The recumbent style of stationary bike is best for seniors. The reclined seat position offers comfort, support and stability. Seniors can gain the health benefits of a low-impact workout on a recumbent bike while reducing injury risk. Recumbent bikes provide gentle strength training to improve muscle strength, posture and balance. Seniors need to check with their doctor before incorporating a stationary bike into their exercise regimen.
Recumbent bikes are equipped with a reclined seat position and firm seat back with the wheel in front, not under the rider. The rider just sits back and moves the pedals with their feet. The bike's low center of gravity places riders close to the floor with legs extended, which is safer for seniors with compromised mobility and balance issues. Recumbent bikes come with heavier front wheels and therefore offer greater stability, and most models come with easily adjustable seats and pedals with foot straps. The electronic display can make it easy for seniors to read and operate. Magnetic resistance systems allow seniors to easily change their resistance level on the electronic display choosing from easy rides to challenging simulated uphill rides and everything in between.
A recumbent stationary bike provides an easy and safe way for seniors to get a solid cardio workout and build strength and flexibility in their leg muscles. When the weather is too hot to safely exercise outdoors, a recumbent stationary bike helps keep seniors fit indoors in a comfortable climate. Recumbent bikes work the abdominal, gluteal and hamstring muscles, helping to reduce lower back pain. Riding a recumbent bike is a natural pain reliever and mood lifter due to the endorphins released during aerobic activity.
Purchasing a Bike
Recumbent stationary bikes are available at gyms or you can purchase your own. Before purchasing a recumbent stationary bike, research models for reliability and ease of use. Let the rider test out the machine in the store or at a gym. Have the rider pedal for a few minutes at a moderate speed and see if they experience any discomfort. Observe how the rider manages getting off and on the bike and note any safety issues that need to be addressed.
Recumbent stationary bikes are safe for most people when used properly. Seniors need to take extreme caution upon boarding and exiting the recumbent bike. Skid-proof shoes should be worn and feet need to stay inside the strap of the pedals while riding the bike. Remind seniors to stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after a cycling session. Seniors who experience any pain, dizziness or other signs of discomfort while riding a recumbent bike should cease riding immediately and contact their doctor.