As we continue to age, getting an effective and convenient way to exercise our body often becomes more challenging and proves to be great if not a tiring task.
It is at this point that you need a pedal exerciser specially designed for seniors. It is safe, easy to use, and pretty flexible. Any senior can hack using one.
A pedal exerciser is a mini exercise bike designed for low impact indoor workouts. Normally, the pedal exerciser does not come with a seat or handlebar. It uses the pedal mechanism to strengthen both your legs and arms and comes in a compact size which ensures that it fits in anyplace that you want. Pedaling has been proven to be a very effective cardio exercise.
In this article, we are going to dig deep into pedal exercisers for seniors in a bid to help you find your best fit.
Let’s start with what key pointers you should look out for when choosing apedal exerciser.
Factors to consider when buying a pedal exerciser for seniors
Before you buy a pedal exerciser, it is always good to do your homework to find an item that fits your needs. Some of the important things that you need to pay attention to include:
Advice from your doctor
It is important that you first consult with your doctor beforehand to seek advice on whether the pedal exercise is good for your health especially if you have heart problems. This will avert any health complications that may otherwise arise.
Size of the pedal
Before buying the pedal exerciser check to confirm the width and height of the pedal. Go for a pedal whose height is shorter than the width. This will ensure that your exerciser is more stable and will not rock when you are pedaling. Considering the size also helps you to settle on a product that will fit your space well.
Pedal exercisers that come with straps to offer more security. Adjustable straps help to keep your feet firm on the pedal. Some brands even provide straps to secure the product to a chair or sofa. This would be an added advantage for the senior because it would help secure him firmly during the workout, avoiding unnecessary injury.
Another important consideration to take before buying a pedal exerciser is how quiet it is during a workout. This is so that you are neither disturbed by noise during your workout nor disturb others around you. The drive belt and resistance system are the keys to what makes a good pedal exerciser quiet.
Bidirectional pedal motion
Settle for a pedal exerciser that allows you to pedal both forward and reverse. Reverse pedaling on some exercises is believed to elicit a higher heart rate. It also reduces pressure on the joints.
Consider going for a pedal exerciser that has a digital display with big numbers for quick visibility. Digital displays enable you to keep track of your workout values. These include distance covered, time, speed, and amount of calories burnt during the entire workout session.
Pedal exercisers that come with a wider platform offer better balance and stability compared to those with a narrow platform. Good balance and stability are important in reducing falls during a workout.
A longer warranty proves the quality of the product and builds consumer confidence. Consider a pedal exerciser that comes with a warranty as it covers repairs and even replacement should the product breakdown or malfunction during the warranty period.
During periods of workout, seniors may require different resistance levels. A pedal exerciser with adjustable resistance can cater to these various needs.
There are a variety of pedal exercisers available in the market giving choices to consumers based on their budget. Select a pedal exerciser that is within your budgeted reach without compromising on the final quality or individual needs and preferences.
How to use a pedal exerciser for elderly people
The best thing about a pedal exerciser is that it enables you to work out both the lower and upper body exercise.
If you want to improve your lower body strength, put the pedal exerciser on the floor. A pedaling or cycling workout will engage your hips flexors, calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. A regular workout schedule can help improve the strength of your legs. As you continue to grow older, muscles found in your leg tend to weaken. However, regular sessions with your foot on the pedal helps strengthen your lower body.
When you want to exercise the upper body, put the pedal exerciser on the table or a countertop. Ensure to secure it safely by placing it on a rubber mat before starting your workout sessions. Perform cycling motion with your arms. This works your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and forearms. Gradually increase the resistance level of your pedal exerciser to strengthen and build your upper body muscles. It is important to carry out the workouts gently so as not to cause any harm or injury to the fragile joints synonymous with old age.
Benefits of using a pedal exerciser for seniors
You can derive several benefits from using a pedal exerciser. These include:
Burning of calories to lose weight and keep fit
Losing the fatty parts above the knee thus keeping your joints healthy and reducing the risks of arthritis
Helping you maintain an active lifestyle without necessarily giving up exercising
Improving your blood circulation and metabolism
Improving your heart rate
Strengthening your lower and upper body muscles
Review of the Best Best Pedal Exerciser For Seniors
For more than a decade, Sunny Health & Fitness has taken pride in distributing high-quality health and fitness products, and this mini magnetic bike is no exception.
For starters, this mini exercise bike is lightweight, making it perfectly portable. You can carry it around if you so wish.
It is made of a durable steel frame, so this bike is guaranteed to give you years of great service.
This Sunny Health & Fitness magnetic bike is all about versatility. It features eight tension controllers ensuring that you get the most out of every workout. It’s magnetic pedaling systems are smooth and silent, so you can comfortably go on with your workout session without the fear of disturbing other people around you.
The exercise bike’s pedals come with adjustable safety straps that keep the feet in place during the entire workout session. They are adjustable, making them perfect fit different foot sizes.
If you are particular about keeping track of your calories then you will love that it comes with an LCD that shows the number of calories burnt during the workout session, distance covered, speed, to mention a few.
What we like
- It is very lightweight, making it easier to carry around
- Features 8 different tension controllers that allow the user to exercise different muscles
- Features an LCD to keep track of your progress
- Its pedals have safety straps to keep you secure
What we don’t like
- There have been complaints of the exerciser sliding off the floor
- The maximum user weight of this bike is only 220 pounds
If you are particular about buying from reputable brands, you are better off with this exerciser. However, you must be weighing 220 pounds and below to use.
Like most mini exercise bikes, this one also features a bright, easy-to-read LCD that shows the time, number of calories burnt during the workout session, distance, and speed, and heart rate.
The bike also has anti-slip pedals that can accommodate any type of shoes.
When it comes to extra comfort and safety, this bike has got you covered. The bike’s pedals feature adjustable straps and a toe ring that keeps the user’s feet in place throughout the workout session. It is also equipped with an adjustable resistance knob, making it ideal for seniors with fragile bones and muscles.
What we like
- It has a bright and easy-to-read LCD to track progress
- It has an adjustable toe ring and pedal straps for extra safety.
- It is lightweight, making portable and easy to store.
What we don’t like
- Some customers claim that it has very little resistance
This is a basic pedal exerciser that is pretty easy to use. If you are not so handy when it comes to putting things together, this is for you.
Another excellent option for seniors is this mini exercise bike by DECELI. This one also features a bright, easy-to-read LCD monitor display that shows the time, the number of calories burned, the rounds of cycling covered, and the speed.
It also has an adjustable resistance button that gives the user a chance to either crank it up or go slow with the workout, depending on their muscles and bone strength.
DECELI is all about safety; that is why the bike has anti-slip pads at the base of the bike to keep it steady throughout the workout session. It’s pedals also have adjustable safety straps to keep the user’s feet in place during the entire workout session.
It has a handle, weighs 13 pounds, and measures 13.7″ by 15.7″ by 11.6,” making it portable and easy to store.
What we like
- It is lightweight, portable and easy to store
- Comes with anti-slip pads to keep it steady
- Features safety straps on the pedals that provide extra safety
What we don’t like
- There have been complaints of the pedal straps not being adjustable enough
Like the other two exercise bikes, this one is also suitable for seniors, but the anti-slip pads at the base are what makes this one stand out from the rest of the exercise bikes.
This pedal exerciser aims at giving the user’s upper and lower muscles a low impact cardio workout, making it ideal for seniors with injuries or those who have undergone surgery.
For starters, it weighs 12 pounds and measures 16.8″ by 12.5″ by 8″ making it lightweight and easy to store, and carry around from room to room.
It also comes with straps on the pedals to help keep the feet in place during the whole workout session. The pedal exerciser features a bright, easy-to-read LCD monitor display that shows the time, speed, number of calories burned, distance, among other weight metrics.
You will love that It is very smooth and quiet, you do not have to worry about disturbing others around them. At the base of the exerciser, there are anti-slip rubber pads to help keep it steady on the floor. Even as you increase the speed it will not keep sliding off.
The exerciser comes with a screwdriver, a wrench, and a simple instruction manual, so it is easy to assemble. It also comes with a one year warranty, so you do not have to worry about malfunctions.
What we like
- It is very affordable.
- It has safety pedal straps and anti-slip rubber pads for extra safety.
- It features a bright, easy-to-read LCD monitor display that shows the time, number of calories burned, the distance, and speed.
- It is very smooth and silent
What we don’t like
- Some customers have reported that it is not that steady
- There isn’t much difference between the resistance levels
What makes this bike unique is that it mainly targets specific upper and lower body muscles, making it ideal for seniors with muscle injuries or those who have undergone surgeries.
Wrapping up our list is the Vaunn Medical Folding Pedal Exerciser. This pedal exerciser is unique because it is designed to provide a low impact muscle workout for people undergoing physiotherapy. So judging from that, it’s resistance levels are low.
It weighs 59 pounds and it folds down with less hassle making it easy to store and carry around. The exerciser does not need any assembling, which makes it even more suitable for seniors.
It features a bright, easy-to-read LCD that shows the revolutions per minute, time, number of calories burned, to name a few. Like all the other bikes we have reviewed, this one also has adjustable pedal straps and anti-slip rubber feet for extra safety during a workout session.
Worried about the exerciser having malfunctions? Well, it has a one year warranty so you can have a replacement as long as you have bought it from a reputable seller and you are well within the warranty terms.
What we like
- It is lightweight and easy to store
- It is ready to use upon delivery
- Features an adjustable resistance knob
- It has anti-slip rubber feet and adjustable pedal straps for extra safety
What we don’t like
- Only ideal for people who only want super low impact exercises
The features of this pedal exerciser make it ideal for seniors who are undergoing physiotherapy.
As we age, we tend to become more prone to falling and causing injury to ourselves. The fear of this makes most elderly persons stop exercising. However, a pedal exerciser is safe to use and will greatly help you maintain an active lifestyle.
Even though it is a low impact exerciser it is pretty effective. It is also easy to use and can be carried anywhere so you are not limited to doing your workout in only one spot. You can check out how to use one here.
What’s a Pedal Exerciser for elderly People?
A pedal exerciser is plainly a miniature bicycle purposed for indoor workouts.
Instead of the advanced gears and features you find in a full-sized bike, the exercise peddler for elderly is primarily composed of a pedal mechanism.
This compact pedal machine offers a fantastic alternative to elderly adults who want to remain active by providing a safer, low impact type of exercise which fits their physical needs.
A pedal machine is very portable and can be placed anywhere in the room.
Who Can Use Pedal Exercisers?
Mini bike pedals are one of the few exercise equipment’s that benefit almost everyone regardless of age.
They are especially good for seniors needing physical therapy, recovering from injury/surgery, or those looking for a productive workout.
Any best rated pedal exerciser can also help strengthen weak muscles, in advancing cardiovascular fitness, and to boost circulation.
Still, it’s a superb way of introducing seniors to workouts as it carries little risk.
Office workers, kids, and the disabled can also gain fitness from using pedaling machines.
Here Are Pedal Exerciser Benefits To Seniors.
Looks can be deceiving and this can be very true for the foot pedal exerciser.
You see, it has this ultra-unsophisticated design and some easily dismiss it.
However, it’s so beneficial in building endurance and bolstering the muscles in both the lower and upper body.
For our elder colleagues, the pedal exerciser can be magical in multiple ways;
- Better Joint Mobility
Many elderly people often dismiss joint pain believing it’s a normal part of aging.
But recurring joint pain will cause mobility issues and may even become chronic radically diminishing their enjoyment of life.
Caregivers should encourage regular pedalling as one of the remedies. Using the best rated pedal exerciser help in making joints more responsive by improving the condition of the cartilages and synovial membranes.
- Higher Blood Circulation
Circulation is the capacity of the heart and your blood vessels to coordinate together in pumping oxygen plus other nutrients right through the body.
So when circulation is inhibited, a seniors’ limbs may feel tingly or numb.
This changes when they start breaking a sweat by pedalling at home. The entire body will become well-nourished even as they enjoy better moods.
- Muscle Toning
Pedaling can help build up muscle tone in all areas including the legs, stomach, and the butt.
Calf muscles, hip flexors, and quadriceps muscles (in front of the thighs) as well as abdominal muscles, chest and shoulders, arm muscles, and muscles of the back all get a treat of their lifetime as a result of the sequence created by the pedaling motion.
- Cardiovascular Fitness
Young or old, we all need to ensure that our hearts are in top condition and the pedal exerciser is very good on this.
It intensifies metabolism, oxygen, and blood flow. This drastically reduces the risk of the limiting ailments such as stroke, heart attack, and cancer with long-term use.
Seniors with disabilities can use the exercise pedals for disabled to shape up their heart.
- Simple Home Exercise
To get the best out of them, exercises like walking and running force the senior to venture outside.
But when the winter chill comes, the weather is not conducive for workouts so he/she is forced to go back to a sedentary living until things change.
Fortunately, a pedal exerciser is built for indoors so he can still work perform a full body workout at home without worrying about the seasons.
Pedal exercisers are not as costly as their bigger siblings (full bike) despite that they’re as good exercise-wise.
They need no training or guidance so elders can still keep fit without subscribing to an expensive gym or hiring a personal trainer.
If you ask me, this is quite cool for the pocket.
- Disease Prevention
People who bike regularly have a reduced likelihood of suffering a heart attack than noncyclists.
Similarly, using a leg exerciser for elderly can reduce the risk of other chronic problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Again, you don’t have to spend the whole day on the machine- a couple of hours in a week can make a big difference.
- Helps You Concentrate & Remember More
One of the greatest exercise peddler benefits is in the brain. Pedaling – like almost every other healthy exercise- improves the brain’s ability to focus and recall things.
Time and again, research has shown that physical exercise helps to preserve memory and enhance overall mental function in the golden years.
- Burns Calories
Alongside other measures such as healthy eating, strength and endurance training offered by a foot exerciser elderly, it can also help burn excess calories over time.
Even light pedaling will burn fat and help shed weight (more on this later).
Types of Pedal Exercisers for Elderly People.
As you go through the dozens of pedal exerciser reviews, you’ll realize there are some very good models to serve almost each and every workout need;
1. Under Desk Pedal Exerciser
This kind fits discreetly under desktops or tabletop surfaces. It may have a detaching monitor to help the senior concentrate without the distractions of the figures shown on the screen.
They are especially invaluable for elders who still work at the office, or who love multitasking while exercising.
A favored option for the under desk uses is the deskcycle under desk pedal exerciser because of its extremely low pedal height (10 inches) which enables it to work with ultra-low profile desks (even those about 27 Inches tall).
As a bonus, it has a magnetic resistance which assures a smooth, super- quiet pedal motion and which allows the user and their co-workers to focus on the task at hand.
2. Folding Pedal Exerciser
This is pretty much simulates an actual bike ride in intensity and can be excellent for grandparents recovering from back injuries due to a typically comfortable backrest plus large cushioned seats.
But the greatest news is that it can be folded completely for easier storage and/or transportation.
Of all the foldable types, we feel that the highly rated Platinum Fitness PFP2200 fully deserves its top-ranked status considering its cooling technology which prevents dangerous overheating, the safety anchor strap, and superior LCD display.
3. Pedal Exercisers for Legs and Arms Workout
Any candidate for the best exercise peddler for elderly should deliver the ultimate workout for both arms and legs.
It should also show the accurate data on calories burned, distance covered, speed, and workout duration.
Again, to safeguard the elder wherever placed (on the table top/below), it should include Velcro straps to allow tethering to ensure it doesn’t slip.
Types with a battery such as the magnetrainer-er mini arm and leg pedal exerciser give more options as one can easily carry and use them anywhere.
4. Mini Pedal Exerciser |Mini Exercise Bike
A mini exercise bike is also outstanding for physical therapy and rehabilitation.
This machine’s pedals and straps are set up just like other pedalers though they occasionally have add-on accessories for senior citizens looking for a better challenge.
It can be electric or battery powered while some, like the exerpeutic active mini exercise bike accommodates as much as 300 lbs.
5. Medical Pedal Exerciser
Where the doctor has prescribed physical therapy for an elder, you can consider using a medically-inclined machine for the physiotherapy sessions at home.
It’s usually tailored to help muscle toning, improve blood circulation, coordination and increases strength. It works both arms and legs and often allows elders to adjust the tension based on the required therapy.
Designs like the drive medicals deluxe exercise peddler come even with a feature that lets one to time their workouts making it easier to track progress on the path to recovery.
Some Of The Drawbacks When Using A Pedal Exerciser.
Perfectionism is rare in this world and this applies to these trendy bike-like machines. However, if you choose well, the best pedal exerciser for seniors have minimal issues and should meet expectations.
That being said, here are some potential drawbacks;
Issue 1: Maintenance
Pedal exerciser is very close to the ordinary bike pedals and may need oiling to function properly.
Issue 2: Noise
Again friction-based models can be a bit noisier compared to the magnetic resistance systems.
Issue 3: Heat
Seniors should not touch the crank shaft of the friction-based types as they heat up during use.
Issue 4: May Need Electricity
Motorized units need electricity so they can only be used near a wall socket.
Issue 5: Safety
A pedal exercise may slip (if not secured) and cause injury.
Issue 6: Can’t Be Used By Everyone
Tall elders may struggle using the machine under the desk without hitting the knees hitting the table.
On top of that, elders with heart (or other deep-lying conditions) issues should first check with their medic before attempting to use the equipment.
Here is the Best way to use to Use a Pedal Exerciser.
· To Work the Legs
The senior should slide their feet in the exerciser’s pedal grips and start pedaling (while set to medium-high resistance) as fast as possible for one minute.
He/she should then slacken to a moderate speed for the next two minutes. The cycle should then be repeated until the allotted time is over.
For aerobic activity, an elder should pedal at a uniform speed (set it to medium resistance) for up to 30 minutes.
· To Work the Arms
Place the machine on a table (and on top of a rubber mat if it lacks safe rubberized feet to avoid it moving).
Hold the pedals then rotate them forward while adjusting the resistance appropriately to toughen the workout.
This should be done for 15 minutes at the end of which one should change direction and rotate the pedals in reverse (backward) for yet another 15 minutes. It’s recommended that one works out for at least the 30 minutes. Longer could even be more productive!
Are Pedal Exercisers Good For Weight Loss?
Most exercises help lose weight and the pedal exercising isn’t an exception. However, a few factors come into play;
According to the many experts, one has to burn about 3,500 calories to cast off one pound of surplus fat.
Now, at low intensity and with a few minutes pedaling each day, it would take an eternity to destroy all the fat deposits.
Apart from the speed of cycling, present fitness levels, and the age affect the effectiveness.
But overall, with a higher resistance/tension and frequency, any decent exerciser should help elders win the war against overflowing fat even if it may take a while longer.
Obviously, we all know that effective weight loss needs much more than a pedal exerciser- remember to check nutrition, lifestyle, and other exercise habits.
Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Pedal Exerciser For Seniors.
Before swiping your credit card, there are a few items you need to be sure of about the best pedal exerciser for elderly;
Modern pedal exerciser for seniors feature a display screen which display important readings including time taken, distance travelled, revolutions per minute, calories burned, and more.
Such data can be very helpful for seniors who want to track their workout goals and keep tabs on progress.
Even though they are all generally portable, a foldable floor pedal exerciser is easier to move (to the office or when traveling) and store so more favoured.
Additionally, models with a built-in ergonomical handle make it more movable and friendlier for seniors especially those suffering from a weaker grip.
Most of the best pedal exerciser for seniors allows you to adjust their resistance settings.
They have an easy to turn knob or such senior friendly mechanism to go higher/down.
Select models have an improved design and definitely last longer. For instance, you could come across a scratch resistant powered pedal exerciser while others have a tough steel frame- two qualities that elevate its longevity.
- Safety Features
In any exercise, safety comes first.
Luckily, designers of the contemporary exercise pedals for elderly seem to appreciate this and are increasingly releasing models with more safety features.
Look out for security extras like non-slip rubber feet (these stop potentially dangerous wild movements) and a protective strap (which you can use to attach the exerciser to a chair) for enhanced security.
Straps also help to keep hands/feet in place as a senior sweat it out and improve the overall experience.
- Smooth Operation
Elders easily fall in love with pedal exercisers added with magnetic resistance features.
This is because they make the motions smoother and are practically noiseless during operation.
So, how smooth is the pedal exerciser you’ve recommended to your elderly parent?
- Technological Enhancements
Manufacturers seem to be increasingly bitten by the technological bug as evidenced by the introduction of some technologically sophisticated versions.
The inclusion of advanced characteristics like a cooling technology stops dangerous overheating solving a long-standing problem amongst pedal exercisers.
An online calorie calculator – available in a few types- is also convenient as it accurately reflects the calories burned.
Certainly, such advancements make workouts more fulfilling.
The best pedal exerciser for seniors provides an easier, cheaper, and healthier training option for our senior citizens.
Our grandparents can now work out safely, conveniently, and at their own pace while reaping the many benefits of exercises including better overall health.
And with the avalanche of choices, seniors have every chance of become proactive and reclaiming a fitter lifestyle.