The best exercise machines for seniors include stationary recumbent bicycles and rowing machines, both of which allow for effective and low-impact exercise. Compared to the popular treadmill, elliptical machine, upright bicycle machines and steppers, these exercise machines present a lower risk joint and knee injuries.
Recumbent bikes offer seniors ergonomic body placement by allowing them to keep their feet level to the floor, evenly distributing body weight and avoiding placing pressure on the knees. Many of these machines come equipped with monitors to ensure users reach, but do not exceed, their target heart rates. They are also capable of offering uphill or level pedaling workouts to accommodate various fitness levels.
Unlike upright stationary bikes, recumbent bikes sit close to the ground, minimizing the possibility of the user falling off the machine and injuring himself. Typically, recumbent bike machines offer larger, more comfortable seats than upright stationary bikes. Such seats feature greater adjustability and offer better back support, reducing the likelihood of the user developing back or shoulder pain.
Rowing machines allow the user to obtain a full-body cardio workout without straining the back or joints. Through the leg-press action required to operate a rowing machine, users also gain strength-training while rowing. However, seniors should obtain professional instruction on proper rowing technique to avoid developing painful back injuries.