Published in the Lynn Haven Ledger, July 2011
When is it okay to be Stationary? Article by: Clark Stream, PA-C
s we age we tend to accept a more stationary way of life. Immobility and inactivity can lead to serious health problems. Fortunately, there is a simple and easy to use solution for those with mobility issues…A little invention called the Stationary Bike. Stationary exercise bikes are a fun and safe way to get regular exercise. There are many styles of exercise bikes. For those who cannot sit on an exercise bike, a floor bike, often called a pedal exerciser can be used. These small mini cycles allow the patient to sit in a comfortable chair with arms, or even in a wheelchair while exercising. They are often used in rehabilitative and medical centers. The pedal exerciser serves as a useful tool for decreasing the amount of time you sit sedentary. The pedal exerciser consists of a small metal frame and two pedals. It is a light device, usually weighing less than 15 lbs. Most units have straps on the pedals to secure your feet or hands so they do not slip during exercise. Some pedal exercisers are basic pedaling machines with no electronic components. Other pedal exercisers include an electronic monitor that provides feedback about your workout, such as time, distance, calories burned and speed. Pedal exercisers can be used on a table top as an arm exerciser or on the floor to exercise the legs. Convenient tension control knob allows a broad range of pedal resistance for a progressive exercise program. Stationary pedal exerciser workouts are low impact and ideal for individuals with bone or back problems. If you have osteoporosis, working out on a stationary bike can help reduce pain and delay bone degeneration long term. Pedal exercisers are a great alternative for patients who have numbness in their feet, balance issues or who are prone to falls. The stationary pedal exerciser provides a good cardiovascular workout. It also strengthens muscle in the thighs and legs. It improves flexibility and promotes good balance and posture. These are physical benefits that can help patients stay strong, healthy and mobile. Several senior studies show that working out on a stationary bike or pedal exerciser can enhance mood, promote better sleep and increase energy levels. Burning calories on a pedal exerciser can help patients lose weight or avoid gaining unhealthy extra pounds. How difficult is it to start a regular exercise program? Not at all, just place the pedal exerciser on the floor, place your feet into the pedal straps and begin rotating the pedals forward. You can get a great workout watching TV, reading the Lynn Haven Ledger or listening to music. Pedal exercisers can be found locally at medical supply stores, several pharmacies and online. They start at around thirty dollars. They are an affordable way to get your exercise program started. And remember, being stationary does not mean you have to give up your quality of life.