The Suggested Exercise Bike for Use After a Broken Leg
A broken leg can affect any of the three bones found in your leg -- the femur, tibia and fibula. Using an exercise bike while recuperating from a broken leg can improve your muscle strength and flexibility, increase joint support, reduce your pain level, speed up the healing process and return your leg to a functioning level. Check with your doctor first, since using an exercise bike may not be appropriate for your individual condition.
The suggested exercise bike for use after a broken leg must have a seat height specifically suited to your body. Find the correct height by sitting on the bike. Place the right pedal at its lowest point. Extend your right leg toward the pedal. The correct height will be the point where your foot just touches the pedal and you can perform a complete revolution, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Adjust the seat height accordingly. Make certain to securely tighten the adjustment knob to avoid unnecessary seat movement while using it.
The suggested bike for use after a broken leg needs to be adjustable for your individual level of recuperation. Bike tension levels reflect the amount of resistance, or intensity, placed on your muscles while using the bicycle. Tension levels vary, with higher levels reflecting increased levels of resistance. Initial stages of broken leg rehabilitation start by using the lowest level of tension, according to the Save Your Knees website. Slowly increase the intensity level as you become stronger and more flexible.
Depending on your individual injury, different types of bikes can be used during your recuperation. Stationary bikes can be classified as upright, where your upper body sits in an upright position with your arms either along your side or placed on the front of the control area. Recumbent bikes have cushioned seats and backs that distribute your body weight over a wider area and place your body in a reclined position that allows for greater flexibility and extension of your legs, according to Dr. Paul K. Nolan.
The suggested bike for use after a broken leg needs to contain pedaling options. Depending on your individual injury, rehabilitation may begin by having you pedaling backward, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Pedaling backward increases your joint flexibility and muscle strength in the initial stages of recuperation. Only after reaching a comfortable stage where pedaling seems effortless can your rehabilitation progress advance to the next stage, which involves increasing your intensity while pedaling forward.
The suggested bike for use after a broken leg can benefit you best by having a built-in timer. Timers allow you to adjust the time you spend during your rehabilitation period. Initial stages of recuperation involve setting the timer at lower time durations, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. As your muscles and body become stronger and more flexible, increase the time spent on your bike by one minute per session. Having a timer on your bike can increase your focus and save you from turning your head and possibly losing balance while riding your bike. Increased focus can improve your bike workout and prevent injury.
Crystal Welch has a 30-year writing history. Her more than 2,000 published works have been included in the health and fitness-related Wellness Directory, Earthdance Press and Higher Source. She is an award-winning writer who teaches whole foods cooking and has written a cookbook series. She operates an HON-code-certified health-related blog with more than 95,000 readers. Welch has a B.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.