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Will Exercising on an Electric Bicycle Help People With Diabetes?

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Electric bicycles, as the name suggests, have motors that move the pedals making the vehicle go at least 20 kilometers an hour. Pedaling the old-fashioned way is also permitted, and in fact, encouraged.

Researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom explored how the use of electric bicycles could help to improve the health of people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Their work was reported on in May of 2018 in the journal Diabetic Medicine. A total of eighteen people with Type 2 diabetes used electric bicycles for 20 weeks, completing an average of 21.4 km each week. Their aerobic abilities increased by 10.9 percent, and their heart rates averaged 74.7 percent of maximum, an improvement over 64.3 percent of maximum when the participants walked.

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Satisfaction with the electric bikes was generally high. Fourteen participants bought electric bicycles after the study. They reported they had used the vehicles for commuting, shopping, and recreation. From this, the researchers concluded electric bicycles, or e-bicycles, could be used to improve physical fitness and heart health in those who had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, United States, the maximum heart rate is defined as 220 beats per minute minus the individual's age. For example, for a 40-year-old individual, the maximum heart rate would be 220-40=160. To find your heart rate place your index and middle fingers over the point on the inside of your hand at the base of your thumb. Count the first beat at zero and proceed to count all the beats after that. Use a watch with a sweep hand or an electronic timing device which shows the passage of 60 seconds, or one minute.

The CDC recommends during moderate-intensity physical activity; the heart rate should be 50 to 70 percent of maximum. During vigorously intense exercise the heart rate should fall between 70 and 85 percent of maximum. By these criteria, the electric bicycle provided the participants with vigorous activity.

Human beings did not evolve sitting at a desk and physical activity matters. Physical activity helps lower...

  • blood sugar levels,
  • cholesterol,
  • abnormal blood fats,
  • obesity, and
  • insulin resistance which is the cause of Type 2 diabetes.

Fat around the heart decreases with exercise, and heart function improves. Before embarking on a course of physical activity see your physician for an examination and electrocardiogram (EKG) if necessary.

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Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

For nearly 25 years Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body. Go to to learn about some of those secrets.

The answer isn't in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.

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