According to the 2016 American Heart Association report, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of nearly 129,000 people each year. Thankfully, the stroke fatality rate has gradually decreased over the last several years, but stroke remains the leading cause of permanent physical disability among survivors.
The risk factors for stoke include: smoking, insufficient exercise, obesity, diabetes, a healthy diet, abnormal cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. Without proper intervention for stroke survivor patients, these factors can subsequently lead to recurring strokes and cardiovascular disease. Hence, it is increasingly important for stroke survivors to adjust their diet and exercise in order to avoid further complications and to maintain a satisfactory quality of life.
Roughly 80% of stroke patients experience hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body) or hemiparesis (weakness or slight paralysis on one side of the body. This can make certain forms of exercise, like walking or running, more challenging due to the decrease in control, sensation and/or strength of the affected side. This can make implementing and maintaining a healthy exercise routine a bit challenging.
For many people recovering from a stroke, cycling on the Outrider is an effective way to achieve sufficient levels of cardiovascular exercise in a safe and exhilarating manner.
Here is a list of some of the advantages of using the Outrider rather than a traditional or stationary bike:
- The Outrider is built on a three-wheeled recumbent chassis which provides stability and comfort for those who may experience balance issue post-stoke.
- All of our Outrider models have an integrated electric motor which allows individuals to propel themselves using human power, either through the foot pedals or the handcycle, as well as the option to engage the electric motor if and when they would like a little extra power getting up a hill, while riding on rough terrain, or when they wish to go on longer rides than they would be able to without the electric assist.
- The Outrider makes the sometimes strenuous and discouraging act of physical therapy and strength training a much more enjoyable experience by allowing stroke patients the option to get out of the clinical setting and build strength and muscle while exploring and healing physically and emotionally in the great outdoors.
- The Outrider controls can be customized to suit the physical wants and needs of the individual, includes single sided controls, Body Point hip, and waist belts, and strapped pedals to make operating the Outrider easy and the rider feel comfortable and secure.
Potential Outrider Customer Case Study:
- D.B is a veteran who suffered a stroke during surgery following an active duty tour and as a result, has hemiparalysis on the left side of his body.
- Prior to the stroke, D.B. was an avid road cyclist and outdoor enthusiast and has greatly missed being able to get outside and ride like he did before his injury.
- Traditional upright bikes are not an option for him due to balance issues from the stroke, and recumbent bikes without a electric assist are too difficult for him to pedal on his own.
- He was drawn to the Outrider because the recumbent platform offers stability, single sided controls allows for easy operation, and the electric throttle provides the option to engage the motor if and when he needs to assist himself while pedaling.
- Using Fixation pedals and positioning straps by Body Point, D.B. was assured his feet would not slip from the pedals, that his non-functioning arm could be secured, and that his waist and trunk were supported on the seat.
If you would like to learn more about strokes and the studies conducted on exercise and improving quality of life for those who have experienced one, or multiple strokes, please visit the articles below:
- Physical Activity and Exercise Recommendations for Stroke Survivors
- The cortical control of cycling exercise in stroke patients: An fNIRS study
- The influence of early cycling training on balance in stroke patients at the subacute stage. Results of a preliminary trial
- A biofeedback cycling training to improve locomotion: a case series study based on gait pattern classification of 153 chronic stroke patients
- Increased Workload Enhances Force Output During Pedaling Exercise in Persons With Poststroke Hemiplegia