Exercise, eating well and knowing your numbers (blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, etc.) are all keys to wellness.

It wasn’t until I had a heart attack and subsequent triple bypass surgery that I began my quest for wellness in earnest. I have had a bad back for over 25 years. I had a diskectomy and a spinal fusion in the early 90’s and neither surgery eliminated my pain completely. For years, I have had to be careful what I do physically. I try to gauge how much activity I can be involved in at any given time before I trigger the pain response. My endurance is limited and my recovery time after any physical activity is very poor. All in all, my back has taking its toll on my ability to exercise or engage in physical activity and maintain any sense of wellness. As a result, even with attempts to engage in mild to moderate activity, the pounds accumulated and my health deteriorated.

My heart attack and diagnosis of diabetes in 2010 was my wake up call to do whatever I needed to do to get well. I decided to begin to eat better and I strictly followed the cardiac and diabetic diet. I attended cardiac rehab and continued my involvement in cardiac rehab’s maintenance program for almost two years following my heart attack.

During rehab, I exercised on a recumbent exercise bike and the back support and recumbent position allowed me to ride without the usual back pain and leg and foot numbness. I had given up riding an upright bike almost twenty years prior due these symptoms. I wanted to ride again but wasn’t sure how. An upright bike just wasn’t an option.

I learned about recumbent road trikes at rehab and that has been life saving for me. It is one of the few aerobic exercises I can do without triggering significant pain after a short period of physical activity. I made the decision to purchase a trike in March of 2012 and I have had a ‘bent ever since. My first trike was a TerraTrike Rover.

If you find yourself asking the question “Now what?” post surgery or when dealing with health issues, consider a recumbent trike. Not every physical situation will warrant a purchase but a recumbent trike can prove useful in the rehabilitation process for many individuals.

Life is much to short to spend it in front of a screen. The more active you are, no matter what your age, the better your heart, mind, and body are going to feel. With a trike, you’ll find you’re no longer making excuses not to ride!

I would recommend the trike platform for individuals who are recovering from or are challenged by a variety of health and physical issues such as: (Excerpts from TerraTrike.com)

I would recommend the trike platform for individuals who are recovering from or are challenged by a variety of health and physical issues such as: (Excerpts from TerraTrike.com)

Back problems – Riders with back issues, who can’t lean forward to ride a normal upright bike, find the recumbent seat extremely comfortable.

Blindness – Many companies offer tandem trikes with independent pedaling system allowing each rider to pedal at their own speed and power level. This allows riders with limited, low or no vision to continue to ride with “seeing” partners.

Carpal tunnel syndrome – The hands and wrists are held in relaxed positions while riding and steering.

Coordination/balance and spasticity problems – The tadpole trike is built for stability and safety. I test rode a two-wheel recumbent and stability and balance was a constant concern. Your center of gravity is much different while you are on a recumbent and with a recumbent bike you must maintain a certain speed to stay balanced on two wheels. On a trike I never worry about hitting a stone and “wiping out” because of balance issues.

Diabetes – Exercise lowers blood sugar and reduces weight assisting in the management of diabetes.

Heart problems – Triking improves heart health – Exercise helps in reducing blood pressure, assists with weight loss, lowers cholesterol, helps manage diabetes, and produces chemicals that help control stress; all are contributors to heart problems.

Knee and hip problems and post-surgical knee and hip replacements – Rehabilitation therapists and orthopedic physicians recommend exercise of the muscles around the affected joint without jogging or pounding the area excessively before or after surgery. A trike provides a fluid pedaling motion.

Neck or shoulder problems – Unlike an upright bike, your arms due not bear any of your own body weight while riding a recumbent trike. Therefore, stress is not transferred to the neck and shoulders.

Obesity – If you are obese or need to lose weight, the motion of cycling, especially uphill, is a great way to develop muscle and burn fat. Cycling increases your daily calorie burn and you continue to burn calories long after you’re done. Terra-Trike makes the only tadpole trike in the industry for riders up to 400 pounds.

Weak legs – Triking builds strength and muscle tone.

Stress management – Get out on a trike and enjoy the scenery and the great outdoors and forget about what is stressing you out for a while.

If exercise has become difficult or you are dealing with health issues, you might want to take a recumbent trike for a test ride! I have the TerraTrike Cruiser. This model underwent a major upgrade and name change in 2011. The Cruiser is now the Tour II. I  purchased a HP Velotechnik Scorpion in the Spring of  2017.

Did you know:

The average person loses 13 pounds their first year of commuting by trike.
Just 3 hours of biking per week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.
Triking is one of the easiest ways to exercise
Triking builds strength and muscle tone and stamina
Triking improves cardio-vascular fitness
Triking eats up calories
Triking improves heart health
Triking improves coordination
Triking reduces stress
A trike is cheaper than a gym membership
If exercise has become difficult or you are dealing with health issues, you might want to take a recumbent trike for a test ride! I have the TerraTrike Cruiser. This model underwent a major upgrade and name change in 2011. The Cruiser is now the Tour II. I also recently purchased a HP Velotechnik Scorpion 26″.

Medical disclaimer: Before becoming involved in any exercise program, please consult with your physician.