Exercise! - Gazelle for the elderly?

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broke away
11-05-2006, 02:00 PM

I'm not using this in place of medical advice, but I figure it's a great place to start since some of you may have used this piece of equipment!

I'm thinking of getting the Tony Little Gazelle Elite (lower costing option, without any resistance added) for my Grandmother for Christmas. About my Grandmother: She's 79, not overweight by any means (she's 5' 4"ish and has always been in the 120-130 range), and has always been very active. She worked in her yard daily as it's her pride and joy, mows her own lawn, etc... A few months ago, she kept having epsiodes where she described that she felt she was "fading away" briefly then she'd return back to a normal state. Many tests later, we learned that she has some heart damage from an irregular rhythm that doctors never caught over the last 10 years or so. Even with a pacemaker, the damage is done and her heart rate still flucuates somewhat erratically. She has one of those Life Alert like buttons, since she lives alone.

She wants to stay somewhat active/try to prevent the weakening as much as possible.... No more mowing the yard and lifting heavy plants. She tried doing something as simple as walking around the block in her neighborhood, and barely made it home... she tires very easily from doing simple things day to day. I want to get her something she can use in her home so if something happens or she needs to stop, she can without worrying how to get back home.

Do you think the Gazelle would be a good option? I want something that'll allow her to get some movement in and build some strength, but I don't want anything that's going to put too much stress on her either. I had considered a treadmill, but they're a bit out of my price range for one that's decent.

Thanks in advance!

p.s. Sorry this is so long, I'm just really worried about her.

11-10-2006, 03:14 PM
Hey! I have a gazelle and like it, though sometimes it hurts my ankles and feet. The best thing about them is that there is virtually no impact on your knees, etc. The only reservation I would have about an elderly person using it is that they may have problems with balance. You have to be very careful when getting on/off and if you don't always hold on tight you might lose your balance. I haven't really had a problem with this, but I can see that it may be problematic for some people.

Perhaps you could go to a fitness store that has one on display and use it yourself to see what you think. Good luck!


Misti in Seattle
11-11-2006, 10:06 PM
I just got my Gazelle Freestyle set up today and from my first impression I tend to agree with Charity. It is pretty low impact and seems to be a pretty good workout; and you can go as fast or slow as you want.

However, my concern too would be with balance, not only with getting on and off but several times when I was working out on it my coordination would go off a bit and both feet would start to go the same way. That could very easily throw someone off of it.

I also think it maybe depends on how elderly you are talking about. I am almost 60 and I won't have any problems doing it. I don't really consider myself elderly but I know some people would. :) But if you are talking someone more elderly and somewhat frail that would need to be considered.

11-12-2006, 12:32 AM
I also would be concerned about the balance issue. Especially with her living alone. Getting on and off can be tricky, especially for a 79 y.o. Maybe you can take her with to the store and have her try it out before you just buy her one. Have you thought about a stationary bike? My grandpa still uses his to stay in shape. He tells me he's been using it for over thirty years. He's 88 y.o.

11-12-2006, 08:36 PM
Balance issues would really, really be my biggest concern, especially if she is feeling weak and can't coordinate herself off the Gazelle safely. Have you thought of an exercise bike? You wouldn't need a fancy one, and I know that if you read the classified ads, you can often pick one up quite reasonably. I would even, if I could swing it, find a recumbent bike as she will be able to sit comfortably, but still remain active, and if she has a dizzy spell, will be better able to manage.
Best of luck!

Misti in Seattle
11-13-2006, 12:29 AM
Oh duh you SAID what you meant by elderly in your original message. Sorry I did not ready properly in my first response.

11-14-2006, 10:57 PM
I have one too and I have to agree with the balance issue and her getting off and on. I'd worry about that. Maybe some WATP's videos/Dvd's would be better? She has one specifically for Older folks.
I saw some on the Blockbuster online earlier today:
Leslie Sansone: Walk Aerobics for Seniors (1998)

Misti in Seattle
11-15-2006, 08:26 AM
Another thing about the Gazelle... it is very easy to mess up and get both feet going the same way... which could throw you right off very easily!!!!

11-15-2006, 12:13 PM
I agree with the exercise bike, especially a recumbent bike. For upper body, perhaps you could get her a set of hand weights, with her doctor's approval.

broke away
11-16-2006, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone! I think from what I'm reading that the Gazelle is a bit too wobbly for her... I'm going to keep looking for other options. If she were not so stubborn (haha), I think she could benefit from some light swimming with a lifeguard present.

Thanks again! I'm glad I know now... she was going to get a Gazelle for Christmas.