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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > June 2018 > SPIN into ACTION


Want a fun new way to get into shape? Take to two – or four – wheels. Hannah Ebelthite looks at three speedy ways to supercharge your fitness that are definitely not just for kids


Electric bikes


Commonly known as e-bikes, these are pedal bicycles with added oomph in the form of a powerful but lightweight lithium-ion battery and motor. This gives extra power to your pedalling, and can take you up to speeds of 15mph for 30 miles plus. The battery can usually be removed and recharged in a few hours – so if you ride to work, you can charge up and be good for your return home.


A power-assisted bike is just that: it assists you when you need it. So yes, using it in a race might well be seen as cheating! But using it to cycle further or faster than you otherwise could, or to get up hills and venture to places you wouldn’t normally be able to get to sounds like a fitness benefit to us. As Kate Woodward of e-bike pioneer Gtech explains, ‘There’s amisconception that using an e-bike means the rider isn’t putting in any work. The bike basically responds to the rider – it doesn’t move if you aren’t pedalling. But once you start working, the pedal-assist kicks in. UK regulations only permit a boost up to 15mph, but you can always go faster if you want to pedal harder yourself.’

Olympic Gold medallist Victoria Pendleton designs her own range of bicycles for Halfords and recently expanded it to include an e-bike. So if it’s good enough for an elite athlete… ‘My mum, Pauline, inspired me to give one a go,’ says Victoria. ‘These bikes really are a gamechanger because you still get the burn and benefit from cycling but with an added boost.’

‘It’s a fantastic route into cycling’

Pauline Pendleton (below, with her daughter, Olympic Gold medallist Victoria) loved using an e-bike so much, she persuaded Victoria to add one to her Halfords range. I’ve cycled my whole life, since school days, but never competitively like Victoria or even for fitness – just as a mode of transport. My brother is a keen advocate of electric bikes and encouraged me to give one a try on a trip to the US. I was slightly nervous to begin with because the whole idea of a bike being battery powered was quite unusual, but it was surprisingly easy to use. Back home, I was eager to invest in one and persuaded Victoria to add an e-bike to her Halfords range – which she did! [See the Pendleton Somerby, pictured above].

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About Healthy Food Guide

Shape up before your holiday without crash diets – we've got easy swaps that will shave 500 calories a day to get rid of that belly fat - plus delicious low-cal recipes. We also help you stay safe in the sun, offer updated expert advice on migraines and boosting fertility (for men as well as women). Plus lots of nutrition guidance, including which milks and berries to choose for best health benefits.