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Are Recumbent Bikes Good for Seniors? Science-Backed Benefits, Safety Tips & More

By Maurice

If you’ve been thinking about getting a recumbent bike, we’ve got some information that you should take a look at first.

There are plenty of advantages for seniors when it comes to riding a recumbent bike. These can be a lower impact exercise than other fitness machines, they’re still great for building muscle and burning fat, and they might be more enjoyable for you than other types of exercise.

There are actually a lot of really interesting advantages to using a recumbent bike as a senior. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

Are Recumbent Bikes Safe For Seniors?

Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors

Recumbent bicycles can be an excellent choice for seniors who are looking to add some diversity and mobility to their fitness.

A recumbent bicycle is very similar to a traditional bike, but it has a much more relaxed riding position that allows seniors to comfortably bike without strain to the lower back and hip.

Whether or not a recumbent bicycle is going to be right for you depends on your specific, individual medical condition. Most individuals should be able to safely use a recumbent bike to boost their health and recover from injuries. Researchers have even looked into the potential of using recumbent bikes to help individuals train knee and Ankle strength.

Benefits Of Recumbent Bikes For Seniors

Recumbent bicycles allow us to get exercise without putting too much strain on the body. This is a low-impact way of getting out there and biking. Research even shows that using a recumbent bicycle delivers similar results to other fitness machines.

Another potential benefit of using a recumbent bike is to help seniors recover from injuries. There is evidence that suggests that recumbent biking can be a great way to recover from a hip fracture.

Seniors often have more challenges when it comes to bone health than other adults. Recumbent biking can be a great way to keep bones and muscles strong as we age.

One of the most noticeable benefits of recumbent bikes for seniors is that they offer similar benefits to traditional bikes. In fact, researchers have found nearly identical levels of muscle activity between conventional biking and using a recumbent bicycle.

This means you’re going to be able to get a great workout using a recumbent bike. Your body can be in a more relaxed position, but you’ll still get a similar level of fitness as someone who bikes using a traditional bicycle.

Recumbent Bikes Vs Other Types Of Exercise For Seniors:

One thing that’s worth noting about the research that has been conducted on recumbent bicycles is that they seem to be just about as effective as other fitness machines.

This means that you can see similar fitness results whether you’re using a recumbent bicycle, traditional stationary bicycle, or another fitness machine that has a similar level of impact and activity.

However, this doesn’t mean that every fitness machine is made equal. Recumbent bicycles are very low impact and they’re great for individuals we’re looking to get fit, but who also can’t spend as much time on their feet.

Walking Vs Recumbent Bike For Seniors

There are two main things that we need to look at when it comes to walking versus recumbent bikes for seniors. We have to consider the cost of these two different kinds of exercises as well as the type of fitness you’re looking to get.

Walking is about as close to 3 as you can get. You can take a walk as long as you’d like at your local park or in your neighborhood without having to spend any extra money. A recumbent bicycle is going to require an investment into the bicycle itself or a gym or biking group that can let you rent or borrow a recumbent bike.

Recumbent bicycles also deliver more fitness potential than walking. You get a more strenuous workout which means that you’re going to be able to build more muscle and burn more fat.

However, the impact of walking and recumbent biking is different.

Individuals who have trouble with knee strain or lower back pain might find it difficult to walk for long periods of time. Other individuals might find recumbent biking to be more stressful than their bodies can handle.

Elliptical Machine Vs Recumbent Bike For Seniors

Elliptical exercise equipment

Elliptical machines versus recumbent bikes for seniors have some similar trade-offs we need to look at.

The first thing that’s worth mentioning is that these machines target different muscle groups. This means that you should pick an elliptical or a recumbent bike paste on your goals and needs.

A recumbent bicycle targets your thighs, calves, and glutes. An elliptical machine targets your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. The right fitness equipment for you is going to depend on what kind of fitness plan you have.

Treadmill Vs Recumbent Bike For Seniors

senior running on a treadmill

As with all of our other options, we’re going to have to take a look at the main trade-offs between a treadmill versus a recumbent bike.

Personal preference is going to come into play when it comes to picking which of these two pieces of exercise equipment is right for you. If you just can’t stand walking on a stationary treadmill, the choice is going to be pretty straightforward.

Another thing worth considering is that a treadmill can technically burn more fat per hour than a recumbent bike. If your main goal is weight management and cardio, the treadmill might be the way to go.

However, recumbent bikes have their own advantages. If you have a stationary recumbent bike, it’s a lot easier to read or watch a program while biking. If your recumbent bike isn’t stationary, you’ll be able to get outdoors with your workout which has its own perks.


Let’s unpack everything you need to know about recumbent biking for seniors.

Recumbent bikes are perfectly safe for seniors and in fact can be a great part of recovery and Rehabilitation programs while recovering from surgery. They’re great for building muscle as well as burning fat.

They might be the right move for you, but you should consider your fitness goals and personal preferences before you go all in on a recumbent bike or a different fitness machine.

If you do wind up picking a recumbent bike, you’re going to have a great time getting outdoors and riding.

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