Wide Selection Handcycles
starting at $1170.00
Also: known as hand
crank bike, hand powered bike or hand bikes.
of what you call them, a hand bike can be a lot of fun and an
excellent form of exercise.
Seven Wonders of Hand cycling
Defining great reasons to
by Laurie Rappl , PT
I have been a recreational
hand cyclist for two years. Much is written about the elite
athletes and the mega-long-distance riders, but most of
us are just your three-or-four-times-a-week-,
a-few-miles-a-day type of the average person looking to stay in shape,
have some fun, and meet some new people riders. I think
hand cycling is a perfect recreational
sport for the average person looking to stay in shape have
some fun and meet some new people.
My favorite things about
hand cycling include the following:
- Itís outside.
I love the outdoors. I spend all
day indoors at work, or escaping the heat of South
Carolina in the summer. Hand cycling is a fun way to
get outdoors whether you have someone with you or
not. You can do it in the cool of the morning or
evening, with a group or by yourself.
- Iíve lost weight and feel
Who doesnít want to do that? Since Iíve added
regular hand cycling to my weekly routine, Iíve lost
weight and toned my body. I feel better and look
better. Even if you donít want to lose weight, toned
muscles look so much better than flabby ones.
- The speed option.
Ah, the wind in my hair and the
breeze at my back. I enjoy anything that gets me
moving faster than I do everyday in my manual
wheelchair and the less effort the better! Kayaking,
downhill skiing, water skiing. For me, sports has to
be very different from everyday movement ó and hand
cycling fills the bill. On flat terrain, you can
blast with very little effort using the gears on the
bike. Downhill requires even less effort. Yes, uphill
can be a struggle, but the feeling of the downhill
afterward is worth it!
- The slow option.
Sometimes I like to take it easy. Just drift along and look at plants and houses and
things in the world. With a hand cycle you can go as fast
or as slow as you want.
- Itís great exercise.
If you havenít exercised in a
while, other than using your wheelchair ó and even if
you have ó hand cycling will wake up muscles you
forgot you had.
Turning the crank is a
repetitive motion at about chest height that works all
of your body. You donít realize it until you get
moving. Pedaling obviously involves your back,
shoulders and arms. You use your neck and trunk
muscles to stabilize your body on the seat and some
models require trunk motion to turn the bike. Because
the pedaling motion is a push/pull, your trunk muscles
do much more than isometrics (where the muscle
contracts and the body doesnít move. eg; like when a
gymnast on the rings or a figure skater holds a
position). My abdominals contract and relax
rhythmically with the pedaling motion.
- With old friends, new
friends, or alone.
You can hand cycle alone, if thatís your mood. Or,
you can cycle with friends or loved ones. Itís a
sport that crosses the barrier of the impediment of
the " wheelchair".
Itís a fun thing to talk
about with people. "I bike a lot." "You
bike?!? How do you do that?!? Wow, thatís
neat!" Suddenly, youíre not an unusual person in
a wheelchair; youíre an athlete.
The cycling people Iíve met
are great! Theyíre energetic; theyíre into the
outdoors , feeling good and enjoy life.
- Itís healthy!
My circulation improves when I cycle. The swelling in
my legs goes down dramatically. Since my legs are
stuck straight out in front of me, on the bike, I feel
like I re-acquaint myself with my feet. Also, my, ummm,
shall I say ó ability to eliminate waste products
ó is so much easier when I cycle regularly!
Go for it! Try one! Most owners
will be glad to share their bike if you want to try one
out. You have nothing to lose, and absolutely everything
to gain! Then buy
your own hand cycle and
Go to Here
for a wide selection of Hand bikes at very competitive
Rappl, PT, is clinical
support manager for Span-America Medical Systems Inc., Greenville,
S.C. She is active with the American Physical Therapy Association.
She's also a presenter at APTA conferences as well as other
meetings where she focuses on pressure ulcer prevention and other
July 16, 2000
| News | Health
| SCI | Motivation |
Jobs | Speaker