What Kind of Exercise Bike Is Good for Seniors?
Exercise is important for seniors, but it also can be risky. Bicycling is an effective form of cardiovascular exercise, but the potential of falling makes it too dangerous for most seniors. A good exercise bike for seniors is a stationary recumbent bicycle. It provides you with all of the health benefits of riding an ordinary, upright bicycle with none of the risks of injury.
A recumbent bicycle places you in a reclined position that allows you to maintain balance easily. An upright stationary bike also is easy to maintain balance on, but not to the same extent. Most recumbent stationary bikes allow you to adjust how far back you are reclined for maximum comfort and stability. Recumbent bikes also have a large bucket seat that is more comfortable than an ordinary bicycle seat and provides additional support.
The purpose of a recumbent stationary bike is to provide you with a safe form of cardiovascular exercise that is similar to riding a bicycle. Recumbent bikes also can be good for strengthening your legs without putting any strain on your joints because they are so low impact.
Recumbent bikes can have many features based on the model you purchase. Some recumbent bikes have a built-in heart rate monitor, speed and resistance adjustments, a seat adjustment and an odometer to track your mileage. Bikes with more electronic features are more expensive than those that offer few or none at all.
There are virtually no safety issues with riding a stationary recumbent bike. Your feet are strapped to the pedals, so there is no chance of them slipping off, and the large seat and reclined position prevent you from losing your balance. However, it's important that you do not go overboard while working out on one. A recumbent bike enables you to pedal with much greater force than you would on an ordinary bike because you can press your back against the seat. Generating too much force in this position can put excess strain on your knees. If you find that you have to push your back against the seat to pedal, you are pedaling with too much force or resistance. Use a heart rate monitor to make sure you are within your target heart rate.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How much phsyical activity do adults need? Updated January 9, 2020.
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Jason Jensen began his professional freelance writing career in 2010. He is an ACT-certified personal trainer and longtime vegetarian with an enthusiasm for fitness and nutrition. Jensen has also worked as a musician, freelance photographer, audio engineer and Web designer.