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As a person ages, there become more limitations when it comes to exercise. The problem is, this is when exercise becomes more important than ever. Seniors not only need the cardiovascular benefits that come from exercise, but stronger muscles, bones, coordination, and mobility. For those that are limited with joint issues, knee pain, or arthritis, the recumbent bike presents the best option for exercise and protection.
Studies also show how cycling is beneficial for seniors to improve balance and the ability to walk with better control. This is important for helping to prevent falls.
This article will look at how to select the best recumbent bike for seniors. They need to be easy to use, easy to get in and out of, but still provides an excellent form of exercise.
Best Recumbent Exercise Bikes For Seniors
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike With Resistance ME-709
Marcy is the maker of some great exercise equipment, and the ME-709 is a heavy-duty–but compact–recumbent exercise bike. What makes this beneficial for seniors is that it has an easy step-through design, making it a great option for those with mobility issues. It also features a comfortable padded seat design, which also provides significant support.
This exercise bike has an easy-to-read display screen and has counterbalanced pedals which allows for comfortable peddling and proper distribution of force. This is a great option for those with mobility, balance, or knee issues as it will provide the best support possible while still providing a great workout.
- Takes up a small amount of room so is great for those in smaller spaces
- Eight different resistance levels to provide a variety of intensities for workouts
- The display screen shows your time, distance, speed, calories burnt and is extra large for those with any vision issues
- Recumbent handlebars which will provide even more support.
- The counterbalance of the petals may lead to some uneven peddling rotation
- Not a huge variation between resistance levels
- Some find the seat can be hard to adjust.
Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series
Schwinn is a legendary maker of bicycles, so you know you’ve got a reputable brand that makes quality products. This is a high-end recumbent bike, but one that comes with a lot of significant features. It is a heavy-duty style of recumbent bike so it can accommodate more intense exercise and larger people.
This bike is all about technology. It features Bluetooth, which is connected with the Schwinn Trainer App. This gives you access to all their fitness tracking apps including My Fitness Pal so you can track and record all your workouts. It also has 29 different programs to give you a wide variety of challenging workouts and options. It has a large display console that can also hold your phone or tablet and even has built-in speakers to listen to your own media.
- Heart rate tracker and monitor
- High-speed drive system that can accommodate more intense riding
- 25 different levels of resistance to provide accurate intensity no matter what workout you’re doing.
- Built-in bottle holder, USB charging and even a fan
- This is a heavier unit so may be harder to maneuver around
- This bike needs to be put together and doesn’t come ready assembled.
- The technology might be a bit complicated for the average user
- A more expensive bike than other options
MarcMagnetic Recumbent Bike NS-716R
This is another great recumbent bike from Marcy, which is great for seniors. The NS-716R sits lower to the ground, making it a top choice for those with mobility issues. The support from the seat allows for comfortable peddling, and it has extra support from the soft side handlebars. When you can fully support yourself, it allows for more intense cardiovascular output.
This is great for those who have the ability for a faster pace of exercise but have issues with balance and positioning. That makes this recumbent bike a great option. It is also a very simple—but effective—recumbent bike. It has just 8 preset tensions, so it’s not overly complicated as far as setting up This is a great option to just get on and pedal—but you can still change the resistance very easily. The NS-716R is also light and easy to move around without having to be lifted
- Fully adjustable seat that can handle a wide variety of heights, weights, and body types
- Magnetic resistance allows for a very smooth pedalling experience, making it even easier on the knees and joints
- LCD display that shows your time, speed, distance, and calories burned
- Built-in water bottle holder
- Not as many features as higher-end models
- Limited technology with just basic readout information
- This bike does not have an enormous amount of settings or programs, so might not be ideal for those looking for a vast amount of workout options
Exerpeutic ExerWorK 1000 Desk Folding Exercise Bike With Pulse
The ExerWork 1000 is the ultimate compact and transportable recumbent bike. This unit can be used pretty much anywhere, no matter how small the space. For those in small apartments or living situations, this bike will be ideal. It also folds up and takes up virtually no room. The ExerWork also only weighs around 60 pounds, so it can be transported to different locations.
The amazing feature with this recumbent bike is the workstation it has attached to it. It has an adjustable desktop with different tilting options, meaning you can use your laptop to catch up on work, or just reply to emails while you’re working out. You can even just use a laptop or tablet to watch movies or TV shows. As functional as the ExerWork 1000 is, it’s still comfortable for seniors with a padded “airsoft” seat. It also features padded handles for more stability and comfort. It gives you 8 different resistance levels too, which will help accommodate a variety of workout intensities.
- A truly unique recumbent bike with the built-in workstation. This borrows from the idea of stand up or treadmill desks, which have been shown to be great for more productivity and creativity. The ExerWork also can be transformed into a standing desk
- One of the smallest footprint of any recumbent bike—especially when it’s folded
- An LCD display to track your workout data
- No options for workout programs, or multiple levels of resistance
- Might be a little tougher to get in and out of for some seniors
- Not ideal for shorter people
Exerpeutic 400XL Folding Recumbent Bike With Monitor
Another great recumbent bike from Exerpeutic. The 400XL is another folding recumbent bike. This is like the ExerWork 1000, but without the desk option. This is a simple, but effective, recumbent bike for those who aren’t too worried about all the bells and whistles that come with the more technologically advanced options. It is small, stable, easily transportable, and doesn’t take up much space. It is also extremely quiet, meaning you can operate without disrupting any other people that you live with.
The 400XL may also be one of the easiest recumbent bikes to get in and out of. If you like the idea of using it as a desk—but didn’t want to pay for the desktop version—this can be used as a desk-bike with your existing desk because of the adjustable seat height. The 400XL is also an excellent choice for seniors who would need a good amount of support because not only does it have a large padded seat, it has quite a large back support to it.
- LCD display to track your time, distance, speed, and calories
- Easy to fold up and roll away when you are finished exercising
- Only weighs 43 pounds
- One of the most affordable recumbent bikes
- Not many options with programs and resistance intensities
- Small LCD screen with basic information
Marcy Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike With 8 Resistance Levels
This is a great option for those that want a more solid, heavy-duty bike, but one that isn’t too expensive. This bike is a great option for seniors who want that added stability and support from their recumbent bike. It’s made of heavy-duty steel, which not only makes it great for performance, but it will be long-lasting too.
This bike is a great choice if it will be used by multiple people. It has an adjustable seat length so it can accommodate riders of all different sizes. It also has the large upright seat back and support handles for all the stability you need during exercise. This has a basic LCD display, but it’s larger than a lot of the other options out there for greater readability. This recumbent bike has 8 different levels of resistance so it can accommodate multiple workout variations. Despite its size and heavy-duty construction, it is still portable and can be wheeled to different locations.
- Great for people of all sizes and weights
- A good option for those able to exercise more vigorously
- Very affordable despite its size and build quality
- Comfortable with a very supportive seat and seatback
- Limited options for resistance
- Basic LCD readout display stats
- No additional features such as a water bottle holder or other technology
Precor RBK 835 Commercial Series Recumbent Exercise Bike
The Precor RBK 835 is like taking a piece of equipment from a high-end fitness club and having it in your own home. This is a stylish recumbent bike, but one that’s functional and comfortable. One big thing that makes this stylish bike stand out is its “air flex” seat. This meshed seat not only provides great support and comfort but is ventilated to keep you cool no matter how intense the workout gets. The 835 may also be the easiest bike to get in and out of with one of the lowest stepover heights of any recumbent bike. You only have to step over a 4-inch bar to get onto this bike.
The 835 also comes with some advanced technology. It can measure and monitor your heart rate through a touch sensor, which is perfect for those who need to be aware of their target heart rate. It also has 6 different preset workouts that you can follow, along with 25 different resistance levels. These options will keep you covered for any type of cycling workout you can think of. The 835 is also ideal for those with any form of knee pain and they might find these a superior option to other recumbent bikes as its bio-mechanics take even less force off of the knees.
- Sturdy, comfortable, ergonomic, and supportive
- Advanced technology for tracking data, heart rate, and workouts
- Similar control console as you would find it most gyms
- A higher weight capacity than most recruitment bikes
- One of the heavier recumbent bikes out there
- More difficult to set up and assemble
- Mobility and transport could be difficult
Pooboo Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike
The company with the unique name, but makes an amazing recumbent exercise bike. This bike is all about a smooth and comfortable riding experience. It has a magnetic belt drive system, making it almost silent when used. It is also ideal for mobility. It is one of the easiest to get in and out of and has a lower seat. It also features a padded seat and padded support handles. They place the support handles a bit higher, which can give you more upper body support.
This bike keeps you in a solid, upright position for maximum stability, but the seat is adjustable so that you can make it as comfortable as possible. Technology-wise, it has a larger than average LCD display screen and also features a pulse sensor so you can keep track of your heart rate during exercise. The Pooboo is not foldable, but it isn’t too heavy coming in at around 60 pounds. It also has wheels making portability very easy.
- Great design and features for the price point
- Ergonomic design which caters to those with a variety of conditions and physical issues
- Accommodates a wide variety of heights and weights
- Very quiet, comfortable, and functional
- Only 8 different resistance settings
- Seat might be a bit low for some people
Why Buy a Recumbent Exercise Bike?
A recumbent bike is your best option if you want to be able to exercise but are limited by joint and knee issues. Activities that involve running, hiking, jumping etc need to be avoided by those with chronic knee and joint pain. The constant pounding on hard surfaces will just further aggravate any of those conditions.
Cycling offers a great alternative to those high-impact activities while still providing cardiovascular benefits. Cycling can even get your heart rate up to that of running—but will spare you any joint pain while doing so.
So cycling is a great cardiovascular option, but it comes with its limitations. The first issue is that you have to do it outdoors, and that can limit when and if you can even go. Weather issues will prevent you from going, as will the different seasons. Biking at night is probably not the smartest idea, so that limits you to just the daytime hours. Biking outside makes it tough to be consistent, as all the variables can prevent you from adhering to the same workout schedule.
There are indoor stationary bikes, but this can still be an issue for people with mobility and back problems. Even though biking is low-impact, it can be difficult for anyone with balance issues, plus the back problems that can be caused by hunching over the handlebars.
A recumbent bike provides the best option. The declined seat position takes the pressure off of the lower back, and the position of the knees while pedaling becomes much more comfortable. For those with balance and mobility issues, getting in and out of one is quite easy, and you will be kept supported and balanced throughout the entire ride.
The recumbent bike is the ultimate choice—especially for seniors—to be able to exercise safely and effectively.
Personal Trainer Tips & Advice
Like with any activity, you don’t want to just get into a recumbent bike and start exercising at a high intensity. A 5-10 minute warmup—at a lighter pace—is important to warm up the body, elevate the heart rate, and get blood flowing to working muscles.
A cool down is also important too. If you are exercising at a high intensity, and just stop, it can lead to blood pooling in the muscles. That can lead to muscle cramping and discomfort. It’s important to finish with a 5 to 10 minute cool down at a light intensity. The idea is to gradually transition out of more intense exercise, and back to a regular state.
This is when you will also want to stretch. The advantage with a recumbent bike is you can use it to support yourself while you do leg and quad stretches. The seat also works well as a support for hamstring stretches.
Focus on breathing properly during your workout. Avoid holding the breath and concentrate on inhaling through the nose and out through the mouth. To know that you are in the rate target heart rate to get the cardiovascular benefits of exercise, you should be able to carry on a conversation. If you can’t, it can be a sign that you’re at too high of an intensity, and you should back it off a bit.