Dieting with Obstacles - has anyone used a pedal exerciser?




recidivist
02-23-2009, 09:40 PM
I asked for one on freecycle and a local doctor has offered one. Has anyone used one? I'd like to know if they are actually worth trying before I ask her to go through her storage to find it. I have a knee and feet problem that makes it hard for me to walk or stand for long, and I'm wondering if the pedal exerciser will help me increase mobility in my knee (bad sprain with tight ligaments and weak muscles from almost a year ago) and also maybe give me an aerobic workout without putting weight on my feet or knees.

I would use an exercycle, but don't have room in my tiny house for one. I can barely walk around things and dogs in here as it is. A pedal exerciser is small enough to pick up and put out of the way when not in use...the problem is you sit in a chair and place it on the ground in front of you and pedal on it (or use it on a table to exercise your arms), but I'm afraid it might be awkward or make me stretch to reach it, or not have enough tension to do any good. I have back problems too, and don't want to waste my time on it if it's just not really practical.


DCHound
02-24-2009, 01:36 PM
My mother broke her leg rather badly about 15 years ago and went through a lot of PT trying to recover from it. One of the take-home things was the pedal exerciser and YES it does give you a good workout - flexibility-wise mostly - if you are consistent about using it. It is great for people with limited mobility because it's a lot easier to pull this out from under your chair and use rather than trying to get on a bike if you are unsteady on your feet. The thing is though, be consistent about using it. Mother would "ride" it a few minutes every hour while watching TV and eventually built up to being able to do it for 20 minutes without stopping. Then she got lazy about it and her mobility/stamina have suffered. It's like anything, use it or lose it.

So, it's not as good a workout as being on an exercise bike, or better yet a real bike, but it's way better than nuthin. :)

But yeah it's worth having someone get it out of storage for you. Best of luck!

recidivist
02-24-2009, 03:39 PM
Thanks DC, I will be calling her this afternoon when she gets home from work. I decided to try it and if it doesn't help I'd give it back or freecycle it on, but I think it will, as you say, be better than nuttin'.


Justwant2Bhealthy
02-24-2009, 04:26 PM
I would say since it's free, go ahead and try it; it may work for you ...

I bought a plain metal one; I used it for about six+ months, then gave it away, as I found it was too easy for my arms and irritated a disc injury at the top of my shoulders. As for the legs, I found it too jerky and awkward for me. They have a new one out now that is electric and much more expensive ($130 vs $40) but the manufacturers claim it is better than the other one; it's supposed to be smoother and has variable tensions to increase as you go along (which the other one did not have), and it has separate handles for hand use and pedals for the foot use. I think this one sounds much better.

If you try the other one and find it is helpful for you, you might like to buy the better quality one for yourself down the road.

recidivist
02-24-2009, 04:50 PM
Yes, I know this might not work, and I'm sure it's one of the cheap ones. She said it's not great and she found it in a garage sale. And I know that spending more money would probably get me something more functional...but I don't have the money to spend now. I am unable to do anything aerobic now and even if this just helps get my moving my legs, it might be better than nothing. If it doesn't hurt me, I can pedal while watching movies or something. If it doesn't work, I'll pass it on. I'd like to get a regular bike and just go out riding, but I'm afraid I'll fall and hurt my knee again. I guess this, as a trial run, is probably the best way to start...to see if I can do this. I can't do anything that twists my knee, or leg lifts front or side...and I just feel so darned helpless right now.

recidivist
02-25-2009, 02:57 AM
Well, I picked it up today, and I used it for 20 minutes this evening. It's a bit jerky in the motion if you crank up the resistance, so I left it turned low enough it would cycle smoothly. It hurt my knee at first, and I can tell it's helping it to bend more than it wants to, and that means it's going to help stretch out tight ligaments and muscles. What I don't know is if it will cause more swelling. By tomorrow morning I should know. But it did elevate my heart rate for those 20 mintues (I was cycling as fast as I comfortably could) which means if I can continue to use it, it will help me increase metabolism. And I feel it working a few muscles in the backs of my thighs that don't get enough of a workout. For now I'm glad I got it. It's sure better than no workout at all. And it does not hurt my feet at all, which is a real blessing.

Justwant2Bhealthy
02-25-2009, 04:26 PM
Good ... I'm so glad you found something that is helping you! I agree with you that some exercise is better than none, especially since you were able to pedal with your legs for 20 minutes comfortably. I think my legs aren't strong enough for that just yet, so I'm focusing more on walking, chair aerobics, dancing, ski-walking, and my rowing machine.

I really like my rowing machine for that reason, and most of the time, I just use the arm rowers only, and put my feet on the ground, and I can change up the resistance to make it more challenging too. Right now, it is the best piece of equipment for me ...

recidivist
02-25-2009, 06:29 PM
Justwant2behealthy, it is a bit irritating to use, because it doesn't want to stay in place (it walks away from you) and my desk chair wants to roll away the other way, so I have to work on that...maybe a rug under the chair. I've propped the machine up against my desk to keep it from moving, as I'm sitting here watching movies when I use it anyway, so that worked...but the jerkiness is irritating when you crank the resistance up, and I want to crank it up later. I'm not sure if that will improve once my legs are stronger or not. I just leaned back in my chair and pumped away. And this shows me that a recumbent exercycle would be great for me, if I just had room for it. I was afraid I couldn't use one because my lower back doesn't handle recumbent positions well. This may actually be the best thing out there for all my limitations. I do need to get a better desk chair now. Yikes...the one I want starts at $300. (It's an executive recliner, for with a foot rest for watching movies). :^:

I tried a rowing machine years ago at a health club, and darned if that isn't one of the best workouts I ever got (I hated it actually). I can't use one now because I have unstable shoulders. I can't do any heavy repeptitive motions with my arms. But if you can use one, you have a great tool.

I suspect you could use a pedal exerciser...it's really easy to pedal with no resistance (and no weight). It wasn't difficult doing 20 minutes at all. I did ten more later in the evening and then quit because I didn't want to overdo it. No swelling or new pain in my knee today, so YAY!

Justwant2Bhealthy
02-25-2009, 08:55 PM
Yah, I think this will help your legs get stronger and down the road you could get a recumbant bike that folds up; but make sure you get one where the legs are below the seat. The one I used kept sliding across the table on me, so I put a towel underneath it to stop it from moving and that worked.

On the rower, I use a pulling motion rather than pushing, so that doesn't bother my shoulders too much as long as I don't overdo it, that is (and I have injured both of mine too). I think it's a matter of starting things out slowly and working our way up a bit at a time, especially when we have so many injuries to watch out for.

Glad there is no pain or swelling in your knee; sounds like you are on to something there. I used to have recumbant bike and gave that to Goodwill as my legs weren't strong enough yet to use it (had a bum right knee & fracture in my left calf), but it sounds like yours are.

I'm glad you found something that works for you; and I hope you can save up and get that executive chair soon. I need one of those too, so I'm saving for one myself ... :lol:

recidivist
02-25-2009, 09:10 PM
Here is the chair I want, but I need to find it on sale with free shipping.
http://hi.atgimg.com/img/i/1573/680-701.jpg
It has five reclining positions.

Justwant2Bhealthy
02-27-2009, 09:12 PM
:lol: That looks like a really nice one for sure; I found some nice ones in Sears too. One I really like is medium brown leather and they range in price between $200 and $300 each; and the ones I like are about that price too. I wonder if W-Mart has any nice ones for a good price?

Your pick has 5 reclining positions; gee, I didn't even think to look for that. How will you be able to type in that position though? Is that an extension on the front for your legs like a recliner? Looks like it; I guess that would be good for reading or playing games, but I need to sit up to type. ;)

DCHound
02-27-2009, 10:50 PM
I'm so glad the pedal exerciser is working for you! I have a recumbant bike/elliptical treadmill (you flip the handlebars down and it becomes a seat, very cool) that I got from Sears about 10 years ago. I try to ride it 2-3 times a week and I really like it. It was about $500; money very well spent.

recidivist
02-28-2009, 02:09 AM
Your pick has 5 reclining positions; gee, I didn't even think to look for that. How will you be able to type in that position though? Is that an extension on the front for your legs like a recliner? Looks like it; I guess that would be good for reading or playing games, but I need to sit up to type. ;)
This is an executive desk chair, for the person who has to sit in an office chair all day...you can recline to change your position for things that don't require you to sit upright. The footrest slides in under the seat when you are in the upright position, so it's not in the way.

I'd use it for watching movies, as I watch them on my computer, and keep it in the upright position for typing and paperwork. I've been watching movies sitting in my cheap little desk chair and it is not good for my back to sit in it for long, plus I'd love to have something to elevate my bad leg with.

Justwant2Bhealthy
02-28-2009, 10:55 PM
This is an executive desk chair, for the person who has to sit in an office chair all day...you can recline to change your position for things that don't require you to sit upright. The footrest slides in under the seat when you are in the upright position, so it's not in the way.


Dah ... Don't mind me -- I don't get out much! :?: Ya, that sounds great; I will remember all these things when choosing mine. Thanks for the tips ...


I have a recumbant bike/elliptical treadmill ...


:lol: I have never heard of such a thing; I'm having trouble picturing in my mind how your machine can be a recumbant bike and an elliptical and a treadmill too, but then I asked silly questions to Recidivist too ... so doesn't say much for my mind, does it? ;) Seriously, I can see how the handle bars of an elliptical could fold down and then you pedal while sitting, but it's the treadmill part I'm having trouble with ...

Gee, you learn something new every day here! :D