, seats, shower fixtures, etc. These are all objects you might have no choice in touching in some other forms of exercise.
E-cycling does not require touching gym equipment that might have Covid-19 traces. Nor are you touching exercise mats, or the door handles at your local gym, swimming pool, or sports ground. If you are using your home as a base, you aren’t sharing showers, washrooms or anything else with anyone else.
Unlike American Football, Soccer, Basketball, Hockey, etc. it does not require engaging as part of a team, touching opponents, handling equipment or using shared or public changing facilities.
With e-cycling, it is very easy to be ‘self – isolating’ alone (even in quarantine) and still get your fresh air and exercise.
Easy tip: In fact, when you think about it, there is no risk of catching Coronavirus whatsoever in normal e-cycling.
How many other sports, or forms of exercise is that true of?
Using e-bike helps to keep your distance when commuting
Around the world, scientists and governments are recommending “social distance”. Authorities like the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) say that means staying a safe distance from other people to prevent becoming infected. This safe distance is, of course, impossible to keep in any of the following commuting scenarios:
- Traveling on a public bus
- Traveling by coach
- Traveling on a train or on a tram
- Traveling in a subway car
- Traveling in a work minibus
- Sitting in a taxi
- Sitting in your car with someone else
As well as being physically close, you will inevitably be touching surfaces and objects that may have active Covid-19 on them (as the virus can survive some time outside the body, maybe up to a day). These might be handles, rails, doors, buttons, money, etc.
That’s why it is much safer to be outside commuting on an e-bike than inside a car, taxi, train, bus, etc. when it comes to Covid-19 disease transmission. When people are traveling together and someone sneezes or coughs, or wipes their moist hand on a surface after touching around their mouth or nose, virus-carrying droplets get onto objects that people touch, and then uninfected people touch their face.
The best plan for commuting right now is to go out on your e-bike and ride solo. The good news is that the UV rays of the sun will break down viruses, which is not the case inside a car, bus or train. So, this is a time when the expression “the healthy outdoors” is more true than ever.
Do not ride in groups and definitely do not go near those cyclists who spit, or empty the contents of their noses as they go. Those are quick ways to spread the virus. However, despite what some believe, normal sweat from the body is not in itself a virus carrier. Sweat only becomes so if mixed with saliva or mucus.
For those looking to purchase an e-bike for commuting, instead of facing the anxiety of public transport or sharing a vehicle with others, many e-bike companies are now offering big discounts and special promotions.
Also expect to see more e-cycling being recommended by city authorities over sitting in a bus, train or subway car.
The benefits of low impact exercise
E-cycling is a very low impact exercise, which you can do at your own pace. That means that e-bikes are suitable for people of all ages and even for people with existing health issues. If you get tired, just try to use more battery. Simple. That’s why e-biking can help cope with many physical conditions. This makes e-cycling totally different from normal cycling and from many other sports and forms of exercise.
Read also: Are e-bikes “cheating”? – in this article.
Scientists caution normal cyclists to avoid long, intense rides or workouts. If you are exhausted then for a while your immune system is not working at full capacity. So, much better to have an e-bike and cruise home when fatigue starts.
Using e-bike with Type II diabetes or obesity
Watch the news or go online and you will consistently hear Covid-19 is most risky to people “with a pre-existing medical condition”. E-cycling helps deal with chronic obesity in general and also type II diabetes.
People with these conditions are one of the most at-risk segments of the population. The good news is they can take positive steps to be hit less severely by a coronavirus.
Read also: Can e-biking help with Type II diabetes? – in this article.
E-cycling as good cardio exercise
Current scientific thinking is that healthy people are at low risk of serious consequences from this coronavirus. E-cycling can be used as a really good cardio exercise and to build strength and endurance, which, in turn, helps strengthen the immune system. All this will definitely help your body fight coronavirus.
Benefits of e-biking for mental health
It’s a well known medical fact that feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress can have an effect on physical health.
E-cycling has numerous mental benefits, which also prove to be very important when facing a global pandemic. It flushes stress chemicals, like cortisol out of the system, focuses your mind on the road ahead and will contribute to a good night’s sleep. That benefits your body, including your immune system. As an Aerobic exercise, it also promotes blood flow to the brain.
All of these are factual and scientifically proven benefits. A healthy body and a healthy mind are great defenses against this virus.
Read also: Top 10 mental benefits of riding electric bike – in this article.
Few words in conclusion
In a world of fake news, and echo chamber social media, it’s important at a time like this to stick with the science and use reason and rationality.
If you are using your e-bike to commute to work, to exercise and train your immune system, there is nearly zero risk of being exposed to Coronavirus. Just think about that for a moment.
Easy update: Some recent studies have shown that as cyclists breathe faster when cycling, they leave a plume of breath behind them. This could increase the risk of contamination for people around them. Still, this risk is much smaller than that in closed areas (such as restaurants, metro, or shopping centers).
Also, think about the fact that fit and healthy people have been shown to be highly resistant to the effects of this virus epidemic and will often make a full recovery if they are infected.
Read also: Can I use e-bike to get fit or for weight loss? – in this article.
Be aware too that over-exercising has risks as it temporarily reduces your immune system response and the battery on an e-bike solves that problem.
Being outdoors on an e-bike significantly reduces risk from coughs, sneezes and other forms of contacts you will inevitably have in trains, taxis, a bus, a car, etc. Plus, the UV rays of the sun help degrade the Coronavirus into the bargain.
So, while there is yet no direct cure for Coronavirus and no vaccine is currently available, the analysis suggests that sensible e-cycling does, in fact, help protect you. Using your e-bike to train your body, improve mental and physical health and mitigate any existing medical conditions, will directly help your body to fight the disease.