Living a long life sucks for some people. According to American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, senior citizens are prone to arthritis, adult onset diabetes, kidney problem, dementia, Parkinson’s, glaucoma, cataracts, lung problems, osteoporosis, depression, Alzheimer, cardiovascular problems, obesity, and macular degeneration.
Health Benefits of Exercising for Seniors
While it’s not a magic pill that can remove all of the annoying ailments above, exercising can get rid many of them. The followings are some health benefits of exercising for the elderly:
Helps lose and maintain body weight
The sedentary life that many seniors fall into after retirement means more calories in than out. Exercising regularly overcomes this problem by boosting your metabolism and increase muscle mass. All this lessen your chance of being overweight and catching type-2 diabetes.
Improves digestion and immune system
Digestion and immune system goes hand in hand. A large portion of your immune system is in your GI tract. The healthier your digestive system is the better your immune system will be.
Aerobic exercises such as walking, running, and cycling pumps your blood and massages your abdominal muscle. When things flow along nicely in your GI tract, your digestive system will stay healthy.
Improves mobility and flexibility
Regular exercise reduces the symptoms of arthritis, enhances your mobility, and lets you go about your daily days without pain on your joints.
Improves cardiovascular fitness
Don’t you just hate it when your lungs call 911 after a 10-minute walk? Don’t just complain – do something about it! If you exercise regularly 2 to 3 times a week, your lungs and heart won’t so bitchy anymore when you’re running daily errands.
Improves bone density
Numerous studies have proven that regular exercises have a profound effect on bone density. Bye bye osteoporosis!
OK, now that we know the benefits of exercising for senior citizens, how about if we move on to the type of exercise that fits old folks perfectly.
The simplest form of exercise fit for old people is walking. A literal walk in the park every afternoon for half an hour is a great way to improve your overall fitness. Do this before dinner and your improve the digestion of whatever menu you have that day.
For when the weather is not so friendly, exercising at home is OK too. Riding an stationary cycle get the large muscle group on your lower body to work. You can burn significant calories in the comfort of your home.
If you haven’t gotten an idea of which bike is the right one for you, just have a look at the reviews below. We have compiled only the best exercise bikes for seniors like you.
The Nautilus R614 comes unassembled, but there’s nothing to worry. The assembly manual is clear and easy to follow. Putting everything together is a straightforward process. You’ll have it up and ready in an hour or so.
Once assembled, you can see that it’s a sturdy piece of machine. You know you’re going to have years of great exercise sessions on it.
With 20 resistance levels, you can always pick the one that suit you the most. The lowest resistance is perfect for people recovering from knee injuries or people who are out of shape and want to take things slowly. As your fitness level improve, the bike has plenty of resistance to keep you challenged along the way.
The adjustable seat on the R614 accommodates riders from 5’2″ up to 6’2″. The maximum weight limit is 300 lbs. so overweight people can still ride this with confidence.
The vented seat and back support is nice. It keeps your bottom and back cool during the workout. If you’re the type who sweats a lot, place a fan behind the bike and point it towards your back. The breeze will keep you cool throughout your exercise session. By the way, the bike comes with a built-in fan, but it’s a joke. It hardly blows enough air to cool your face.
If you look at the picture of the bike, you can see that it’s not cushioned. Yes, you read that right. It’s comfortable to sit on, but if you have thin butt, that could be a problem when you exercise for half an hour or more. You may want to get a gel seat cushion to go along with the bike. Luckily, the more you exercise on this bike, the muscles down there will get bigger too. It’s like you’re growing your own seat padding.
The ME-709 keeps things simple. It’s a recumbent type so you can slide in and out easily. It only has 8 resistance levels but it will do well for most circumstances. Whether you’re an 80-year-old with a leg problems or a 60-year-old with cardio issues, the bike can give you the right amount of resistance to get you back in shape.
With its padded seat and back support, exercising on the ME-709 feels comfortable even when you’re pushing it for hours. Got sciatica or lower-back problems? The padding will keep you comfortable for sure. Since the seat wider than it is long, it feels nice for big men and women to sit on. It supports your whole butt instead of just a tiny portion of it.
The heavy-duty steel frame on the ME709 feels durable. If you weigh 300+ lbs, this bike will handle you without problem. There’s no wobbling when you pedal hard. Marcy also covers the steel frame with thick powder-coated finish so you know it’s not going to end up a rusty piece of junk in just matter of months.
Since the machine itself is compact, you can conveniently place this machine in any spot in your home or apartment. Yes, even if your apartment is a bit on the small side, this will fit in just right. When you need to move it around, the small wheels at the bottom make it a breeze for you.
“Is it quiet?”
Yes, yes it is. Just like the Nautilus r614, the Marcy recumbent bike ME709 is also whisper-quiet. You won’t be waking anyone when you exercise at 3AM.
A simple LCD display shows time, speed, distance, and calories burned. You can always track your progress easily. The only annoying thing about the display is that you have to manually reset your time each time you ride the bike.
Nevertheless, it’s still an amazing piece of exercise machine for seniors. Just slide in, lean back, and start pedaling. Before you know it, you’ll be puttin’ 1000+ miles on this machine.
The Schwinn 270 is the most feature-packed of the bunch. It has 29 user programs. You can use the RideSocial App to experience what Schwinn calls the “Mixed-reality Exercise.”
You can exercise on this machine daily without experiencing discomfort.The seat is one of the most comfortable ones in the market. The seat, of course, is adjustable. Doesn’t matter if you’re 5’1″ or 6’4″, you can pedal just as easy.
This machine is easy to assemble, just make sure you put it close to a wall charger so you can easily connect the AC adapter to the frame assembly.
Should You Assemble The Bike Yourself?
Anyone with any experience building IKEA furniture should find assembling an exercise bike a doable task somewhere in the moderate difficulty level.
The huge challenge here is that an exercise bikes can get really heavy. The Schwinn 270, for example, weighs 101 pounds shipped, 93 pounds assembled. Moving such a weight can prove to a be a huge challenge for many people, not just seniors.
That said, the major parts of the bike – such as the drivetrain – usually come pre-assembled. All that’s left is to put the 15 – 20 parts together with nuts and bolts.
Let’s have a peek at the Schwinn 270 parts to give you an idea.
As you can see, a huge chunk of the bike – the heaviest of them all – is already assembled. You just need to stick the rest the main frame. That big chunk, however, weighs more than 70 pounds.
Now, most stores, including Amazon, have the option of professional exercise bike assembly that you can select when you buy from them. The professional assembler has the necessary tools, skills, and experience to put things together in a timely manner. A truly stress-free solution for you.
The Amazon Exercise Bike Assembly service allows you to get price estimates from the pros for free then you book the one you feel comfortable with. Typically, though, it’s about $75 and up.
Perhaps, but you can’t deny the convenience factor here. If you’re old and don’t have the confidence to lug a 100 pounds package around then putting a hundred parts together, a professional help sounds pretty nice.
So, a professional bike assembly is a must?
Of course not. Like we’ve said earlier, anyone who have the IKEA furniture-bulding experience can put an exercise bike together. All three bikes we feature here are known for easy assembly. Whether you want to save money by doing the assembly yourself or get a pro to do it, it’s all up to you.
Is Riding a Stationary Bike the Best Exercise for Seniors?
Perhaps. It depends on a lot of things. Some people enjoy exercising at home instead of walking around the neighborhood. Some prefer swimming while others prefer yoga. It’s all good as long as they’re not strenuous exercises.
When you past fifty, you can push your body as hard as you used to. Your muscles, bones, heart, and lungs are way past their prime. It is imperative to pick an exercise regime that fits your current fitness level. For instance, let’s say it’s been years since the last time you workout. It would be quite impossible for you to go jogging an hour a day. You will most likely end up in the hospital.
For many seniors, regular exercise at low to medium intensity is usually the safest choice. Riding an exercise bike falls nicely into this category. You can easily adjust how hard you want to go and how long. The same thing can be said about walking or running no treadmills. It’s all up to your own preference to pick which one you will most likely stick with long enough to enjoy any real benefits.