One of the best exercises for seniors to do is a gentle seated bike motion. This exercise doesn’t put much pressure on the hips, knees, or ankles, but still gets your body moving.
Just a few minutes of this a couple times per week can make a difference in your lifestyle – and the way you feel.
Check with your doctor to make sure it is safe then review my list of the top models below.
Best Pedal Exercisers for the Elderly
Here are my top recommended pedal exercisers for seniors and the elderly. After these reviews, I also have a brief buying guide for mini exercise bikes like these.
The LegXercise PRO is a capable and easy to use automatic leg exercise machine for seniors and the elderly. It is designed to provide passive movement to the feet and legs to stimulate blood flow which, in turn, reduces leg pain, cramps, and swelling.
The LegXerciser PRO is a home leg pedal exercise machine that is entirely automatic – meaning the pedals move for you. This device is designed specifically for seniors and the elderly who need a more passive workout due to mobility or balance issues that cause walking to be unsafe.
This passive movement is used to stimulate blood flow in the legs and feet to help relieve leg pain, swelling, and cramps that are caused by poor blood circulation. By getting the feet moving, even if passively, the body will respond by providing more blood to oxygenate that area. It can be used while watching TV, reading a book, doing crafts, and more.
It is simple to set up and use – almost any senior will be able to use it independently especially once it is set up. I like that the tech is very basic on this one too. Just pick one of 2 speed settings on the attached remote control and hit the OFF button once you are finished. That way, even tech-averse seniors will feel comfortable using it.
It is important to note that this device does not provide a cardiovascular workout and isn’t designed to build muscle. Its main use is for providing increased blood flow to the lower extremities. So, if that is what you or your loved one need, I highly recommend it.
First up is a more medical-oriented pedal exerciser is from TherapyTrainer, and it suits seniors’ needs perfectly. The large LCD screen has very large text and it’s easy to read. The 5 functions displayed include scan, time, calories burned, distance, and speed, which makes tracking your fitness super easy. It also has adjustable resistance settings if you feel strong enough to increase that setting with a large, easy to turn knob at the front of the device.
This machine is closer to what you or a loved one might have been using in the therapy clinic. This company makes a larger more expensive version of this just for use in hospital and outpatient therapy settings.
It is a versatile machine though, as it’s easy to use for arm or leg workouts, and it’s small enough to fit anywhere or be transported around easily.
This ultra-quiet pedal exerciser is a great alternative to a traditional exercise bile for seniors and the elderly. It uses adjustable magnetic resistance that can go backwards and forwards for both upper body and lower body exercises. Easy to read digital display shows speed and distance "traveled" plus an app is available for tracking progress.
If that magnetic resistance feature is something you’d like to dive into even deeper, check out the Vive Smart Magnetic pedal exerciser. Its patented magnetic resistance technology allows you to adjust resistance levels to what’s best and safest for you, with virtually no noise in either forward or backwards directions.
The steel frame and wide 24.6 inch base offer great stability, but it includes straps for the pedals anyway for added peace of mind. It’s still compact enough to fit virtually anywhere though, and can be used for arm or leg exercise.
It also has a simple battery powered electronic display screen that shows you your calories burned, speed, distance, and time for your workout. You can even download an app on your iOS or Android to track your progress, but it’s not required.
This highly portable mini exercise bike has an adjustable motor and a large LCD screen for easy viewing of your distance and time. It has built-in carry handles and includes a non-skid mat for older adults who travel and need a device they can take with them.
One of my favorites on this list is the Exerpeutic pedal exerciser, mostly because it includes an anti-skid mat with your purchase. Many other pedal exercisers need to be placed against some sort of wall or edge of the desk to not move around while in use, but this anti-skid mat allows the machine to be placed virtually anywhere and be ready to go.
Other than that, this pedal exerciser has a motor-powered operation with a range from low impact pedaling to high impact, intense resistance workouts. It works for arms or legs too, since it can be placed on any surface (floor or tabletop) without slipping. The large LCD display shows you your time, distance, calories, and speed in a nice and simple layout. There’s also an included handle at the top of the device for easy transportation and added stability, which is a unqiue feature. The pedals also have removable foot straps for security as well.
For a high tech option that still offers low-impact training, check out DeskCycle’s under the desk bike pedal machine. It fits discreetly under any desktop or tabletop surface, and has a detachable monitor so that you can keep track of what you’re doing without looking down at the screen. This monitor tracks speed, time, burned calories, distance, and scan mode, which shows all of the data every 3 seconds. This is especially useful for seniors who are still working, or just want to be able to perform other tasks while exercising.
The other main advantage of this pedal exerciser is its low rotation height of just 10 inches. This is more than enough for most seniors, who just want a low impact, gentle exercise, and also makes it easy to fit anywhere in your household. It also has the option to choose between 8 resistance levels though, so it’s very customizable despite the small size.
It also has added safety features like a wide base to prevent instability, velcro straps for security, and magnetic resistance operational features, which make the motions incredibly smooth and virtually noiseless.
Looking for a more basic model?
First, this foldable pedal exerciser is a great gift for seniors because it’s easy to use and has great safety features. Plus, it doesn’t take up too much space. It can be folded up entirely to be stored in any compact space, or carried around for easy transportation. No assembly required either!
It even comes in 2 fun colors!
What I really appreciate about this pedal exerciser is the nice wide base with non-slip rubber feet that stabilizes the machine while it’s being used, so you can be sure that it won’t slip or cause any injuries. The pedals also have straps over the top to secure the feet onto them, adding even more safety.
You can use this one with your hands and your feet to exercise both your upper and lower body. It even has an LCD screen that tracks revolutions.
Should You Exercise With Stationary Pedal Exercisers?
First, you should discuss this option with your doctor or therapist before beginning any exercise program!
We all know how important it is to exercise, regardless of our age. But for seniors and elderly people, getting your body moving is even more imperative to living a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise increases circulation, which can reduce the chance of heart problems, arthritis in the joints, and more. It also elevates mood and helps you sleep better.
To do this, you don’t need any sort of expensive gym membership or personal trainer. All you need is a seated pedaling machine. Pedal exercisers are small and portable, and can sit on the floor in front of a seat of your choice, or elevated on a table. These little machines give you versatility and control over your workout without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Buying Guide: Choosing a Pedal Exerciser for Seniors With Mobility or Balance Problems
There are different styles and types of stationary pedals out there that do different things. Here are some features to consider:
- Unit Weight. If the machine will be used for both the arms and the legs, choose a lighter weight model that you can lift easily
- Variable Tension. If you will be using the exerciser for a longer period of time as part of an exercise program, choose one with varied workouts and tension. That way, you can still keep getting the benefits as you get more fit.
- Foldability/Storage. Do you have limited space or want to be able to put the exerciser away in between uses? If so, look for a foldable or collapsible design.
- Resistance. If you are looking to improve strength, choose a model that offers motorized or magnetic resistance. You can increase the difficulty of these machines as you get stronger.
- Noise Levels. Will you be using the device around others? If so, you might want to consider the noise level of the peddler you choose. Motorized and magnetic models are the loudest.
Summary and Final Recommendations
In my opinion, the best pedal exerciser for elderly people is the Exerpeutic model, with the Platinum Fitness coming in at a close second. The safety features of these are what really stand out and make them perfectly suited for seniors who are just looking for a quick, safe workout to keep their bodies active and their minds at ease. Check them out and let me know what you think in the comments below!
If you are ready for a full exercise bike, check out my recommendations in this guide.
What do you use to get a safe workout at home? Let me know in the comments below. Share with friends and family on social media so that they can also experience this easy-to-use exercise method!