Friday, October 11, 2013

The wheels on this bike go round and round..

Lulu thinks that a bike that doesn't go anywhere or bring her treats is a waste of time. 
My friend Bev and I were having a grand old time the other day as we kvetched over coffee.

It's so nice to have friends that have similar wah-wah-wah issues.

It appears that we both have a bum knee (actually Bev has two, but then that's another story for another day) and our doctors are telling us generally the same thing: Your knee hurts because you have common, garden-variety osteoarthritis. Exercise. Lose weight.

We both agreed that the situation would be far more interesting if we could attribute some exotic cause to the swelling and pain. Because we, of course, are exotic and interesting.

You see why I like her?

I had to grudgingly admit Dr. Young Guy's advice regarding my knee was accurate: that regular, gentle exercise will keep my knee limber and reduce the overall pain. I have found that floating around in my community center's pool is the most effective exercise for me, but there's been a big hitch in my swimming giddyup lately in that my post operative instructions for cataract surgery clearly state to stay out of public pools for at least a month after the procedure. Considering that both eyes have cataracts, even with one removed I still have about six weeks remaining before I should take the plunge. So to speak.

So in search of some kind of knee-happy exercise, I went over to the community center last week and grudgingly pedaled away on one of the stationary bikes there. As I was telling myself that this whole experience is painfully boring and that it's impossible to hear anything from the wall mounted televisions and who wants to watch those stupid daytime shows anyway, it occurred to me that I could be just as bored at home pedaling along on my own stationary bike thingie.

I bought it awhile back after my physical therapist recommended a stationary bike as one option for non-weight bearing exercises. I used it regularly for awhile, but after my trochanteric bursitis settled down a bit and I hung up Candy the cane, I stuffed the portable bike into the laundry room and kind of forgot about it.

I think it's time to dust it off and start using it again.

About my bike: I purchased it here, and I chose this one for various reasons:

  • It is substantial so doesn't slip around too badly.
  • It is quiet and seems to be well-built
  • Was not terribly expensive (but not cheap either) at about $145 including shipping.
  • Was very easy to assemble.
  • Is able to be used while sitting for legs and knees AND
  • is able to be used tabletop to exercise arms
  • I can wear whatever I darned well please and watch real quality television programs (like Duck Dynasty. Hey. Now that's real entertainment right there, people) or listening to music in the comfort of my own home. 
  • Lulu finds it quite entertaining. 

It does have a few drawbacks:

  • It is substantial so is a bit heavy and bulky to move around.
  • It has a limited amount of resistance, since the focus of this machine is to increase range of motion of joints, not provide sweat like crazy let's pretend I'm riding directly up a mountain type aerobic exercise. 
  • Those with longer than average legs may find that the size of the "wheel" made while pedaling may be too small and so the knee may not actually go through it's full range of motion for tall people.
  • I receive absolutely no compensation of any kind for mentioning it on my blog. 

It appears that the Arthritis Foundation agrees with my physical therapist about stationary biking. Read this:

Benefits of Stationary Cycling
Be a pedal pusher and strengthen your heart, hips and knees.


annie said...

I've been going to physio for the past few weeks for various aches and pains and my therapist has put me on the stationary bike for a few minutes each time to help my knee pain. He recommends me getting one for home use to help the joints.

It's a vicious cycle...we need to move and exercise to help the joints and get some cardio movement, but we're so lacking in strength and energy to do it.Apparently,once you start exercising (mild) you will have more strength and energy. I just need a real big push.

cargillwitch said...

I think the greatest gift I ever gave myself was a life long love of exercise. I didn't realize how useful it would be when I was first diagnosed to have already ex experienced the added benefits of daily regular exercise- better sleep patterns, mood, body composition etc, but I now understand what is meant by the adage " move it or loose it". If i miss more than two days my joints begin to stiffen and ache- my muscles soon to follow.I feel downright flu like and exhausted. It's all the incentive I need to get out the door and get moving!