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FELA as a Commuting Gym

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

In “How much should the average adult exercise every day?” Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. suggests:

1. “Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity… spread out this exercise during the course of a week.”

get fit in your commutes
Let your FELA sculpture you

Numerical simulation of FTP-75 (EPA test for 18km a city trip with one boost to 91km/h, 17 runs at 50km/h, averaging 34 km/h) shows that ordinary person in FELA spends 4.62Wh/km or about 310Cal of food energy in 31 min. That effort translates into 150W of your pedaling (sub-vigorous level), given 1:1 assist i.e. another 4.58Wh/km is drawn from battery tallying up energy use to 9.8Wh/km.

Considering muscles' work as beneficial, FELA is 46x greener than Tesla S (210Wh/km/4.58Wh/km). Using more realistic 300Wh/km in city for 2300kg EV we'd get factor of 66 or 220 compare to a gas-car. If you set 1:2 assist, you are pedaling at leisurely 70W during the same 0.5h commute. The five days commute amounts to 5h (5x2x0.5) vigorous or moderate physical activity depending on the assist level you've set. The tripled recommended dose may sound overkill, but I suspect that the physiologists just don't want to scare us out of doing at least minimum. And a 20km city commute is in 95 percentile, meaning most of us need much shorter trips, still un-bikeable or unwalkable for many reasons.

2. “Do strength training for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after 12-15 repetitions.”

FELA pedal drivetrain is designed to reach 50km/h with 12-15 strokes of each leg in 4-5 sec. During this acceleration, each of your leg will push at 40-70 kg (depending on your fitness and drivetrain setting) and you will beat cars in green signal start to be the first on the next intersection. FTP-75 simulates 18 starts like this. So, you will score 500 “squats” daily. Ladies will melt away their cellulite in a few weeks, “organically” i.e. without commitment to gym (oft fails) and dieting (very bad for your mood and relationships). Tuned for directional stability, FELA allows you to help legs with your arms and shoulders. Here you have it: full body workout two times a day, five times a week with no dollar or second spent on a gym.

3. “Reducing sitting time is important, too. The more hours you sit each day, the higher your risk of metabolic problems. Sitting too much negatively impacts your health and longevity, even if you get the recommended .. daily physical activity.”

Without speculating on detrimental factors of sitting for 10+h a day, just think that we hadn't been doing that for hundreds thousands years of human evolution, only in last 2-3 centuries since "industrial revolution". Comparing the sketches by Renaissance artists made from their ordinary contemporaries with New York summer street snapshot is depressing.

Pedaling in recumbent position, particularly vigorously, engage your back's and thighs' big muscle groups, strengthen them, restores vascular system and hardly can be considered as lounging in recliner in front of TV or sitting on chair at office desk. Forget silicone implants: It's muscular, moderately lean back that is not only sign of cardio-vascular health, but is sexy for those who care about their look.

4. “Even brief bouts of activity offer benefits.. If you can't fit in a 30-min walk during the day, try a few five-minute walks instead. Any activity is better than none.. What's most important is making regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.”

That’s exactly what FELA does: it combines physical activity requirements with your personal transportation needs. No more self-flagellation on broken New Year’s resolutions, which is not good for your psyche.

But what to do for those who don’t have 18km commutes to pedal at moderate level, or don't want to sweat before an important event? FELA provides with choice of minimal assist to get fit pedalling really hard during shorter trips, or no pedaling at all to go in business attire like driving a car. Assist level is set from your smartphone app as you go.

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