Have you heard about pedalecs or e-bikes? They’re growing in popularity and have a motor that takes over the pedaling when you want. It makes cycling easier when people are on a hill or start to tire out after a long bike ride.
The Dutch took the idea behind an e-bike and made some changes to make them ideal for the elderly. The SOFIE or Smart-Assistive Bicycle helps with balance. Smaller wheels and a steeper angle with the steering helps with stability.
The SOFIE also has a motor that helps the rider get up to speed when starting out. Like an e-bike, it can take over when tired or pedaling up a hill. It also limits the speed of the rider to 18 miles an hour to prevent crashes.
Currently, the bike is not being produced for the public, but that could change. In the meantime, a regular bicycle is a smart way for your parent to get exercise and enjoy being outside.
Making Sure Your Parent Stays Safe When Exercising.
Exercise is vital at any age. Experts recommend seniors get exercise at least five days a week. Those exercise sessions need to be at least 30 minutes each. Mixing up activities is important, too.
If your mom goes for a daily walk, it’s a good start. To mix things up, she needs to add weight training two or three days. If your dad likes to swim, he could switch swimming for a yoga class every few days.
Cycling is another exercise to consider. With safer bikes, your mom or dad work out their legs and enjoy fresh air. If you don’t like the thought of your parent being on a busy road, bike paths in parks and forests are a safe alternative.
Practice Safe Bicycling.
If your parent does want to include bicycling into the weekly fitness routine, there are things to consider. First, your parent needs a helmet. Your parent should not get on a bike without protective headgear. If they fall, you want the helmet to cushion any blow to the head.
Second, your parent should carry a cell phone. If something happens or your parent will return later than expected, your parent needs to be able to call you or emergency services.
No matter what exercise is desired, your mom and dad need to talk to a doctor first. If there are underlying health issues, a doctor needs to advise the best exercises and amount of time to exercise. The doctor may want a spotter on hand for safety.
If you can’t be there when your parent is going for a walk, swimming, or doing some other exercise, make sure someone is. Home care services that include companionship can make sure your parent has someone around when exercising.