Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis, and ultimately respiratory failure. To date, there has been little research done on the benefits of moderate exercise to slow the progression of the disease. However, the studies that have been done, show it can have a positive effect physically as well as emotionally and psychologically.
The Outrider is a great alternative to a stationary bike or a traditional (solely)human powered bike for individuals with ALS. The Outrider is offered in several modular and exchangeable configurations which allows the Outrider to adapt to the rider. These configurations include: foot pedals with an electric throttle, a shaft-driven electric handcycle, and an all-electric ATV version with standard vertical handle bars or with adaptive Tri-pin controls. This variety of configurations allows for a higher degree of customization based on an individuals wants and needs.
Here are a few of the benefits of the Outrider for riders with ALS:
- The independent electric drive and pedal drive systems allows individuals to assist themselves by engaging the motor when they feel fatigued or do not have the physical strength to pedal up hills, on rough terrain, or for long distances.
- Pedaling the Outrider achieves a similar effect of pedaling a stationary bike as far as getting exercise and building strength, but it enables patients to be outdoors which research has shown improves morale and lowers the stress causing hormone Cortisol.
- The Outrider enables people to achieve exercise and recreational therapy in a novel, dynamic way that cannot be mimicked in a typical clinical setting.
- The Outrider's modular design is an experience equalizer, such that people are able to choose the configuration best suited for them and everyone, regardless of physical abilities, is able to enjoy the same experience. This allows people to engage with friends and family in a way that may have not been previously possible.
- As the disease progresses and patients are not able to pedal, the foot pedals (or handcycle) can be removed and replaced with a foot rest as all-electric ATV configuration.
- If the standard vertical handlebars and controls on the ATV Outrider become too difficult to operate, they can be replaced with Outrider’s proprietary Tri-pin controls.
- Patients do not have to relinquish an activity they enjoy and love due to physical restrictions and in return, their Quality of Life (QOL) is preserved.
Outrider customer case study:
- R.C, NC: Foot Pedal Horizon with Standard Vertical Handlebars and Controls
- R.C got a KMX Viper and an EZEE hub motor so that he could still get outside to ride and explore despite his ALS diagnosis.
- He was not satisfied with his modified KMX trike and was drawn to the Horizon Outrider based on its reliability, performance, power, torque and its superior ability to climb steep hills and tackle rough terrain.
- Unlike his modified KMX trike, he will be able to modify his Horizon from a foot pedal configuration to an electric handcycle or an all-electric ATV version (with standard vertical handlebars or adaptive tri-pin controls) as needed.
- With the Horizon, he will still be able to get out and participate in an activity he loves as his disease progresses.
If you would like to learn more about ALS and the studies conducted on recreational therapy treatment, please visit the links below:
- The ALS Association: What is ALS?
- A cross sectional study on determinants of quality of life in ALS
- Exercise: stretching the limits of ALS care
- The value of muscle exercise in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- The ALS Specific Quality of Life-Revised (ALSSQOL-R) User’s Guide