Staying in shape becomes a real chore with aging. I still remember seeing my parents losing muscle strength and joint mobility. I decided to live an active life to avoid their problems when retired. But when I finally reached their age, my mobility wasn’t as good as expected.
Running was not a real option for me, at least to begin with. My age prevented me from other types of activities such as playing sports. My kids were younger and faster than me. I’d only slow them down.
I began researching recumbent bikes. They seemed like the low impact machine I needed to train at home, as often as I felt comfortable with. For me, the Slim Cycle was the right type of stationary bike. Its added resistance bands for upper body activation made life a lot easier with added strength and mobility in the arms.
Slim Cycle Features
8 Levels of Resistance
The first thing you want to try out is just how fit you are. But the resistance levels on the bike showed me I needed to step up my fitness game. It was only in the second month of training that I was able to increase resistance without shortening the workout routine.
The resistance to this bike is based on magnetic principles. A simple knob brings a magnet closer or further away from the spinning metal wheel of the bike. But when it comes to training, I love new challenges.
As a result, my resistance settings rarely remain linear through the workout. I increase and decrease resistance during my workouts to add a bit of variation. In normal conditions, I train for about 30 minutes per day. If I had a good night’s sleep, I’ll cycle for up to an hour every day.
Cycling indoors quickly became a habit. Since the recumbent bike is not heavy, I simply place it in front of the TV early in the morning so my workout passes quickly.
Upper Body Sculpting
What attracted me to this bike more than others were the functions for upper body toning. I don’t have other fitness equipment at home and I certainly don’t own any dumbbells. But some part of me was simply desiring to work the upper body as well.
There are 2 resistance bands with handles added to the handlebars. You pull them as many times and as fast as you want to tone your arms and shoulders. You may think it’s just my impression, but my even my elbows feel better now.
Upper body training also increases heart rate. It was during the second workout that I realized just how demanding these bands are. They don’t look impressive at first. But when you pull them hundreds of times, it becomes evident you’re facing a fitness challenge ahead.
Heart Rate Monitor
I was surprised to find out such a cheap recumbent bike came with a heart rate monitor. I even made a mistake by thinking it was a separate device. Upon receiving the bike, I called the company to tell them they forgot to pack my heart rate monitor. It turns out it's built-in the handlebars.
Keeping an eye on my cardiovascular health is important at my age. Doctors always tell me to eat better and exercise. But I don’t get to measure my efforts with any tool. When I saw the included heart rate monitor on my bike, I knew it was time to face reality and check my fitness level.
In the beginning, my heart was working harder during the workout. But after a whole year of daily pedaling, I can see I’m already fitter. I sweat less and the recovery time between the workouts is also very short. It used to take 2-3 days to fully recover when I first started to train on this recumbent bike.
At an age, you also worry about not seeing small letters and numbers. This was the case with the digital display. I was worried about not seeing the digits. But they’re nice and large and I don’t need my glasses to see them.
The digital display shows you the time you’ve spent on the bike. It’s also where you look at your heart rate. But it doesn’t show up on the screen all the time. To see your heart rate, you need to hold the handlebars with the built-in sensors for a few seconds.
My kids told me not to get an indoor bike as I had back problems. But this recumbent bike also comes with a small padded backrest. I don’t rest on it for too long but it does offer a bit of support and relaxation when I decided to pedal at a slower pace.
The cushioning on the seat hasn’t shown signs of wear until now. I’m happy it’s good shape even if I was afraid it was going to give up, especially after deciding to use the bike every day.
The foldable design of this compact recumbent bike is something I think is practical. I simply fold it away and hide it behind the door in the living room. It saves some space. While I’m at home with my husband, this is not a problem. But I don’t like things lying around the house when we have guests over.
Another interesting aspect of this bike comes with its quiet operation. I was expecting some noise, but there’s none. On the days I wake up before my husband, I can pedal without waking him up. Even when I turn the resistance to a more demanding level, it remains quiet.
This smooth operation of the bike has proven beneficial for my needs and I think it may be practical for you, especially if you live with someone else.
There are 2 methods of getting this bike. The first one only buys you the bike itself for $199.95. But you can also buy the recumbent foldable bike for $279.90 with a protective floor mat and a slim away belt. I like the belt the most as it helps me keep a thin waist.
If you want to test the bike on your own, you can get it without all the accessories. You may buy your waist belt and a water bottle later when you decide the bike is already to your liking. For me, cycling has become a lifestyle.
You may also see extra energy levels and improved strength. But in the beginning, you should not be afraid of feeling tired as it takes time for the body to adapt to the effort. You can start with short 5-minute sessions and then increase both the resistance levels and the cycling session’s duration to improve your fitness level regardless of your age.