Saturday, August 29, 2015

The ExerCycle: Time to Get Moving Again

Early this year, I was lucky enough to connect with a friend who helped me figure out some exercises that would work for me, without wearing down my body.  They worked, and I kept up with them for an amazing four months (about four times as long as anything had previously lasted, before my body started hurting and needing a break.)  It wasn't the exercises fault, but between a finnicky tendon and a pinched nerve, the past couple months have been largely exercise free.  No need to aggravate already injured things, right?  

As I'm forever in search of low impact exercise that will allow me to keep moving but won't be too stressful on the bod (and as my heel and my neck are largely better) I had the inspiration come to me about a week ago: What about an exercise bike?

I rode a bike (a cool three wheel blue thing with a giant basket and hand brakes) when I was around eleven.  And aside from that, had to ride a stationary bike as part of rehab from surgeries I had at ten and eleven years old. (I still remember one amazing night when I voluntarily rode the exercise bike in the living room for an entire episode of Beverly Hills, 90210.)

ANYWAY, my sis went on the hunt, immediately, to see what kind of options there were out there for exercise bikes.  We pretty much dismissed the traditional ones, as they aren't meant for shorties like me, and very difficult to mount.  We looked at other options.  None seemed quite right.  They all seemed to require a lot of set up, and didn't have adequate pedals.  (I definitely NEED comprehensive straps to have a prayer of keeping my feet in place.)

Then, my sis found the exercycle.  Relatively small and ready to use out of the box, it seemed like the best option for me.  (Plus, thanks to another disabled user's tip, we also bought me sandals with a lot of straps, and used the single strap on the pedals to secure the sandals to the pedals.)  

Another great thing about it is that it's motorized, so it pedals by itself.  For me, this means I get to experience a smooth pedaling motion for the first time in my life.  Pretty awesome.

The first few times I had Tara help me strap my feet in.  The first day took a long time.  Yesterday (pictured above) it was really quick.  So, today, I thought I'd try to strap my own feet in...

5 minutes later...

So, I'm pretty happy with it so far, especially the fact that I can get on and off independently.  I've been doing 20 minutes a day.  I plan (per my friend's recommendation) to go three days on and one day off, so as not to overwhelm my body too much.  I'll slowly bump up my riding time until I'm doing 30 minutes a day.  I can already feel that my calves are getting a major workout, and I've been sleeping great.  (Forgot how awesome the sleep is when I'm exercising!)

Just putting this out there for anyone else who may be looking for an exercise option.  This is definitely one worth trying!  (But be careful when adjusting the pedals - they pinch!)