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E-bikes motivate people with diabetes to adopt a more active lifestyle


Cardiovascular system and blood sugar levels improved: e-bikes recommended for diabetics

The number of diabetes patients has increased massively for years. Scientists assume that in 2045 one in eight people worldwide will be affected by the metabolic disease. According to experts, sufferers should be physically active to improve their health. A study has now shown that e-bikes can motivate diabetics to a more active lifestyle.

Healthy eating and physical activity

In Germany, more and more people are diagnosed with diabetes. After the diagnosis, those affected are often quickly given medical treatment. But in many cases, a healthy lifestyle is enough to get a grip on the so-called “diabetes”. A balanced and varied diet helps those affected to get their blood sugar under control more easily and to prevent consequential damage. Regular physical activity is also important. E-bikes are particularly useful for this, as a study from Great Britain has shown.

Support diabetics on their way to a more active and fitter lifestyle

A scientific study by Swiss researchers recently showed how sensible e-bikes, also called pedelecs, can be for health, which showed that these forms of transportation offer a good opportunity for people who are overweight and old to get fitter.

People with type 2 diabetes can also be supported with the help of e-bikes on their way to a more active and fitter lifestyle.

This was the result of a British study published in the journal "Diabetic Medicine".

"DiabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid" now encourages people with type 2 diabetes in this country to cycle more.

Lower blood sugar levels

As stated in a communication from "diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid", 95 percent of the approximately 6.7 million people with diabetes mellitus in Germany are suffering from type 2.

The affected patients are often overweight. You should therefore be physically active regularly to lose weight and lower your blood sugar levels. However, many find it difficult to exercise precisely because of their overweight.

The feasibility study by researchers led by Professor Ashley Cooper from the University of Bristol in Great Britain showed that e-bikes can help enormously for people with type 2 diabetes.

Study participants no longer want to do without e-bikes

For the study, 20 people with type 2 diabetes were given e-bikes for five months.

After an initial fitness test, the study participants used the bicycles in their everyday life, for example to drive to work, go shopping or go on excursions.

Of the 20 subjects, 18 took part until the end of their studies and covered an average of 21 kilometers per week by bike.

According to the information, the average heart rate of the participants measured while cycling was just under 75 percent of the maximum, compared to a value of a good 64 percent when walking.

In the final fitness test, they showed an endurance increase of almost eleven percent. 14 of the subjects bought their own e-bikes at the end of their studies.

Patients should exercise and improve their fitness

"For years we have been trying to inspire people with type 2 diabetes to exercise more and improve their fitness," said Dr. med. Jens Kröger, CEO of "diabetesDE - German Diabetes Aid".

“We have often failed to do this. Cycling as an endurance sport is ideal for people with diabetes: they burn calories and at the same time strengthen the cardiovascular system and the lungs, ”explains the resident diabetologist from Hamburg-Bergedorf.

As it says in the communication, the study shows the advantages for beginners in particular: cycling is gentle on the joints, and an e-bike also makes it easier for untrained people with diabetes to cover longer distances, climbs or ride in headwinds.

“Electronic support can be a good motivation, especially for those affected, to start cycling. Even older people who no longer have the strength to find it easier to get back in, ”says Kröger.

Pedal continuously

You don't have to be accused of having to make less effort when riding an e-bike than on a conventional bike.

A pedelec has a battery-powered motor, but unlike a scooter, it is still a bike in which the driver has to pedal continuously.

"This is why it is important for inexperienced people with diabetes to have their doctor examine them before the first trip," explains the diabetologist.

Always wear a helmet

It is also pointed out that cyclists should wear a helmet that protects them from head injuries in the event of a fall.

Because e-bikes support acceleration up to 25 km / h before the engine is automatically throttled.

“If you want to try out an e-bike first, you might find the opportunity to do so on your summer vacation,” says Dr. Kröger:

"There are rental stations in many resorts, often even taster courses." The sales figures also show that this form of transportation is becoming increasingly popular: Last year, 720,000 e-bikes were sold in Germany. (ad)

Author and source information

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