Essential Recovery Tips for Electric Bike Riders
A telltale sign of an awesome electric bike ride can also, arguably, be one of the worst: sore muscles, an achy body, and general pain or discomfort. I mean, who actually wants to change their exciting plans for the day because their ebike ride from the previous day left their legs feeling like a ton of bricks, or worse, their whole body feeling stiff and rigid?
These post-ride signs are usually either a result of our bodies waking up from a prolonged period of muscle inactivity or our bodies growing stronger as they undergo more ‘stress’ (good stress that is!). Whichever the case may be, recovery and replenishment after riding an ebike, whether you prefer a vigorous cycle or a casual cruise, is key to optimizing your health during your time off of your electric bike. Think ‘work hard, play hard’ except in terms of physical activity. You wouldn’t ride hard, recover easy, would you?
Didn’t think so! Join us as we explore some tips on how to best prepare before you even head out for a ride, then we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty, and importance of, post-ride recovery.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and instead is intended for educational and informational purposes only. hotebike is not diagnosing, treating, or curing any type of medical condition. Always consult with a medical professional before you seek any new treatment regimens.
WARMING UP FOR YOUR EBIKE RIDE
You read that right. Warming up for a ride isn’t just about prepping your ebike or making sure you have your toolkit handy. Although those are important and you should absolutely prep your ebike prior to your ride, it’s also about prepping yourself too! Yes, warm up’s (as in stretching) are important and we’ll get to them in just a moment, but before any actual warming up happens, you have to be especially mindful of the nutrition you’re feeding your body. Health is wealth, people!
Why Nutrition Matters
Research has been, and continues to be, conducted to show that there is an important link between physical performance and nutrition. A study concluded that athletes have a vital need for carbohydrates as a key component of their diet; carbohydrates are the only nutrient our bodies can easily break down to provide lasting energy during periods of moderate to high-intensity exercise. In order to sustain our bodies and reach our activity goals, aka long bike rides, our bodies need the proper fuel. Otherwise, we’ll run the risk of having a short-lived ride. Consider energy bars as a quick and convenient way to pack in some nutrition before a long electric bike ride. Keep an eye on the ingredient list, making sure they contain at least one of these for maximum riding energy: whole grains, dried fruits, or nuts. Certain whole grains are broken down gradually, so energy is more slowly released throughout the body, making it a good source of long-term fuel. Dried nuts are also a great concentrated source of carbohydrates and protein giving you a boost of energy, while dried fruits can introduce a kick of sugar into your system. Nutrition is key not just for a long and energy-filled ebike ride, but it can also boost your mood so you have more fun while riding an ebike out and about!
Stretching is one of the most forgotten parts of most people’s exercise or activity routines. Depending on who you ask, stretching is recommended for at least 10-15 minutes before you work out and 10-15 minutes after your workout. That time doesn’t even include your actual workout! Well, we’re here to challenge the dread that comes with adding a stretching component into your ebike routine, and hopefully, make it more enjoyable by emphasizing its importance and simplifying it.
Stretching is vital to add to your pre and post-electric bike ride routine because it both prevents you from injury and helps alleviate existing tension. Even incorporating some light stretches before biking, like the ones we’re going to discuss, can do magnitudes for your body. The three-body groups you’ll want to focus on are your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glute/hip flexors.
Our quads, which are a group of four muscles in our front thighs connecting to just below our knees, are one of the most powerful muscle groups in our bodies. They help straighten and bend our knees allowing us to do the one most important things ebike riders need to do: pedal. Our quads also help us walk our ebikes if/when the hills are too steep to climb (if you still aren’t riding an ebike with a throttle, allow us to open you to a world of possibilities!). To sum, our quads are a major powerhouse for our electric bike rides, and we need to take care of these muscles well. Try this simple quadriceps stretch before you go on your ride:
While standing, reach back with your right hand and grab your right foot at the top of your ankle (you’ll need to lift your leg backward to meet your hand). Then, slowly pull your foot closer to your behind giving you a deep stretch. Be careful not to pull your foot too fast. Hold for 15-30 seconds then switch legs.Opposite to the quads, the hamstring muscle group is one of three muscles that run along the back of our thighs, from the hip to just below the knee. Our hamstring muscles make it possible for us to extend our legs straight, and working in unison with our quads, to bend our knees. Safe to say that our ebike rides could take a hit if both of these muscle groups aren’t in tip-top shape. Here’s a simple hamstring stretch to not only prepare this muscle group for a ride but also to help in recovery:
Standing with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, slowly start to bend forward at the waist, letting your arms dangle either at your sides or toward the ground. You should feel a pull at the back of your thighs. If the stretch is too tight or overwhelming, bring your feet closer together, and don’t feel pressured to bend all the way down to touch your hands on the ground. Stay in this stretch for several slow and deep breaths, and more importantly, stretch to a degree that feels comfortable.
Bringing us to our last pre-electric bike ride stretch: our glute and hip flexors. Hip flexors are a group of muscles located towards the front of our bodies (You guessed it! Near our hips.) that further assist in lower body movement. Isn’t it fascinating how not just one independent group of muscles is responsible for anything? They are almost always working together, which is why more attention to muscle recovery is so important. Our glute is located in the back of our body. Made up of three muscles, it works with our hip flexors, allowing our legs to freely move within our hips. The gluteal muscles also help stabilize our pelvis; this maintains posture and balance so we can stay centered while riding an ebike! Here is our last stretch tip to get you prepared for an electric bike ride:
Lie flat on your back with both knees bent upright. Lift one knee up keeping it at a 90-degree angle, then move it inwards, crossing your lifted ankle over your bent knee. Then, lift the bent leg up toward your chest. To lessen the possible pressure on your lower back when doing this stretch, reach one hand in between your legs grabbing onto your inner thigh, and reach the other around the outside of your thigh. You can place your hands anywhere on your thigh that feels most comfortable. Breathe as you pull your lifted knee in towards your chest, then switch to the other side.
Time For Fun!
Now that we’ve covered some fundamental nutritional and stretching tips to assist in boosting performance and preparing our bodies for an electric bike ride, the last thing to do is gear up (Helmet? Check. Knee/elbow pads? Check. Water? Check.) and have fun! You won’t have to worry about preventative and recovery measures until after your ride, so clear your mind, be as present as possible, and go for that ride
A LAST WORD
All of this information is presented to you just to say that while we want you to have nothing but fun riding your ebike, we also want you to have just as much fun off of it. Sore muscles, aches and pains, and general discomfort are going to get in the way of that fun, and we hope these tips will help your next post-electric bike ride recovery an even smoother process!
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