Wanting to be more active is a good thing! Why don't we do it more?
It’s time for our annual tradition where we tell ourselves we’re going to exercise more.
Gym memberships spike, exercise equipment sales grow and we’re all hopeful to improve our physical activity levels.
Will it work this time? No. It hasn’t before. So why would it now? Passed behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Willpower and determination eventually run low. Then we fail. Is there another way?
Wanting to be more active is a good thing! Physical activity is one of the most important investments you can make. You intuitively know this. Increased physical activity is beneficial because:
Exercise controls your weight – the key is consistency of activity.
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases – higher levels of activity lowers the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and more.
Exercise improves mood – movement releases dopamine and serotonin, two feel-good brain chemicals that are vital to managing your emotional health.
Exercise boosts energy – regular activity makes your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. A healthier heart and lungs will give you more energy for your daily routines.
Exercise promotes better sleep – Aging makes sleeping harder, and routine physical activity helps you fall asleep fast and sleep deeper.
Exercise is proven to improve your sex life – physical activity improves energy levels and confidence in physical appearance. It’s also proven to increase arousal in women and reduce erectile dysfunction in men.
Exercise is a form of social bonding – our modern world is leaving large portions of our population feeling isolated. Exercising in public can help reconnect us to the people engaging with us.
So, If exercise is so good for us, why don’t we do it more?
The research shows the reason North American populations don’t exercise more is because of how hard it is to be consistent.
3 Reasons why it’s difficult to be consistent with exercise:
1. It’s unenjoyable
It's easy for exercise to be seen as a chore. Let’s be honest, going to the gym is boring. Our brains love doing things we enjoy and hate doing things we don’t. We need our exercise to be more fun to be consistent with it.
2. It’s not simple enough
When am I going to fit my exercise in? What do I need to bring? Where will I park? How am I feeling? Every layer of complexity discourages us from following through. We feel tired of making decisions all day. Exercise needs to be simple, with as few decisions as possible to make it repeatable.
3. It’s a decision we have to actively make instead of being a passive habit.
The most active adult population in the western world is in the Netherlands. The average adult there gets 720 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Whereas in North America, most adults don’t get the 150 minutes of recommended activity time.
The secret is that the Dutch have their movement built into everyday activities. They walk or bicycle to their work, their friend’s houses, to get groceries and to drop off kids or grandkids at school.
They don’t have to think about being active because it’s inseparable from their everyday life rather than an extra event to be tacked on to an already busy schedule.
Our North American environment discourages being physically active by design. Entertainment, food, and work can all be had without leaving our homes. Walking to meet your basic needs is difficult, if not impossible and our lives are so full of other things.
How can we become more active? Many people have been inactive for so long, they are too discouraged to even try.
We know you cannot undo 20 years of low activity in 1 workout. You can’t do it in a month of exercising. It takes a change in your daily habits that will allow you to trick yourself into exercising daily. Our brains struggle without immediate positive feedback. That’s why going to the gym often fails. So I want to offer you another way.
“You can’t control your future, but you can control your daily habits that drive your future.”
What does this have to do with an e-bike?
1. Exercise is easier when it’s fun and e-bikes are fun!
Remember the freedom and fun you felt as a kid riding a bike? That’s the experience an e-bike delivers.
The motor meets you where you’re at physically and lets you ride like you did as a kid, without worry or limitation. Hills and distances don’t matter anymore because of the assistance. As you grow stronger you can use less power if you want to, it’s a perfect balance of challenge and strength.
2. E-bikes trick you into exercising more often.
E-bike rides are addicting. It’s easy to find yourself riding daily.
We have a customer, Duane, who’s 77. He bought his bike last December and started riding 30 minutes a day. A few months later he found himself riding 2-3 hours a day. In just one year of owning his e-bike, he rode 10,000km! When we asked him how he managed to put that many kilometers on his bike he said:
“I didn’t intend to ride so much. It’s just so fun to get out and see the city.”
Duane is one of thousands of stories we’ve heard of people getting addicted to riding again. The joy and sheer volume of riding has significantly increased the exercise levels of thousands of people who weren’t very active before.
Start small, replace a couple car trips a week and soon you’ll be wanting to replace more of them.
3. E-bikes make lost time productive.
Stephanie, my wonderful wife, is a teacher. She traded the 50 minutes of driving to and from work for 70 minutes of moderate activity on her e-bike. She arrives non-sweaty and in a fresh headspace, ready to give her best to her students.
Steph’s initial goal was to do the ride 2 or 3 times a week. After the first few weeks she found herself riding everyday because she enjoyed the ride significantly more than the drive. After 3 months of riding, she dropped a size (unintentionally), was noticeably stronger and was no longer bogged down with the burden of finding the time and motivation to exercise. She discovered the secret of building it into her everyday life.
My Grandpa had a famous saying, “how do you eat a shark? One bite at a time!”
You can’t fix your need to move more tomorrow, but you can chip away at it one ride at a time. Replace a few short car rides a week, ride for fun or replace unproductive commute times with riding an e-bike and you will be shocked how quickly your physical activity time adds up!
Is 2024 the year you'll join the e-bike movement?
Book a free 30-minutes Zoom call with Sean to create a plan to help get you moving with an e-bike.