ECCB 14Online Magazine

February, 2017

Total Knee Replacement and Recumbent Bikes

One of the best ways to strengthen and stretch your muscles after a total knee replacement is to ride a recumbent bike regularly. While the rehabilitation process may differ from patient to patient, there are a couple of reasons recumbent bikes supersede any other form of exercise following knee surgery. These include;

 Joint Impact

Unlike some fitness equipment, recumbent bikes subject little or no stress on your new knee. Recumbent biking is categorized as low impact activity and can be quite helpful to afflicted joints, including those under rehabilitation from a knee replacement. Low impact exercises do not put pressure on the joints as other cardiovascular activities such as running or jogging.

 Gears

Almost every other recumbent bike on the market comes with an assortment of gears. Choosing the proper system ensures that your knees go through a full pedaling motion. That, in turn, encourages joint flexibility and muscle strength. Be sure to read recumbent bike reviews to determine the ideal model to help you recuperate.

If you’re just starting out with recovery, set the gear at a low level to reduce the intensity of joint stress.  Increase the gears gradually as you continue to heal.

Clamps

The best recumbent bike for use after knee surgery should have foot clamps. For starters, these are straps attached to the pedal to secure your foot so as to prevent slippage. With your foot firmly on the pedal, you will significantly reduce the risk of injury. Clamps also help;

  • Promote proper body alignment
  • Improve pedaling motion
  • Ensure continuous pressure
  • Strengthen leg muscles
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Increase resistance when lifting the portion of the pedaling maneuver

Balance

A recumbent bicycle will increase your ability to keep balance.  Because these bikes have a low center of gravity, you will quickly regain from poor balance even with a few rides. Note that total knee replacement impairs the strength of your quadriceps and functioning. If you don’t embark on proper recovery routine, it may end up affecting your overall balance as well as the ability to perform basic activities such as walking.

Important Tips to Help Recuperate Quickly

As stated, you’re better off with a bike that with features that will set you on the recovery process fast. Nonetheless, you have to follow the correct training program to experience tangible results. I recommend that you stick to the following;

  • Start out for five minutes with zero resistance, for at least two weeks
  • As you become stronger and the pain level reduces, build your tolerance by with five-minute increments. Also, increase the degree of resistance by one
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated while biking
  • Whenever possible, warm up your muscles before riding to reduce injury risk

When shopping for a recumbent bike, consider the space in your home. You will require ample room to make the most out of your bicycle. However, most models feature space saving design so that shouldn’t be much of a problem.

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Smart System Options for Seniors

As a senior, household chores become more and more difficult as the years go by. You find it harder to wake up and switch off the security lights in the morning or switch on your security system. The good news is that recent advances in technology have brought to the fore smart systems that can make your life easier.

Home automation systems come in many forms. Here, we look at heating and cooling, security and lighting systems for you.

Heating and Cooling

It is now more convenient to manage the temperature around your house via an app on your smartphone or tablet. This eliminates the need for manual operation of the heating and cooling unit in your home. Some of these gadgets are “intelligent” enough to read your routine and adjust the temperature accordingly.

One such gadget is the Nest Thermostat. This thermostat doesn’t need your intervention, it is intelligent enough to create a routine for you. Over its operation, it masters your routine and knows when you want the heat turned on and when you want the temperature down. The app also helps you cut down on your energy bill due to the extensive custom settings and temperature alerts. The gadget comes with an android and iOS app that is easy to install use.

Security Cameras

Having the ability to see who is at your doorstep without leaving your bed or armchair can help you reduce unnecessary accidents. Your caregiver can also use the app to monitor who comes and leaves your home. He or she can also monitor your movement without necessarily being in the house.

One such security bundle is the Piper NV home security camera that comes with entry sensors and a monitoring camera. You get email or text alerts whenever there is a security breach or when something is wrong. You can watch live video or recordings courtesy of the HD camera. Pairing the sensors to Piper makes sure you get a notification every time the door or window gets opened, and you get to set what happens next, for instance you can set Piper to set off the alarm.

Lighting Options

Replacing your existing light bulbs makes it a breeze to turn your lights on and off without leaving the comfort of your chair and schedule security lighting while slashing your energy bill.

One of the options you have as a senior is to use Philips Hue Lights. This lighting system lets you control your lights, right from the kitchen to the garage without leaving your bed or couch. You can control the lights using voice commands or manually. If you still have some spring in your step, you can set away schedules for those moments when you are outside the house. If you don’t like the idea of using the app, you have the option of using a wall switch to handle the operations.

Conclusion

Home automation systems offer an extra hand for you as a senior. These systems give you the ability to “age in place” and live in your own home for years to come. Make sure you get your systems from a primary source to benefit from extensive research.

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