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  1. #1 Help picking from two recumbent exercise bikes. 
    Junior Member SPrada's Avatar
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    Jan 2019
    San Francisco
    Hi!!! The weight has gone out of control and I need to rolling the ball with low impact cardio that will be easy on my bad back. I'm 5'9 "and you pass the balance to more than 3 tickets today, so the need to move is excellent.
    I am deciding between these two models and price is almost identical. Thanks in advance for any help!

    Last edited by SPrada; 03-19-2019 at 11:22 PM.
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  2. #2  
    PORCUS STAPHUS ADMIN Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Get one that is made for a heavier man.

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  3. #3  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    I came to Texas as soon as I could
    Iím with Rock. Also check around at the local places, maybe even the gyms and try some on. Some or all of the dimensions can be critical.
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  4. #4  
    Power CUer SVPete's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    Silicon Valley
    I'm not familiar with those products, so I'd suggest finding places you can test drive them. A recumbent model will probably be better for your back. Test each for adjustability and comfort - you're going to spend lots of hours over many days using it, so comfort and reasonable simplicity of use are very important. Ideally, find a store that sells both, so you can quiz the store people about durability.

    It took you decades to get where you are - choices and possibly health problems you did not choose. Getting down to ~200# or less is going to be a process of several years, and you should want it to. You're developing a LOT of new lifestyle habits - eating (Hello, portion control!) and exercise. Acquiring new habits takes time, and it's healthier to lose weight gradually.

    A recumbent bicycle is a good start, but do that smart. You're going to spend significant chunks of time on it, and it could bore the snot out of you. So include reading a book or watching a video so your mind is occupied and doesn't develop a dread of the boredom while using the bicycle. The same is true, BTW, of a treadmill - being there, doing that, got the sweaty T-shirts.

    As you progress, do more, different, things. Unless, some years from now, you decide to specialize (e.g. body-building or becoming an ultra-marathoner) mix the cardio (bicycle, walking, running) with weight/resistance training. The latter will also strengthen your back, abs, and pectorals - your "core" - which will help with the cardio. So what else and at what cost?

    Well, if you have easy access to Chrissy Field, the Presidio, or Golden Gate Park there are lots of trails you can walk or cycle for whatever it costs you to get to those locations. There is a trail from the Presidio up onto the pedestrian path on the Golden Gate Bridge, and on the Marin side there's a short path under the bridge that will let you cross to the other side of the bridge.

    On the Peninsula the Bay Trail goes along the bay from Redwood City to I don't know how close to SF ... enough continuous miles for out-and-back half marathons (6.55 miles out and the same 6.55 miles back). There are sections of the Bay Trail in the South Bay and East Bay as well (I think the goal is to have a continuous trail circling the bay). A lot of creeks that flow into the bay have trails along them, with lots of access points.

    If/when you start walking for exercise, get good shoes! And don't cheap out, as cheap shoes won't last and/or will hurt your feet (plantar fasciitis is awful!). If you must buy at the under ~$80 price point, be prepared to replace the crappy thin insoles with Spenco or something else good. Sports Basement is worth checking out, especially when a shoe mfr has introduced a new version of a higher end shoe and the remaining stock of the older version gets significantly discounted.

    Crunches, squats, and leg lifts are free, and can be done anywhere you have space and appropriate surroundings. You can find a comfortable number of reps per set and number of sets, and increase that as your abilities improve.

    Hand weights, from 1# up to 20# or 25# aren't too expensive (just buy what you need over time, in reasonable increments - Sports Basement or Big Five has them) and aren't too difficult to stash somewhere near your bicycle. Use these carefully, so you don't strain your back (maybe lay on the floor for biceps and triceps exercises). They can also be used when you do squats, to increase the weight your legs are lifting.

    Living in SF, you've probably seen some of this, but in the greater Bay Area one can find one or more road or trail runs just about every weekend, with some really excellent organizers. If you're walking several miles at a time, you can already walk a 5K (3.11 miles). Organized runs are good intros to others doing the same sort of thing, and to neighborhoods and parks you've not seen before. If you do one, you'll find people of all sorts and sizes - not all are thin and super-fit. In SF, the Dolphin South End Runners club does lots of runs around SF neighborhoods and parks - very basic, very well done, not too pricey. If you're walking 5K and a run also has a 10K and/or half marathon distance, you aren't going have trouble with time limits. There are other great organizers in the Bay Area, but DSE seems close to your home. Be sure to look for an elevation profile with the course map if there may be hills on a course! Also use Google Maps satellite view to see what shade there is on a course.

    A gym membership will probably cost $25-$35 a month, depending on terms and discounts. One nice thing is you have access to all sorts of equipment and can get ideas for what you might adapt for your own home (or neighborhood park). If you're the sort who will be helped by a financial incentive, well that's $25-$35 a month of incentive.

    Don't be intimidated by this info-dump. You're starting an adventure that could take you in a lot of directions, and there's info in this post that might not be useful until next year, if ever. Just copy and paste this text into a computer file for future reference.
    Last edited by SVPete; 03-09-2019 at 01:37 PM.
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