As we get on in age, we become less physically able. Still, it's important to be agile, and for this, exercising is imperative. To continue to be able to manage our physical functions and prevent us from being physically injured or declining cognitively, we need to remain fit and healthy.
For this, we need to invest in just one piece of home exercise equipment, of which the best is an exercise bike for seniors. However, the market is rife with exercise bikes, so choosing the best recumbent bike for seniors is a sensitive task.
Usually, consoles on exercise bikes let you choose programs according to your fitness goals. By being so structured, goal-setting becomes disciplined and effective, and you stay motivated in the long run. There are bikes with extensive workout programs that allow you to build any aspect of your physical fitness—strength, cardio, etc. They could even change your resistance level.
Digital console with LCD screens:
This unit helps give you a picture of your position in your workout. With inexpensive bikes, you could receive very minimal information, and you probably will have to do without a backlit screen and most of the features of premium models.
Heart rate monitors:
For more accurate heart rate monitoring, you should look for models where these monitors aren’t in-built. Instead, the unit should be synced with an external chest strap heart rate monitor.
To customize and personalize your bike so that it recognizes you and your height, weight, name, age, fitness goals, etc., you need to buy a model with more user settings features.
With Bluetooth connectivity, you can play music while you work out and some apps like MyFitnessPal to track your progress.
USB port and data exchange:
Some high-end recumbent bikes are designed to charge your mobile phones while you exercise. For this, a data cable is usually included.
Some recumbent bikes can also play music while you work out, though the speakers aren’t always of the highest quality.
If you want to catch a movie, read a book or surf the net while you work out, some bikes come inbuilt with a tablet, smartphone, and Kindle holder.
The more features your bike has, the easier and more convenient it will be to use. It will also give you more exercise options. However, if you aren’t keen on all of those, make a list of what you want and ensure that the one you buy has all of them. This way, you can hold down the price line too.
Reviews: Best Recumbent Bike for Seniors
The recumbent exercise bike reviews presented here are guidelines for you to choose a good one for yourself. Now that you know what features to look out for in a recumbent exercise bike let's take a look at three typical exercise bikes for seniors.
1. Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike
Hand pulse sensors on the handle bars for targeting your heart rate zone.
There are many good reasons why seniors should opt for the Exerpeutic bike. For instance, take the fact that it’s a foldable recumbent exercise bike. This is a big advantage for seniors who can easily and quickly fold the bike and put it out of their way so that they can use clear space to walk.
Then, it also has enhanced ergonomics and is highly space-efficient. It is designed to be so robust that it can easily take the rigors of an intense workout. It has all the virtues of being a top-rated exercise bike: comfortable semi-recumbent, affordable and adjustable to various heights.
While you can use this bike for a good exercise workout and can actually lose weight too, it can’t give you an intense workout like a spin bike or fan bike can. Still, it is highly dependable for low impact cardio exercises that you can do comfortably in the privacy of your home.
2. Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Bike
Easy to read computer screen displays speed, distance, time and calories burned
Along the lines of the Exerpeutic bike comes the Marcy ME-709 with similar features that would benefit seniors. A large and comfortable seat and backrest that gives adequate support are top benefits here. Overweight seniors will find this beneficial as this is the best exercise bike to lose weight.
This recumbent exercise bike for seniors is best described as being comfortable, simple, compact and quiet. It balances its simplicity by offering a huge range of amazing benefits that you would normally get from larger models and expensive ones too.
As a senior, if you’re on the lookout for a decently made, affordable bike, you’ll be very happy to own a Marcy ME 709. It is made for light cardio workouts, building strength and stamina and can help you recover from injuries. These virtues make it the bike of choice for seniors.
3. Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
MP3 input to listen to your favorite playlist through in-console speakers
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike is another best exercise equipment for seniors. It offers all features and conveniences that a premium model would have and more. This is a good option for seniors, since it offers 20 resistance levels, making it perfect for all skill levels.
Excellent in the mid-range of exercise bikes, it has it all to help with body toning and loss weight and enhancing comfort. It also has a vast range of useful features which aid the user to have a workout that will help him reach his workout goals.
Things That Seniors Should Consider Before Buying
There are several designs and types of best recumbent bike for seniors today, some suitable to your needs, others not.
Before buying a recumbent bike for the use of a senior, you should do your homework for finding the best product. Your research should count a few parameters, which can help you to assess the utility and comfort of the bike your will shortlist finally.
We have created a checklist here for making your recumbent bike shopping a bit easier and prolific in terms of ROI.
Comfort is one of the prime features of a suitable recumbent bike. Unless the user will feel required comfort while using the bike, exercising on the model can be distracting for him/her. Before buying an exercise bike for seniors, you must check the comforting features.
In advance, to assess the bike's comfort features, you may consult the product-reviews. However, you should lay special attention for the adjustable seat and the backrest, the flywheel, and ability to adjusting the height, handle and added features of enjoying hands-free exercise.
The maximum weight capacity is one of the concerns of the buyers because the body weight of the users has to be within the bike’s range.
However, comfort factors may vary from one user to another: you must buy the bike according to your preferred comfort features.
Size of the bike is a premium criteria of purchase. Here the size of the bike is not the concern but the sizes of the seat and backrest matter most. The bigger seat allows easy to seat ability and enhanced comfort to adjust while working out.
If you an overweight person and your mobility is a bit challenged due to your seniority of age, the bigger seat size and larger backrest are definitely advantageous for you. Adjustable size of leg space is an additional advantage of a recumbent bike if you have longer legs.
You have to assemble the bike by yourself unless you get installer support at your place. Therefore it is better to buy a bike, which is easy to assemble.
Most of the recumbent bikes are sold with assembly instruction. Before you buy an exercise bike, always check if you will get an instruction manual for the DIY assembly.
Sometimes you may find the assembly instruction a bit complicated to follow. Unless you find an instructional video on YouTube about the bike, it may not be wise to buy the same model.
Home Workout Space
Home workspace is a deciding factor, especially when it is about accommodating a recumbent bike in your premise. There are exercise bikes that are not space saver. Unless you live in a spacious area, it is good to buy a space saver model.
Some workout bikes come with folding option. If you have space constraint in your apartment, you may go for buying these models. These bikes are absolutely storage friendly.
If you want to place the bike in your office chamber to avoid the boredom of working in a sedentary lifestyle, mini recumbent bikes can be a good option. Similarly, if you have an exclusive workout room, you can go for a spacious bike, which you can fix permanently there.
Budget is again a deciding factor for a purchase. Your budget may not tally with other buyers, so you need to research according to your budget. You may opt for finance schemes if needed.
Always keep in mind that good bikes are not available at a cheaper price. Only you have to buy a bike with a justified price.
Go for the bikes with warranty coverage. The warranty coverage will help you to get extra protection for your purchase.
Is a Recumbent Bike Good For Seniors? (The Benefits)
Yes, the recumbent bike is a better option for seniors in comparison to conventional exercise bikes with an upright seat arrangement. There are some definite real-life conveniences. Although the comfort level is a variable issue and there are several benefits that seniors can reap in the long- and short-run by using a recumbent exercise bike regularly.
let's check here some of the obvious advantages of the recumbent bike that seniors mostly like.
Improves cardiovascular health and blood circulation
As we grow older, it becomes more and more important to maintain a good cardiovascular health. This is the kind of support seniors get from riding an exercise bike. By cycling for a minimum of five minutes a day, seniors can improve their blood circulation, normalize blood sugar levels and reduce high blood pressure. With these results, seniors can keep clogged arteries and heart attacks at bay.
With age, the joints and the overall skeleton weaken, making seniors prone to injury and falls. However, due to the high impact of certain cardio aerobic exercises, the joints could be affected, for instance, skipping or running.
For instance, if a senior takes to running for exercise, each time his foot makes an impact with the ground, it will send a shock which will travel up his skeletal framework and impact his joints and bones. On the other hand, exercising on a recumbent bike makes one’s movements smooth and fluid.
It also gets the heart to pump without putting any strain on the joints. Since stationary cycling is the least stressful of all cardio exercises, it is the preferred choice of many, including seniors. You can exercise on your cycle every day and so reduce your risk of injury since this activity lowers your mechanical stress on your knees, back, hips and ankles.
There’s another fallout of age to consider here: body stiffness. Often, due to stiffness in the joints, movement becomes increasingly difficult in old age. This happens because as seniors, your movements aren’t as much as they used to be, and you devote less or no time to physical activities.
For this reason, exercising a little each day is critical as it renews muscles and ligaments for enhanced mobility. It does this by focusing on greater movement in the legs, which as you know, is the basis of the body.
Doctors also say that if seniors use exercise bikes, they will experience enhanced muscular flexibility and have a better range of motion. By constantly rotating the legs to move the pedals of a bike, all the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the lower body are stretched and strengthened.
This increases mobility as the body now gets accustomed to movement again, and the body becomes more flexible and stronger. Additionally, the lower back muscles are also strengthened and do away with back pain that seniors usually experience.
Recently, lots of research is done on all the benefits of exercising, especially when we are aging. Some of the most talked about factors of seniors' exercises are improved strength, improved mobility, as well as reduced fall risk: according to survey by The National Institute on Aging, a recumbent bike is the best exercise tool for the seniors.
Upright Vs. Recumbent – Which is The Best For Seniors
Upright vs. Recumbent is a global quandary. It highly depends on the physical ability of the person doing the exercise. However, in the age of senior person, flexibility and muscle power often get compromised. In these cases, recumbent bikes are a better choice than an upright bike for a few reasons.
As it is generally assumed that senior people may have some fitness and flexibility issues, we may safely conclude that recumbent bikes are a safer option for them for exercising than the upright bike models.
A Long Wheelbase or Short Wheelbase Recumbent! Which is Better for Seniors?
Let’s take a comparative study between a long wheelbase recumbent and a short wheelbase recumbent.
Stability vs. Portability
If you are looking for more stability, then a long wheelbase is a better option in recumbent bike variety. These LW bikes are easier to ride also. Alternatively, if you are looking for enhanced maneuvering and portability, short wheelbase recumbent bikes are always one step ahead.
Front Wheel Size
Short wheelbase recumbent models often use a 16" or 17" front wheel: it helps improve the chain clearance. These small diameter tires offer reduced lifespan although, particularly when they are loaded heavily.
Long wheelbase recumbent bikes are built with 20" front wheels, which are lightly loaded, so the tires last longer. Replacement tires are mostly easily available. Some LW models are well-matched with low-rider front racks, this they work well for loaded touring.
SWB Recumbent Bicycles are less awkward to store and transport. Alternatively, LWB Recumbent bikes are bulkier, and their bigger size are responsible for making storage or their transportation more challenging.
SWB Recumbent Bicycles are less prone to skidding due to a more equitable distribution of weight on the tires. Alternatively, LWB Recumbent bikes are more stable and steady than SWB recumbent bikes.
As a whole, in general, senior people mostly prefer stability, smoothness, and comfort features. Both the varieties have their individual pros and cons. Hence suitability is a variable factor here.
Hope you will get benefits from the tips about the “Ultimate guide on the recumbent exercise bike for seniors." Keep us posted if we have failed to cover any important aspect of buying the recumbent bikes for seniors.
By reading these reviews and understanding your needs, you can choose a best recumbent bike for seniors and reap all stationary bike benefits related to your health and well-being.