What To Look For In An Exercise Bike For Elders
Here are some of the pointers to keep in mind when shopping for the best exercise bike for seniors:
Seat size and adjustment: Recumbent bikes have a larger seat than upright bikes. However, you need to look for a seat in relation to your body proportions. Too large or too small a seat will not offer optimum back support. Also, the seat should be easily adjustable should be able to adjust the degree of recline to your comfort. It should allow you to adjust the seat to your height as well.
Bright, electronic display: The display should be clear, large, bright and easy to read. You should be able to read your workout statistics at a glance.
Easy programming: The controls must be located in a convenient location. It should enable adjustment to your fitness levels.
A heart rate monitor, odometer and resistance control: These features will not only make your workout safe and challenging but also customized to your needs. A heart rate monitor will ensure you do not cross the target heart rate. Magnetic resistance systems help to adjust speed and resistance levels. An odometer will track your mileage.
Level of complexity: There are fancy options as well as those with very simplistic designs. You should choose a level of complexity that you are comfortable using. Although all exercise equipment comes with an instruction manual, the device you choose should be simple for you to use.
Benefits Of Knee Exercises
It is natural for pain to develop in our knees as we mature. Exercises will strengthen the muscles around your knees, so there will be less strain on your knees. They also allow the joint to keep moving, which adds to managing the pain.
It is best to be advised by a medical professional when you begin exercising, so that your programme of exercise is tailored to suit you and your knees. Generally, you should aim to exercise at least 30 minutes on five days a week. You can split your 30 minutes up during the day, to perhaps two sets of 15 minutes, or even three sets of 10 minutes.
Before beginning any new exercises, it is best to consult your doctor.
For each of the exercises described below, you should do a number of repetitions. Begin with 10 on each side and add to this as you get fitter.
If you feel any pain in your knee, stop the exercise and consult a medical professional.
Heel And Calf Stretch
This stretch targets the muscles in your lower leg, specifically your calf muscles.
To do this stretch:
Read Also: Knee High Combat Boots Wide Calf
Benefits Of Knee Strengthening Exercises
The Arthritis Foundation state that exercise may be the most effective way to treat osteoarthritis without surgery, while the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons note that strong and flexible muscles can keep knees healthy and prevent injury.
Knee strengthening exercises do not affect the knee joint directly, but they strengthen the muscles surrounding it. Strong muscles in the legs can help provide support for the knees. This support may alleviate pressure and strain on these joints, which can relieve pain and help a person be more active.
The following exercises can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. If a person experiences pain during these exercises, they should stop doing them and speak to a doctor. Anyone with severe knee pain should consult a doctor before trying to exercise.
It is best to warm up with light exercise before starting any knee strengthening exercises. Examples of gentle exercise include walking, cycling, and using an elliptical machine, all of which put minimal stress on the knees. This activity will help increase blood flow to the muscles and allow them to be more flexible.
Muscles involved: Quadriceps and abdominal muscles.
Hamstring Curls On A Weight Bench
Muscles involved: Hamstrings and gluteal muscles.
This exercise is a variation of the standing hamstring curl. A person can try this version if they have access to a weight bench that is purpose-built for this exercise. It may be more challenging than the standing hamstring curl, depending on how much weight a person uses.
You May Like: Hyaluronic Acid Injection For Knee
Couch To 5k Running Plan
New to running? Couch to 5K gets you off the sofa and running in just 9 weeks.
The One You Couch to 5K app gives you a choice of running coaches and helps you track your progress.
As well as Laura, who features on the NHS Couch to 5K podcasts, you can also be coached by celebrities Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sanjeev Kohli or Michael Johnson.
Common Knee Problems In Older Adults
Seniors are more prone to knee injuries and diseases since they naturally lose their younger years flexibility, strength, and balance. As a senior, youll want to be extra careful when doing your daily activities or engaging in sports to prevent complications. The following are some common knee problems among seniors:
Recommended Reading: How To Cure Arthritis In Knee
Heres What To Do If Achy Knees Limit Your Ability To Move With Ease
Some things get better with agewine, parenthood, and Betty White, to name a few. Unfortunately, your knees are not one of them.
Overuse is one of the main causes of knee pain, says Lisa Woods, a personal trainer and yoga teacher in Eagle, Colorado. And the older we get, the more weve used them.
Its a similar story for those with osteoarthritis of the knee, which affects 10 percent of men and 13 percent of women aged 60 and older, according to a review in Clinics in Geriatric Medicine. Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and the eventual loss of cartilage in the joints, Woods says. This happens over time, so it makes sense that most people affected are over 50.
The list of knee injuries that often coincide with aging is long, says Douglas Ebner, D.P.T., a physical therapist at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. It includes:
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome, or pain in the front of the knee
- Meniscus tears and degeneration, or when certain tissues in the knee are torn
- Iliotibial band syndrome, or when the ligament that runs along the outside of the thigh and attaches to the knee is tight or inflamed
Whether youve already been diagnosed with these conditions or youre hoping to prevent age-related aches and pains, certain exercises can help or hurt. Here are the dos and donts of working out to protect your knees.
W Sit And Hurdler Stretch
W sitting is normally seen in children, but has also been adopted by athletes to stretch hip rotators and quadriceps, Ebner says. The hurdler stretch is a similar stretch focusing on one leg at a time. Both stretches are bad because of the large amounts of torque applied to the knee, hip, and ankle.
Fix it: Find stretches for all fitness levels on the SilverSneakers GO app . Like a stretch? You can save it to your favorites.
You May Like: Why Is My Knee Swollen
Exercises And Training Programs
Leg exercisers can be very helpful for these exercises and training programs:Mobility challenges: Using a leg exerciser regularly can help you deal with mobility issues. When the pedals move your feet back and forth, they aid blood circulation.Injury rehabilitation: If you have a leg injury, a leg exerciser can help your recovery by helping you move the injured leg gradually.
Buttocks , and back of the thighs .
Placing both hands on your chair and standing up tall.
Keeping your legs straight slowly bring it back behind you and then bring your feet back together.
Repeat for the set number of repetitions and do the same on the opposite leg.
For Video Demonstration of Hip Extensions:
PROGRESSING THE EXERCISE: Using resistance bands, ankle weights.
Muscles Affecting The Knee
There are two major muscle groups that affect the strength and stability of the knee joint. The quadriceps and the hamstrings. The calf muscles also affect the knee joint slightly.
The quadriceps muscles are the muscles in the front of your thigh. They are responsible for extending the knee joint. They are one of the strongest muscle groups in the human body and you use them any time you walk, squat, jump or do pretty much anything with your legs.
Many seniors have tight and relatively weak quadriceps. The quads will affect the stability, mobility, and strength of the knee joint significantly.
The other significant muscle group affecting the knees are the hamstrings. Hamstrings are the muscles that run along the back of your thigh. They are responsible for both knee flexion and hip extension.
Hamstrings are something that are typically very weak and very tight in seniors and to be honest most people that arent athletes, do a lot of strength training, yoga, or manual work.
Finally, the calve muscles can affect the knee. They dont directly affect the knee joint, but the strong ligaments originate from around the knee joint. Especially if they are very tight, they can cause pain behind the knee and even reduce knee flexion.
Don’t Miss: Smith And Nephew Knee Replacement Lawsuit
Benefits Of Knee Exercises Over Time
If you do the right knee strengthening exercises with good form and consistency, you can expect to see results over time. Listen to your body, remember to stretch often, and get moving! Keep in mind, healthy habits make a more resilient body.
Make your workouts fun and seek the professional advice that applies to you and any condition you may have. With stronger knees, youll be able to withstand all the occasions in life for years to come.
Common Symptoms Causes Of Knee Pain
Volkers is not alone.
Most people experience knee pain at some time in their life, says Bruce Stewart, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Shoreline Orthopaedics in Holland, Michigan. Common causes include injuries and osteoarthritis as well as meniscal tears. These are ruptures in part of the knee resulting from a twisting motion.
The symptoms of knee arthritis increase with age starting at 45, says physical therapist Kari Orlandi, director of outpatient operations for the Cleveland Clinics Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy, east region. Several variables contribute: being overweight, having a family history of arthritis, injuries and just general wear and tear on the joints associated with aging.
Some knee pain will go away on its own within a few weeks with a reduction in activity level, Stewart says. But if it doesnt get better, then it may be something to get checked out. Seeing a primary care provider, an orthopedic surgeon, a physiatrist or a sports medicine physician is a good first step. Treatments will depend on the cause of the pain, but most knee pain will respond well to physical therapy and a home exercise program, he says.
AARP Membership $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.
Read Also: Why Is My Knee Hurting So Bad
What Not To Do
- Do not let the back arch during the exercise.
- Do not jerk or bounce the leg or lift it above the knee on the bent leg.
- People who have osteoporosis or a back compression fracture should not perform this exercise.
Muscles involved: Hamstrings and gluteal muscles.
Kneeling Rear Leg Raise
Get down on your hands and knees, ensuring that your weight is evenly distributed at both points. Engage your core and extend your right leg back so it’s hovering slightly above the ground. Point your toes.
While keeping the leg straight, lift it as high as you can without arching your back or feeling any pain. Lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions.
In addition to core-strengthening exercises, older adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, recommends the World Health Organization. This activity should be done in bouts of at least 10 minutes at a time.
You May Like: What Does Constant Knee Pain Mean
Based On Your Lifestyle
The best exercises may also depend on your lifestyle. If someone sits a lot, they need to do exercises that will allow the knee joint to extend, Woods says. This could be as simple as a seated leg extension in which you lift the knee and extend the leg. One caution: People with arthritis or pain at the kneecap may want to avoid extending their legs past a 45-degree angle, Ebner says.
In contrast, someone who stands most of the day needs to give their knees a chance to bend. To do so, simply lift one heel and then the other toward your backside while standinglike youre trying to kick yourself in the rear. Alternate from side to side a few times, and repeat the exercise every day.
When To See A Pro
Talk to a physical therapist if youd like extra guidance. A physical therapist can develop a balance program for you and supervise as you try out each exercise.
Having someone by your side may give you both the motivation and confidence to try more advanced exercises. They can make sure youre using good posture and getting the most out of each movement. And theyll encourage you to take breaks when needed.
You May Like: What Causes Severe Knee Pain
Get The Care & Support You Need At Our Senior Rehabilitation
The Holiday has excellent facilities for assisted living in Rhode Island. We have dedicated nursing staff and a team of qualified therapists to assist our patients. Our staff will help you follow a healthy and active lifestyle as you age. We believe that all residents should be treated with love, dignity, and respect, which is why we offer comprehensive care plans as per their specific needs.
For more information about our retirement community and facilities for senior living in Rhode Island, call us at . You could also fill out our online form to schedule a tour of our location.
Why Should Seniors Exercise
Of course, everyone knows that exercising improves your quality of life. But as we get older, exercise becomes increasingly necessary. The longer you stay healthy and active, the longer you will be able to retain your independence. Combining aerobic activity and strength training is the best thing you can do to promote your health.
Strength training of the lower body is especially important because your legs are the balance and support system for the rest of the body. Having strong leg muscles is vital when you stand up from a chair and climb stairs. And having good balance in your legs lowers the risk of falls. Falls account for 30 to 40% of injuries in the elderly. They are so common among seniors that an older adult is admitted to the hospital every 11 seconds due to a fall. And, a senior dies every 19 minutes due to a fall. Not only are falls extremely deadly, even a minor one can be debilitating. It can lead you or your loved one into a long downward spiral of degrading health. It is unrealistic that you will be able to completely prevent senior falls. However, regular exercise reduces that risk factor by 23%.
Read Also: Knee Pain Bottom Of Kneecap
Prone Straight Leg Raises
Lie on your stomach with your legs straight. Tighten the muscles in your bottom and the hamstring of one leg, and lift toward the ceiling. Hold 3-5 seconds, lower, and repeat. Do 10-15 lifts and switch sides. You can add ankle weights as you gain strength. You shouldnt feel back pain. If you do, limit how high you lift up. If it still hurts, stop and talk to your doctor.