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How to look after your body for e-cycling fitness

E-bikes are amazing, they help you ride further and more often. On an e-bike pedal assist takes some of the load so you can develop your fitness without over doing it. But to feel good every time you get on your bike it’s important to look after your body. Here are our five top tips for keeping your body bike ride ready.

What to eat and drink during your bike ride

Even though your e-bike is doing some of the work for you, to keep pushing the pedals around you need to keep yourself fuelled. In the same way that your e-bike runs on electricity, your body needs energy from carbohydrate and water.  Take a bottle of water on every ride and make sure that you are drinking frequently, particularly in hot weather. Good cycling snacks are bananas, cereal bars, dried fruit and jelly sweets that are easy and enjoyable to eat on the go.

The longer you are out on your bike for, the more you will need to eat. With battery ranges of 150km you can be out for many hours if you choose to be, so make sure your own ‘battery’ is stocked up with snacks!

How to tune up your muscles with stretching

E-bikes are designed to be comfortable to ride but after a long day in the saddle you may find your neck, shoulders or back ache a bit from your cycling position. The solution is gentle stretching. We really like this gentle yoga based routine but there are many more online. The key is to stretch within your natural range and not push deeply into stretches your body is not ready for. Stretching doesn’t have to take long and can be an enjoyable way to relax. Once you learn some stretches you can do them whenever you sit down to watch TV or as a five-minute break in your working day.

What to eat to repair your body

Fuelling your body during your ride is important, but so is what you eat afterwards to help your body repair. Your meal after cycling should have a mixture of protein, to re-build your muscles and carbohydrate, to re-fill your energy stores. Something like lean meat or fish with pasta or potatoes and a green salad is simple to make and will keep your body healthy with its mixture of nutrients.

Long rides can make you feel really hungry, so if you want to stick to your healthy food resolutions it is a really good idea to have an easy snack ready-prepared for when you finish your ride.

When to rest and recover between bike rides

E-bikes allow their owners to ride further and more often than they would on a conventional bike, by taking some of the load and reducing the effort of cycling. It’s one of the best reasons for getting an e-bike! But, even though you will feel a lot less fatigued than you would on a conventional bike it is ok, even a good idea, to have a day or two off cycling every now and again.

A day off allows your muscles to completely recover and your body’s energy stores, your own ‘battery’, to be re-charged. If you are feeling fatigued, have any aches or pains or are feeling less motivated to cycle than usual, give yourself a few days off cycling. This won’t affect your fitness levels, it is during rest periods that your body gets stronger. When you get back on your bike you will feel fitter than before.

Learn to listen to your body

Cycling should never hurt, especially not e-cycling. You might get an occasional ‘good’ ache in your legs that shows you have been working harder than usual but that is very different to the aches and pains of an injury. If you have pain in your muscles or joints, or where you sit on the saddle, it could mean that your bike is not set up properly for your body.

Just changing your saddle height, your reach to the handle bars or swapping your saddle for a new one can make your cycling experience more comfortable. Pop into your local Shimano dealer, or the shop you bought your bike from, and ask for some advice.