Archive Monthly Archives: March 2019

Best Pedal Exerciser for the Elderly to be Healthy

Best Pedal Exerciser for the Elderly to be Healthy

Seniors and the elderly spend an extraordinary amount of time sitting each day. Regrettably, sitting has many negative consequences. However, if you must sit, exercise gear like the pedal exerciser for elderly may help lessen some of the bad consequences. Most noteworthy, these pedal exercisers are specially built for the elderly and seniors. For example, they are not heavy, thereby allowing the elderly to lift them on to a table for exercising their arms or storing them away after use.

Pedal Exerciser for Elderly

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What are these Pedals?

Above all, the pedal exercisers described below are designed mostly for use by the elderly and seniors. As a result, these pedal exercisers are not designed for heavy duty use, such as trying to lose weight, but rather to help your arms and legs stay healthy. Especially noteworthy, tube framed pedal exercisers offer light resistance, while the cased body pedal exercisers offer higher resistance.

Elderly Pedal Reviews

Vive Desk Cycle - Foot Pedal Exerciser - Foldable Portable Foot, Hand, Arm, Leg Exercise Pedaling Machine - Folding Mini Stationary Bike Pedaler, Fitness Rehab Gym Equipment for Seniors, Elderly, PT

The most popular Vive Desk Cycle has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the delivered Vive Desk Cycle comes almost fully assembled. In fact, the only assembly required is to screw in the tension knob.

Desk or Table Use

Also, to use the Vive Desk Cycle under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

In addition, the Vive Desk Cycle is 19 inches long, 14.5 inches wide and 9 inches high. Also, at it's highest point the pedal is 12 inches above the floor. Consequently, the Vive Desk Cycle needs a clearance of 13 inches for use under a desk or table.

Display

Especially relevant, a large, easy to read LCD screen displays, with the touch of a button, revolutions per minute, time, speed and calories burned.

Exercise

Most of all, the Vive Desk Cycle exercises both arms and legs.

Foldability

Next, the Vive Desk Cycle is easily folded for storage. As a result, the Vive Desk Cycle doesn't take up floor space when not in use. 

Pedals

In addition, the Vive Desk Cycle has four inch wide pedals with a non-slip surface and adjustable toe loops to help keep your feet in place as you peddle.

Sliding

Furthermore, the Vive Desk Cycle has non-slip, non-marking feet that ensure it stays in place while being used on hard floors, carpets, and table tops. And the low profile prevents the Vive Desk Cycle from wobbling and sliding.

Tension

Next, the tension knob allows you to adjust resistance, thereby making it easy to adjust your workouts from easy to hard.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the Vive Desk Cycle comes with a one year manufacturer's guarantee.

Weight

Finally, the Vive Desk Cycle weighs only 5.15 pounds.

PROS

  • 1-year manufacturer's guarantee

B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser - Under Desk Exercise Machine - Arm & Leg Exercise Peddler - Folding Low Impact Exercise Bike for Seniors and Elderly

Pedal Exerciser for Elderly

The very popular B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the delivered B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser comes almost fully assembled. In fact, the only assembly required is to insert a tightening screw.

Construction

Most noteworthy, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser has a triple-layered chrome-plated steel frame, which provides stability and lifetime durability. In addition, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser is powder coated. As a result, the surface will be more resistant against scratches, chipping, wear, and fading as compared to other type of finishes.

Desk or Table Use

Also, to use the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

In addition, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser is 19.6 inches long, 14.5 inches wide and 9 inches high. Also, at it's highest point the pedal is 13.5 inches above the floor. Consequently, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser needs a clearance of 14 inches for use under a desk or table.

Display

Especially relevant, an easy to read LCD screen displays, with the touch of a button, revolutions per minute, time, speed, distance, and calories burned. Meanwhile, the scan button sequentially displays the workout data continuously.

Exercise

Most of all, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser exercises both arms and legs.

Foldability

Next, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser is easily folded for storage. As a result, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser doesn't take up floor space when not in use. Especially relevant, the folded size is 14.8 inches long, 14.5 inches wide, and 8 inches high.

Pedals

In addition, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser has 4 inch wide pedals with adjustable toe loops to help keep your feet in place as you peddle.

Sliding

Furthermore, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser has anti-slip, triangular rubber pads that protect the surface and ensures it stays in place while being used on hard floors, carpets, and table tops. In addition, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser can be tied to a chair by fixing straps so that the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser doesn't slide away while being used.

Tension

Next, the tension knob makes it easy to adjust your workout from easy to hard.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser comes with a one year manufacturer's warranty.

Weight

Finally, the B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser, weighs only 6.6 pounds.

PROS

  • One year manufacturer's warranty
  • Additional fixing strap to prevent B BAIJIAWEI Portable Pedal Exerciser from sliding during use

Carex Foldable Under Desk Elliptical - Exercise Bike with Digital Display - Compact Exercise Equipment for Arms and Legs - Great for Elderly, Seniors, Disabled or Office Use

The very popular Carex foldable under desk exercise bike has the following features.

Construction

Most noteworthy, the Carex foldable under desk exercise bike has an all metal frame.

Desk or Table Use

Also, to use the Carex foldable under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

In addition, the Carex foldable under desk exercise bike is 18.5 inches long, 14.5 inches wide and 9.5 inches high. Consequently, the Carex foldable needs a clearance of at least 11 inches for use under a desk or table.

Display

Especially relevant, an easy to read LCD screen displays, with the touch of a button,  revolutions, time, and calories burned. Meanwhile, the scan button sequentially displays the workout data continuously.

Exercise

Most of all, the Carex foldable under desk exercise bike exercises both arms and legs.

Foldability

Next, the Carex foldable under desk exercise bike is easily folded for storage. As a result, the Carex foldable under desk exercise bike doesn't take up floor space when not in use

Pedals

In addition, the Carex foldable under desk exercise bike has 4 inch wide, 2 inch deep pedals. Also, the pedals have adjustable Velcro straps to help keep your feet in place as you peddle.

Tension

Next, the tension knob makes it easy to adjust your workout from very little resistance to some.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the Carex foldable under desk exercise bike comes with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

Weight

Finally, the Carex foldable under desk exercise bike weighs only 5.5 pounds.

EF Pedal Exerciser Mini Stationary Bike,Foot Peddler Treadmill Seated Chair Cycler for Seniors and Elderly,Arms and Legs Workout with LCD Molitor,Folding Exercise Bike

The popular EF Pedal Exerciser has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the delivered EF Pedal Exerciser comes almost fully assembled. In fact, all that's needed is to attach the pedals.

Construction

Most noteworthy, the EF Pedal Exerciser has a strong steel frame which prevents wobbling.

Desk or Table Use

Also, to use the EF Pedal Exerciser under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

In addition, the EF Pedal Exerciser is 17.5 inches long, 14 inches wide and 10.5 inches high. Consequently, the EF Pedal Exerciser needs a clearance of at least 12 inches for use under a desk or table.

Exercise

Most of all, the EF Pedal Exerciser exercises both arms and legs.

Foldability

Next, the EF Pedal Exerciser is foldable.

Pedals

In addition, the EF Pedal Exerciser has pedals with adjustable four position straps to help keep your feet in place as you peddle away.

Sliding

Furthermore, the EF Pedal Exerciser has non-skid ribbed triangular rubber feet that provide traction and stability. In addition, the rubber feet ensures it stays in place while being used on hard floors, carpets, and table tops.

Tension

Next, the tension knob makes it easy to adjust your workout from easy to hard.

Weight

Finally, the  EF Pedal Exerciser weighs only 5,75 pounds.

CONS

  • No display
  • No warranty mentioned

Pedal Exerciser Mini Stationary Bike,Foot Peddler Treadmill Seated Chair Cycler for Seniors and Elderly,Arms and Legs Workout with LCD Molitor,Folding Exercise Bike,Fully Assembled

The Enstver Pedal Exerciser has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the delivered Enstver Pedal Exerciser comes almost fully assembled. In fact, the only assembly required is to screw in the tension knob.

Construction

Most noteworthy, the Enstver Pedal Exerciser has a strong steel frame that prevents wobbling.

Desk or Table Use

Also, to use the Enstver Pedal Exerciser under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

In addition, the Enstver Pedal Exerciser is 18 inches long, 15 inches wide and 10 inches high to the top of the tension knob. However, the highest point of the pedal is more than 10 inches. Consequently this highest point of the pedal is the clearance you need for using under a desk of table.

Display

Especially relevant, a large, easy to read LCD screen displays, with the touch of a button, revolutions per minute, time, speed and calories burned.

Exercise

Most of all, the Enstver Pedal Exerciser exercises both arms and legs.

Foldability

Next, the Enstver Pedal Exerciser is easily folded for storage. As a result, the Enstver Pedal Exerciser doesn't take up floor space when not in use. 

Pedals

In addition, the Enstver Pedal Exerciser has pedals with adjustable toe loops to help keep your feet in place as you peddle.

Sliding

Furthermore, the Enstver Pedal Exerciser has non-skid ribbed reinforced rubber feet that provide traction on most floors, tables, and surfaces.

Tension

Next, the tension knob makes it easy to adjust your workout from easy to hard.

Warranty

Finally, the Enstver Pedal Exerciser comes with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

PROS

  • Depending on the clearance, the Enstver Pedal Exerciser may be used under a desk or a table.

Banghotfire Mini Excercise Bike Pedal Arm and Leg Exerciser for Seniors, Under Desk Bike with Adjustable Resistance Knob

Pedal Exerciser for Seniors

The Banghotfire mini exercise bike has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, some assembly of the  Banghotfire mini exercise bike is needed.

Construction

Most noteworthy, the Banghotfire mini exercise bike has a sturdy metal frame, In addition, ABS plastic is used for some parts.

Desk or Table Use

Also, to use the Banghotfire mini exercise bike under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

In addition, the Banghotfire mini exercise bike is 14.2 inches long and 11.8 inches high.  Consequently, the  Banghotfire mini exercise bike needs a clearance of 13 inches for use under a desk or table.

Display

Especially relevant, a multi-function LCD monitor displays time, distance, total revolutions, and calories.

Exercise

Most of all, the Banghotfire mini exercise bike exercises both arms and legs.

Pedals

In addition, the Banghotfire mini exercise bike's pedals have comfortable straps to keep your feet in place.

Sliding

Furthermore, the Banghotfire mini exercise bike has non-slip feet  that provide stability.

Tension

Next, the tension knob allows you to adjust resistance, thereby making it easy to adjust your workouts from easy to hard.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the Banghotfire mini exercise bike comes with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

Weight

Next, the Banghotfire mini exercise bike weighs 7.28 pounds.

Weight Capacity

Finally, the Banghotfire mini exercise bike, is limited to anyone weighing less than 265 pounds. Indeed, anyone heavier may exceed the design limits of the Banghotfire mini exercise bike and potentially cause it to break.

PROS

  • Usable by anyone under  265 pounds

Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser - Portable Desk Cycle - Hand, Arm & Leg Exercise Peddling Machine - Low Impact, Adjustable Fitness Rehab Equipment for Seniors, Elderly - Folding Mini Stationary Bike

The Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser has the following features.

Assembly

First and foremost, the delivered Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser comes almost fully assembled. In fact, screwing on the tension knob is the only assembly required.

Construction

Most noteworthy, the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser has a strong iron frame. In addition, the frame is powder coated. As a result, the surface will be more resistant against scratches, chipping, wear, and fading compared to other type of finishes.

Desk or Table Use

Also, to use the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

In addition, the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser is 19.6 inches long, 14.5 inches wide and 12.6 inches high with the pedal parallel to the surface. Consequently, the highest height the pedals reach will be greater than 12.6 inches. And that distance is the clearance you will need to use the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser under a desk or table. 

Display

Especially relevant, the electronic display shows revolutions, exercise time, revolutions per minute, and calories burned with the touch of a button. Meanwhile, the scan button sequentially displays the workout data continuously.

Exercise

Most of all, the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser exercises both arms and legs.

Foldability

Next, the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser is easily folded for storage. As a result, the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser doesn't take up floor space when not in use. Moreover, the folded size is 14.8 inches long, 14.5 inches wide, and 8 inches high.

Pedals

In addition, the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser has 4 inch wide pedals with adjustable straps to help keep your feet in place as you peddle. Also, the pedal's cranks are covered with insulation to protect legs when the rods get hot from the friction resistance.

Skidding

Furthermore, the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser has four oversized anti-slip rubber pads to prevent the bike from sliding while pedaling. Also, the pads make it more stable to pedal while also protecting mounting surfaces. In addition, the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser can be tied to a chair by fixing straps so that the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser doesn't slide away while being used.

Tension

Next, the tension knob makes it easy to adjust your workout from easy to hard.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser comes with a standard manufacturer's warranty.

Weight

Finally, the Cozylifeunion Pedal Exerciser, weighs only 6.6 pounds.

PROS

  • Pedal crank-arm insulated to prevent getting in contact with hot surfaces

How do you Evaluate these Pedals?

In fact, use the factors described below to grade these pedal exercisers.

Assembly

First, assembling the pedal exerciser should be easy. In fact, the less assembly required, the better.

Construction

Next, it is preferable that the pedal exerciser be made of heavy-duty alloys or steel. At least the frame must be metal. And, since you may push them hard, the pedals need to be made from heavy duty plastic such as ABS or better. Indeed, the more solid the construction, the longer the pedal exerciser for elderly will last, and more stable it will be.

Display

Meanwhile, displays help you keep track of your workouts. For example, workout measurements include revolutions (or rotations), time, revolutions per minute, and calories burned. Moreover, you use this information to monitor your progress over time, or simply to ensure you met your daily target.

Exercise

Also, a pedal exerciser exercising both arms and legs gives you more flexibility.

Feet

Most of all, the feet are generally made from heavy duty rubber or other similar material to protect the floor and/or the table from scratches and marks. Also, the feet helps prevent the pedal exerciser from sliding as you pedal. Indeed, all the pedal exercisers, described here, are lightweight weighing less than 10 pounds. In addition, most people try to use the pedals as they would a recumbent bike – namely by pushing the pedals away from you. This pushing action is a consequence of the chair being behind the pedal exerciser – as with a recumbent bike. Moreover, this pushing action pushes the pedal exerciser away from you. So instead of pushing on the pedals, push the pedals down towards the floor. Consequently, the pedal exerciser may stay in place as you peddle.

Especially relevant, several pedal exercisers provide straps to tie the pedal exercise to the chair. On the other hand, if you choose one without the straps, there are ways to prevent the pedal exerciser from sliding.

  1. 1
    Put the chair and the pedal exerciser on a rubber matting
  2. 2
    Tether the pedal exerciser to the chair using a rope or solid rubber strap with hooks on either end

Foldable

Next, a foldable pedal exerciser makes it easier to store it in small spaces. In addition, foldable exercisers are easier to carry around.

Footprint

Most of all, the footprint tells you how much space the pedal exerciser is going to need, so you can decide if the pedal exerciser is going to fit where you intend to use it.

Handle

Meanwhile, a handle makes it easier to move the pedal exerciser around with one hand.

Height

Especially relevant, if the pedal exerciser is going to be used under a desk, you need to measure the distance between the top of your knee, when sitting on a chair, and the floor with your shoes on. Next you need to measure the highest point the top of the pedal reaches above the floor. And, the sum of these two numbers needs to be less than the distance between the underside of the table or desk top and the floor.

Noise

Because the pedal exercisers may be used in office environments or while watching TV or reading a book, they need to run as quietly as possible. Most of all, pedal exercisers using magnetic resistance run quieter. On the other hand, pedal exercisers that use friction for resistance tend to be noisy. To reduce this noise, take the tension knob out and put graphite powder in the tension knob’s hole. And then screw back the tension knob.

Pedals

Most of all, to drive the pedals with your feet, the pedals need to be non-slip or else your feet will not grip the pedals. In addition, pedal straps help grab your feet to the pedal. Moreover, the pedal straps need to be adjustable to accommodate various foot sizes.

Storage

Next, foldable pedal exercisers take up less space in storage than those that can’t be folded.

Tension

Tension is sometimes referred to as resistance. And, nearly all pedal exercisers provide the capability to adjust tension so that you can change your workout intensity. However, not all pedal exercisers provide markers that allow you to easily identify tension levels. Furthermore, such markers help you record tension levels of your workouts. And these markers are especially important, if the pedal exerciser is used by others.

Most noteworthy, tension based on friction will cause metal parts in the vicinity to heat up. Therefore, pedal exercisers that offer protection from contact with the heated parts are better than those which don’t. Furthermore, depending on the pedal speed, and the length of time pedaling, heating could start to be felt as soon as 15 minutes after starting. However, if you are pedaling slowly, heat from friction likely won’t be an issue. Be that as it may, you can reduce the build up of heat by lubricating. In fact, to lubricate, take the tension knob out and put graphite powder in the tension knob’s hole. And then screw back the tension knob.

Transportation

Because the pedal exercisers are used under the desk, in front of a couch, on a table, among other places, being lightweight becomes an advantage in terms of moving it from one location to another.

Use

In addition, manufacturers design pedal exercisers for different use. So you want to look at pedal exercisers targeted to your need. For example, some pedal exercisers are designed for the handicapped, and some for beginners. While others are designed for strengthening your arms and legs.

Warranty

Especially relevant, the longer the warranty period the better you are protected against manufacturing defects. Indeed, a 90-day period will cover the majority of manufacturing defects. And, since most defects are found in this period, it’s important to ensure your purchase is covered during that time. In addition, a longer warranty period, implies that the pedal exerciser is better built to last a longer time.

Weight

Finally, pedal exercisers that weigh less are easier to carry around. On the other hand, heavier pedal exercisers offer more stability.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you are looking for essentially a pedal exerciser that:

  • 1
    Will allow you to use the pedal exerciser under a desk or a table or on a table
  • 2
    Is reasonably solid
  • 3
    Is quiet
  • 4
    Offers adjustable tension
  • 5
    Displays exercise time, count of revolutions, revolutions per minute, and calories burned
  • 6
    Has at least a 90-day warranty

What are Your Needs?

First and foremost, itemize what you want from a pedal exerciser for seniors. For example, the list below gives you a start.

  • 1
    Does the pedal exerciser need to be foldable?
  • 2
    How much physical space is there for the pedal exerciser?
  • 3
    Does the pedal exerciser need to keep track of progress as you exercise?
  • 4
    Is the pedal exerciser going to be used under a desk or a table?
  • 5
    Is the pedal exerciser going to be used for exercising only the legs or arms or both?
  • 6
    How much use is the pedal exerciser going to get every day?

Indeed, answers to these questions and others will help guide you to the pedal exerciser that's best for you.

What Problems do these Pedals Solve?

Hours Spent Sitting

Most of all, according to the 2017 American time use survey by Bureau of Labor Statistics, seniors:

  • 1
    Between the ages of 65 to 74 spent 1.29 hours each day on eating and drinking
  • 2
    Seniors aged 75 and up sent 1.43 hours each day on eating and drinking
  • 3
    Between the ages of 65 to 74 spent 7.32 hours each day on leisure or sports activities
  • 4
    Aged 75 and up spent 7.77 hours each day on leisure or sports activities
  • 5
    Between the ages of 65 to 74 spent 1.5 hours each day eating, drinking, making telephone calls, mail, and email activities
  • 6
    Aged 75 and up spent 1.69 hours each day eating, drinking, making telephone calls, mail, and email activities

In conclusion, seniors between the ages of 65 to 74 spent 8.82 hours each day, essentially sitting. While seniors aged 75 and up spent 9.46 hours each day, essentially sitting.

Consequence of Too Much Sitting

Above all, prolonged sitting on a regular basis results in health problems such as:

  • 1
    Metabolic syndrome
  • 2
    Poor blood circulation
  • 3
    Obesity
  • 4
    Posture
  • 5
    Develop diseases
  • 6
    Cancer
  • 7
    Mental Health
  • 8
    Longevity
  • 9
    Mortality

In addition, prolonged sitting effects the muscles in the arms and the lower body.

Effect of Sitting on Arm Muscles

The major muscle groups in the arms are:

  • 1
    The biceps located in front of the upper arms
  • 2
    The triceps located in the back of the upper arm, and
  • 3
    The forearms in your lower arms

Indeed, all of these arm muscles are effected by sitting too much. In fact, the triceps are a common area for fat deposits, meaning you’re most likely to notice excess, flabby skin in this area.

Effect of Sitting on Lower Body Muscles

Especially relevant, the legs contain the most muscle groups in your body. Moreover, too much sitting causes the quads, hamstrings, and calves to change. In fact, these muscles become less toned as the muscles get smaller and less defined. Indeed, the effects are first seen on your upper legs and hips, where fat deposits are common. And, these changes are largely due to the fact that fat in this area tends to be less metabolically active than the fat in other areas of the body.

Next, the three major muscle groups in the buttocks are: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Meanwhile, too much sitting causes these muscles to soften and become undefined, leaving your butt looking flat and misshapen. Consequently, as these muscles lose their tone, you may have difficulty maintaining good balance.

And, that’s where the pedal exerciser for elderly helps. In fact, the elderly use the pedal exerciser while sitting in a chair to exercise their arms and legs.

How do these Pedals Solve the Problems?

How much does Physical Activity Help?

First and foremost, a study was published in the March 21 2019 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. In fact, the study looked at 14 years of activity and inactivity data of 92,500 people. Meanwhile, one study group consisted of participants who were least active with less than 17 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. And, the study found that if these participants replaced just 30 minutes of sitting with light activity, their risk of premature death falls by 14 percent.

Is there Proof that Using Pedal Exercisers Really Helps Your Body?

First and foremost, many studies show that physical inactivity and sedentary work environments increases insulin resistance. Moreover, this increase in insulin resistance leads to higher risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Incidentally, University of Massachusetts researchers published a study in October 2018 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Indeed, the study reported that pedaling while working improves the body’s insulin response.

Meanwhile, the study comprised of six men and six women overweight/obese full-time sedentary office workers. And, these seated participants pedaled for two hours while working at their desks. Incidentally, the participants pedaled at their own pace for as little or as much time as they chose.

Next, after eating a light meal, the participants provided blood samples. The blood samples were used for analysis of metabolic responses of glucose, insulin and free fatty acids. Indeed, glucose, insulin, and free fatty acids are linked to obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

When compared to sedentary behavior, the study showed that pedaling required significantly less insulin to maintain glucose concentrations. Consequently, their insulin levels were lower, which in turn, reduced their risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Consequently, the body doesn’t work so hard to maintain blood glucose and fatty acid levels when pedaling. Best of all, their work output and efficiency were not affected by the pedaling.

Finally, pedaling is better than treadmill or standing desk because long periods of standing lowers productivity besides being tiring.

Pedal Exerciser for Elderly Exercises Muscles

Above all, the pedal exerciser for seniors can be used in two ways: one for exercising the arms and one for exercising the legs.

Pedal Exercisers
Pedal Exerciser Exercises Arms

When used for exercising the arms, the pedal exerciser is on a table with the senior sitting on a chair. Furthermore, in this mode, the pedal exerciser strengthens and tones arms. In fact, the muscles exercised include the biceps, triceps, shoulders and forearms.

Pedal Exerciser Exercises Legs

When used for exercising legs, the pedal exerciser is on the floor with the senior sitting on a chair behind it. Furthermore, in this mode, the pedal exerciser strengthens and tones legs. In fact, the muscles exercised include the hips flexors, glutes, calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.

Other Health Benefits from Using Pedal Exerciser for Seniors

Most of all, the pedal exerciser helps you in the following ways.

  • 1
    Prevents varicose veins.
  • 2
    The pedal exerciser exercises the calf muscles which increases blood circulation to your feet and ankles and stops blood from pooling. As a result, the pedal exerciser reduces your risk of deep vein thrombosis or blood clots.
  • 3
    Reduces numbness in feet and ankles
  • 4
    Prevents swelling of feet, ankles, and legs from water retention due to edema. Indeed, regular use of the pedal exerciser, will reduce these symptoms of edema.
  • 5
    Reduces damage to the knees. In fact, the smooth moving pedal exerciser does not cause body joints to get jerked or suddenly shocked. However, while the pedal exerciser does not harm the knees, people with sustained injuries or weak knees should consult a doctor before using the pedal exerciser.
  • 6
    Strengthens and tones the arms by exercising the biceps, triceps, shoulders and forearms.

How are these Pedals Used?

The Wrong Way

First and foremost, a pedal exerciser shouldn’t be used like a recumbent bike. Most noteworthy, when you use a recumbent bike, because the seat is somewhat away from the pedals, you end up pushing the pedals forward. So, if you do this with the pedal exerciser too far away from your chair, the pedal exerciser will either slide or tilt forward.

The Correct Way

Therefore, keep the pedal exerciser closer to the chair. And, don’t start pedaling until the pedal arm is in the 1 o’clock position. At that time, push the pedals downward towards the floor. And, make sure your toes are pointing forward not upwards. Consequently, you can pedal downward even when you are sitting on a low chair or couch. Moreover, when you are sitting in a low chair or couch, you work both the quads and the hamstrings.

Also, by starting at very little resistance you can learn the correct way to pedal. Most of all, focus on pedaling downwards. In addition, pedal for at least 15 minutes at very little resistance. Next, increase the resistance a little and pedal for another 15 minutes. And, repeat this sequence until you reach a resistance where you are comfortable pedaling.

Lower Body Workout

First, place pedal exerciser underneath your desk, or on the floor in front of a couch or chair. And do 20 minutes of pedaling with no resistance. Next, increase resistance and do another 20 minutes. And, repeat sequence, as necessary, to complete workout.

Arm Exercises

First, place pedal exerciser on a table with rubber mat. Next, grab pedals by the hands and rotate them forward, changing the resistance to make it somewhat of an effort. And do this for 15 minutes. Next, change direction and rotate pedals backwards for another 15 minutes. Repeat sequence, as necessary, to complete workout.

Stretch Arm Muscles

Firstly, to stretch arm muscles, put elbow on the table with your arm bent, while keeping the other arm free. Secondly, position the top of your hand so that it is touching the pedal and grasp the pedals with fingers. Thirdly, starting with no resistance, slowly push down on the pedal. Next, pull the pedal back up. And, repeat with the other arm. Next, increase resistance and repeat sequence, as necessary, to complete workout.

Strengthen Upper Body Muscles

First, place pedal exerciser on a table with rubber mat. Next, grab pedals by the hands and rotate them forward, starting at zero resistance And, do this for 10 minutes. Next, gradually increase time and resistance. And, repeat sequence, as necessary, to complete workout.

Knee Injury

Most of all, you can use the pedal exerciser to increase flexibility of muscles surrounding your injured knee. Firstly, sit in a firm but comfortable chair to stabilize your back. Secondly, place the pedal exerciser in front of you. Thirdly, place your feet on the pedals and slowly pedal with zero resistance. Next, gradually increase time and resistance and repeat, as necessary, to complete workout.

Stretching Injured Knee

Finally, the pedal exerciser can be used as a stretching machine. Firstly, slide feet of the leg with injured knee in the pedal next to the floor. Secondly, rotate pedal to the highest height using the leg with injured knee. And hold that position. Next, gently push pedal back down and pull back up. And, repeat this sequence for 5 cycles.

Other Under Desk Exercise Machines

Comparison with Other Under Desk Exercise Machines

First and foremost, under desk pedals have a circular motion of the lower legs and hence more circular movement of the knees. In addition, under desk pedals exercise glutes, quads, hamstrings, and to a lesser extent the calves.

Meanwhile, the stepping action of sitting steppers requires pushing down on the pedals against hydraulic resistance. As a result, there is greater stress on the knees. But a better lower leg muscle workout, especially of the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

Finally, under desk elliptical machines produces a walking action swinging the lower legs back and forth. Consequently, the joints relax during the exercise. In addition, the under desk elliptical machines don’t put too much stress on the legs.

Links to Other Under Desk Pedal Exercisers

Links to Under Desk Steppers

Links to Under Desk Ellipticals

How Good is the Nordic Diet

How Good is the Nordic Diet

The Nordic diet is based on locally sourced foods eaten in the Nordic countries of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, and Iceland. The philosophy of the diet is to eat locally grown, sourced, or available wholesome foods. As a result, the Nordic diet can be adapted to foods locally grown, sourced, or available wherever you live.

Nordic Diet

Emphasis of the Nordic Diet

Especially relevant, the Nordic diet contains less sugar and fat but twice the fiber and seafood, especially when compared to a typical Western diet. Furthermore, the Nordic diet’s emphasis is on the following:

  • 1
    Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, seafood, and whole grains
  • 2
    Eat less frequently game meat, eggs, cheese, and yogurt
  • 3
    Hardly ever eat red meats and animal fats
  • 4
    Never eat added sugars, processed meats, food additives, refined fast foods, and beverages with sugar

Nordic Diet Guidelines

The Nordic diet is based on the guidelines described here.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

  • 1
    First of all, eat berries frequently. In fact, berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help keep your veins and arteries healthy and flexible. As a result, anthocyanins help lower your blood pressure.
  • 2
    Also eat peas and beans often. In fact, peas and beans are a major source of fiber and complex carbs. Also, peas and beans are a good source of proteins. In addition, they provide vitamins like riboflavin and B6. Finally, they provide minerals like zinc, calcium, and iron.
  • 3
    Next, eat legumes, vegetables such as cabbage, root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, beets, and tubers like potatoes. Most of all, they are a source of fiber that takes a long time to digest and helps keep your blood sugar stable. In addition, they help protect your cells, lower your cholesterol and fight infection.

Eat Whole Grains

Whole grains such as oats and barley are an important part of meals. Another example is dark, dense sourdough rye bread from Denmark. In addition, eat snacks such as whole-grain crackers from Sweden. Most of all, they provide high-quality “complex’ carbohydrates that are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to protect your cells.

Eat Fish

Fish from the ocean, seas, and lakes provide many healthy benefits. In fact, fish containing omega-3 fatty acids help you by:

  • 1
    Reduce your chances of heart rhythm problems
  • 2
    Cause less plaque buildup in the arteries, and
  • 3
    Cut down on triglycerides in blood

And, examples of these fish include:

  • 1
    Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and albacore tuna
  • 2
    Lean fish such as cod, haddock and halibut

Eat Meat

High-quality meat should be eaten in small amounts.

Eat Less of

Processed foods as well as less sugary foods.

Eat Home Cooked Meals

Home cooked meals using canola oil or rapeseed oil provide many benefits. Canola oil is low in saturated fat, high in healthy monounsaturated fat, and alpha-linolenic acid. In fact, alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 that helps protect your brain from such things as strokes.

Eat Foods from the Wild

Seek out more foods from the wild. For example, nuts and seeds are a good source of complex carbs and fiber. Also, they are rich in zinc, copper, potassium, vitamin E, niacin, antioxidants, and mono-unsaturated fats and poly-unsaturated fats.

Eat Organic Foods

Whenever possible, use organic produce.

Avoid Food Additives

Instead, use herbs and spices.

Eat Seasonal Produce

Seasonal produce provides an opportunity to eat foods that are only available for short periods of time.

Reduce Waste

Minimize waste by eating more foods that comes with little throw away packaging.

Composing your Meals

Most of all, the Nordic diet doesn’t count calories, instead you calculate the meal’s carbs to protein ratio. Indeed, the ideal Nordic diet meal has a 2:1 ratio of carbs grams to protein grams.

Furthermore, the carbs to protein ratio is based on a combination of Low-Glycemic Index (low-GI) foods and moderately high-protein foods. Most noteworthy, high-protein foods include low fat dairy products.

First, low-GI foods cause a slower and lower elevation in blood sugars compared to high-GI foods. In addition, protein-rich foods make you feel less hungry. Therefore, by properly balancing nutritionally dense foods, you can:

  • 1
    Avoid weight gain
  • 2
    Reduce inflammation, and
  • 3
    Lower your risk of diseases like diabetes

Carbohydrates

Select carbs using the guidelines below.

  • 1
    Use low-GI foods such as fruits and vegetables other than potatoes.
  • 2
    Use low-GI carbs such as grains, bread, pasta, beans and legumes. In fact, rye is a whole-grain staple in the Nordic diet. Also, pumpernickel and sourdough bread are low-GI carbs while softer fluffy white breads aren’t. In addition, steel-cut oats have a lower GI than instant oatmeal.
  • 3
    Low fat dairy products

Proteins

Select proteins using the guidelines below.

  • 1
    Fish such as shellfish or white fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, and sardines provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids
  • 2
    Lean cuts of pork
  • 3
    Veal and beef
  • 4
    Skinless poultry
  • 5
    Tofu and legumes such as lentils or beans

Fiber

Vegetables and whole grains provide fiber. And, for extra fiber add chia seeds to your meals.

Sample Meals

Above all, a one half of a typical meal would include vegetables, fruits and berries. Next, one quarter contains low-GI carbs. Finally, one quarter contains protein rich foods.

In fact, proteins should be included in every meal. Also, starches like rice and pasta are fine but in smaller amounts than plant foods, lean meats and fish.

Typical Nordic Diet Meal Plans

Breakfast

Breakfast would contain dry fruits, grains, berries, or porridge with oats.

Lunch

For lunch, eat rye bread, salads, pickles, herrings, eggs, mushrooms, asparagus, green peas, rhubarb, wild herbs and fruits.

Dinner

For dinner, eat fish, meat from animals hunted in the wild, and vegetables.

Midmorning or Afternoon Snacks based on Nordic Diet

These snacks can be low-GI toast, fresh fruits or nuts.

How to User Nordic Diet when Eating Outside

When eating outside the home, eat fresh vegetables (instead of potatoes) and pasta salads. Also, eat lean protein and low-GI sides like chickpeas. Finally, drink water with every meal.

Benefits of the Nordic Diet

Most of all, the Nordic diet:

  • 1
    Helps you lose weight, especially belly fat
  • 2
    According to scientist, helps heart health because the diet lowers unhealthy cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, and insulin levels.
  • 3
    Helps lower LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol
  • 4
    Reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • 5
    Helps cut back on inflammation. In fact, inflammation is linked to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Physiological Effect of the Nordic Diet

The Nordic diet can help you lose weight, reduce blood pressure, and inflammation.

Weight Loss From Nordic Diet

A 2016 study, with 145 participants, in the Journal of Proteome Research compared the Nordic diet to a Danish diet. Most noteworthy, the Danish diet is almost like an American diet. Also, the Danish diet, with more fat and less fiber, consisted of more meat, processed foods, and fewer plant foods. And, the study reported that after 26 weeks, Nordic diet participants were more likely to lose weight.

Another 2014 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the effectiveness of the Nordic diet. Also, this study, which lasted six months, had 147 obese participants. And, the study reported that obese participants on the Nordic diet lost 10.4 pounds. While others on an average Danish diet lost 3.3 pounds.

Finally, a 2011 6-week study in the Journal of Internal Medicine reported the weight-reducing effects of the Nordic diet. And, the study reported that Nordic diet participants lost 4 percent more body weight than the standard diet participants.

Blood Pressure Benefits of Nordic Diet

The 2014 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, described previously, also looked at how Nordic diet affects blood pressure. And, the study found that Nordic diet participants saw greater decrease in blood pressure than the Danish diet participants.

Yet another 2014 study, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition had 37 metabolic syndrome participants lasting 12 weeks. And, the study reported significant ambulatory diastolic blood pressure reduction among Nordic diet participants compared to control diet participants.

Other Effects of the Nordic Diet

Next, a 2013 study in the Journal of Internal Medicine looked at insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. Moreover, the 24 week study involved 166 participants either on a Nordic diet or a control diet. And, the study reported no significant changes in insulin sensitivity or blood pressure between control and Nordic diet participants. However, the Nordic diet participants saw improved lipid profile and beneficial effects on low-grade inflammation.

Finally, a 2015 Journal of Clinical Nutrition study looked at effects of Nordic diet on individuals with metabolic syndrome. And, the study reported reduced inflammatory gene expressions in abdominal subcutaneous adipose (fat) tissue compared to control diet participants.

Downsides of the Nordic Diet

Some of the negatives with the Nordic diet are listed below.

  • 1
    Preparing meals takes up too much time.
  • 2
    Consistently preparing homemade meals would be a strain for most people.
  • 3
    Finding locally grown vegetables or fruits throughout the year may not be possible, especially during the non-summer months.
  • 4
    Fresh vegetables or fruits are not always available in all grocery stores.
  • 5
    Difficulty trying to follow the diet when eating out
  • 6
    Difficulty finding foods meeting glycemic index
  • 7
    Need to consciously manage portion sizes to avoid putting on weight.

Popularity of the Nordic Diet

According to U.S. News and World Report the Nordic diet, in 2019, is ranked:

  • 1
    #3 in “Best Plant-Based Diets”
  • 2
    #6 in “Best Diets for Healthy Eating”
  • 3
    #9 in the category “Best Diets Overall”
  • 4
    #13 in “Best Heart Healthy Diets”
  • 5
    #15 in “Best Diabetes Diets”
  • 6
    #19 in “Easiest Diets to Follow”
  • 7
    #26 in “Best Weight-Loss Diets”
  • 8
    #33 in “Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets”

How Aerobics for Seniors Helps to Be Healthy Strong

How Aerobics for Seniors Helps to Be Healthy Strong

Most noteworthy, people 60 and over start to show signs of physiological aging. For example, their gait isn’t as long or as quick as it was when they were younger. Or they get tired sooner. In fact, physiological aging is characterized by a decline in the maximal aerobic capacity of their lungs, and, a decline in their skeletal muscle strength. Consequently, aerobics for seniors helps ward off these declines and helps seniors become and stay healthy.

Aerobics for Seniors

Maximal Aerobic Capacity

First of all, maximal aerobic capacity is defined as the maximum rate of oxygen consumption during incrementally increasing exercise intensity. In fact, maximal aerobic capacity is an indicator or cardiorespiratory fitness.  Furthermore, the lung’s maximal aerobic capacity determines the intensity and duration of aerobics seniors can tolerate and do.

In addition, the greater the lung’s maximal aerobic capacity, the more intense aerobics seniors can do and do them for longer periods of time. Most of all, outward signs of reduced maximal aerobic capacity appear during aerobics for seniors, when seniors engage in aerobic physical activities. During these aerobic activities, seniors may start running out of breath earlier than when they were younger, or, do the aerobics with lower intensity. Finally, lower maximal aerobic capacity limits senior to functionally perform some physical activities.

Why Maximal Aerobic Capacity is Important for Seniors

Sedentary lifestyles cause the maximal aerobic capacity to decrease nearly 44 percent in males and 34 percent in females from the age of 20 to the age of 60. Seniors whose maximal aerobic capacity has dropped significantly become very challenged to autonomously complete activities of daily living. Consequently, it is important for seniors to work at increasing their maximal aerobic capacity.

And one of the most important ways to do that is with aerobics. Aerobics for seniors have been known to increase maximal aerobic capacity by nearly 13 percent in an eight to ten weeks senior aerobic training programs. Senior aerobic training programs of twelve to eighteen weeks have resulted in nearly 14 percent improvement, while 24 to 52 weeks of senior aerobic training has resulted in a nearly 17 percent improvement. Participating in aerobic training program or even doing aerobics independently potentially delays loss of independence. Finally, higher intensity aerobics leads to even greater improvements in maximal aerobic capacity. In fact, an increase of 25 percent is like getting back an estimated 12 years of vigor.

Cardio for Seniors

Cardio or aerobic workouts force the heart and lungs to pump more blood and oxygen to the muscles, brain, and the body. Consequently, cardio for seniors are hugely helpful for their health. In fact, regular cardio workouts cause the entire pulmonary system to increase the lung’s maximum oxygen capacity.

Aerobics for Seniors - Guidelines

Especially relevant, the latest senior aerobic guidelines recommend seniors get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic workout each week. However, if chronic conditions limit seniors to less than 150 minutes, seniors should be as physically active as possible.

In addition, when doing aerobics seniors should raise their heart rate for stretches of 10 minutes.  And in that time, seniors should do either moderately intense or vigorously intense aerobics.

Furthermore, the minimum time for moderately intense cardio is 30 minutes on each of the five days of the week. Moreover, seniors will get even more benefits if they exercise for 60 minutes on each of the five days.

On the other hand, seniors don’t have to do it all in one stretch. Indeed, seniors can break up the 30 minutes into shorter aerobic workouts of at least 10 minutes each. Most of all, only the total time spent on aerobic workouts should be at least 150 minutes per week.

Finally, for less fit adults,  recommendations also encourage the accumulation of relatively hard physical activity in intermittent periods of exercise and physical activity lasting 10 minutes or longer throughout the course of the day.

Aerobics for Seniors – Unstructured Activities

Lastly the 2007 ACSM/AHA guidelines seniors include unstructured approaches to increasing physical movement. These unstructured activities include:

  • 1
    Going for a walk after dinner
  • 2
    Frequently taking the dog for a walk
  • 3
    Walking briskly when doing errands
  • 4
    Parking the car as far away from the entrance as possible
  • 5
    Taking walking breaks instead of coffee breaks
  • 6
    Doing more energetic housework (for example, vacuuming)
  • 7
    Using stairs in place of elevators
  • 8
    Doing more mall walking
  • 9
    Lastly, while watching TV or reading a book, using pedals to exercise arms and legs

Subjective Measures of Intensity

As a rule, aerobics for seniors is done at a moderate intensity when the seniors breathing and heart rates are noticeably higher. However, seniors can still carry on a full conversation, except that their breathing may be heavier and or they may be sweating. In addition, on a 10-point scale, with zero being a state of rest, moderate intensity workouts would be a 5 or 6 on the 10-point scale.

As another way to get a grasp of moderate intensity, walking a distance of two miles in 30 to 40 minutes (or a walking speed of 3 to 4 miles per hour) would meet the definition of moderate physical activity.

Aerobics for Seniors

Seniors need just as much exercise as those under age 65. Furthermore, seniors can choose from a wide variety of available workouts. In fact, their choices include, swimming, walking, jogging, water aerobics, ballroom dancing, rowing, bicycling, to name just a few. And if you prefer going to the gym or sports clubs, you have your choice of treadmills, several kinds of elliptical machines, stair climbers, several kinds of cycles, and even rowing machines. Treadmills are great for walking because they provide a cushion for your feet. Elliptical machines, on the other hand, keep your feet grounded to the pedals. As a result, they are good for you back, hips, and knees. Finally, you can use spin cycles, upright bikes, or even recumbent bikes that provide back support.

Not into Aerobics - Seniors Can Still Get Brain Benefits

The Western University in Ontario, Canada reported in a 2019 study  that even with short burst of reasonably low intense aerobics, seniors can improve their brain health. Researchers found that even only 10 minutes of senior aerobic activity, like walking, on a treadmill improves cognitive functions (such as memory and attention) of seniors. Moreover, these benefits are achievable even by seniors who hadn’t exercised for a long time. The study of 17 seniors, with an average age of 73, found that boost in executive functions, such as planning and organizing, was achievable with aerobic exercise intensities ranging from moderate, heavy, and vigorous levels.

And these benefits are not limited to seniors with high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness. In fact, these benefits are achieved by seniors across a spectrum of senior aerobic intensities as well as across a spectrum of fitness levels. Meanwhile, seniors realize the cognitive benefits almost immediately.

How to Relieve Transient Insomnia and Sleep Better

How to Relieve Transient Insomnia and Sleep Better

Especially relevant, the National Institutes of Health, describe insomnia as a common sleep disorder in which people have a hard time sleeping. Furthermore, insomnia is classified as either transient insomnia, acute insomnia, or chronic insomnia. In fact, the primary differentiator between these three classifications, is the length of time people suffer from insomnia. Above all, transient insomnia usually lasts less than a week, acute insomnia lasts a few weeks, while chronic insomnia lasts several months or years.

Transient Insomnia

Stages of Transient Insomnia

Most noteworthy, the three stages of chronic, acute, or transient insomnia correspond to the onset of sleep, maintenance of sleep, and end of sleep.

For example, some people have a hard time going to sleep. But, after falling asleep, they may not be able to stay asleep. Or, after falling asleep they wake up too early in the morning. Or, after falling asleep they stay asleep a long time. On the other hand, some people fall asleep right away but, then, they wake up soon after and have difficulty going back to sleep.

Onset of Sleep

In fact, difficulty falling asleep, sometimes for hours, occurs at the onset of sleep. And, this difficulty may be due to:

  • 1
    Stress
  • 2
    Your head wrapped around nagging problems
  • 3
    Fear
  • 4
    Anxiety
  • 5
    Going to bed when you are really not sleepy
  • 6
    Your sleep environment being not conducive to good sleep. For example, sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress.

Maintenance of Sleep

Most noteworthy, everyone wakes up at least once in the middle of the night. And most people go right back to sleep, some without even knowing they woke up. But for others, going back to sleep becomes a problem. Indeed, these difficulties may be due to:

  • 1
    An illness that prevents them from sleeping soundly
  • 2
    Pain that causes them to wake up
  • 3
    Going to the toilet
  • 4
    Exposing themselves to bright light after they wake up
  • 5
    Presence of anxiety or depression

End of Sleep

Finally, there are times you wake up too early in the morning and can’t go back to sleep. And, this may be due to:

  • 1
    Sleeping lightly during the night
  • 2
    Older people go to sleep early and so they wake up early
  • 3
    Some people need less sleep than others. So it’s natural to wake up early in the morning
  • 4
    Depressed people spend more time in REM sleep. REM sleep is a very light stage of sleep, where people are easily woken up.

Definition of Transient Insomnia

Most of all, transient insomnia is a temporary form of insomnia which can last from one night to a week. Furthermore, transient insomnia may be one night of poor sleep or recurring episodes of insomnia interspersed with days and weeks of normal sleep. Indeed, transient insomnia is caused by the following conditions.

  • 1
    Changes in the sleep environment, such as sleeping in a hotel
  • 2
    Changes in bedtimes
  • 3
    Depression
  • 4
    Stress
  • 5
    Anxiety
  • 6
    Worrying about something that’s going to happen in the future
  • 7
    A nagging issues such as problems with relationships
  • 8
    Medications used to treat anxiety, stress, and depression
  • 9
    Not feeling well, such as a blocked nose making it hard to fall asleep
  • 10
    Jet lag
  • 11
    Too much excitement
  • 12
    Bad sleeping habits
  • For example, eating a heavy dinner just before bedtime
  • Or, drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening
  • Or, falling asleep with the lights on, watching television
  • Next, using cell phone, computer, or tablet before bedtime
  • Finally, smoking

Definition of Acute Insomnia

On the other hand, acute insomnia can last several weeks and caused by the following conditions.

  • 1
    Long illness
  • 2
    Stress from a bigger or recurring problem
  • 3
    Medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, COPD, strokes, asthma, sleep apnea, heart failure, thyroid problems, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and endocrine problems.
  • 4
    Death of someone close

Definition of Chronic Insomnia

Lastly, chronic insomnia lasts a long time, may be even months or years. And, chronic insomnia may occur for the reasons listed below.

  • 1
    Sleeping environment not being conducive to sleep
  • 2
    Mistiming sleep
  • 3
    Long term health problems
  • 4
    Long term stress and anxiety

Breadth of the Disorder

Meanwhile, at some point in their lifetime, most people have difficulty falling asleep once in a while. However, it’s only when this problem occurs frequently or regularly that people are diagnosed as having chronic, acute, or transient insomnia.

In fact, studies show that up to 95 percent of Americans suffer from episodes of insomnia as some point in their lives. Furthermore, according to the American Sleep Association, 30 percent of adults experience either transient or acute insomnia, while 10 percent experience chronic insomnia. Especially relevant, 770 million people around the world suffer from chronic insomnia.

Gene Region Linked to Chronic, Acute, and Transient Insomnia

Most noteworthy, a February 2019 study, in Nature Genetics, of more than 450,000 people in the United Kingdom identified 57 gene regions associated with chronic, acute, or transient insomnia. Meanwhile, 29 percent of the study participants reported frequent sleeplessness. Furthermore, these gene regions explain why some people get insomnia and other don’t. In addition, the study found that increased insomnia symptoms doubled the risk of coronary artery disease, depression, and a reduced sense of well-being.

Psychiatric Disorders Linked to Chronic, Acute, and Transient Insomnia

Yet, another new study, using DNA from 1.3 million people, resulted in identification of 956 genes. In fact, variants of these genes increased risk of insomnia. Also, the study discovered biological processes, cell types, and areas of the brain that have these genes.

Next, they found that parts of these genes play an important role in the functionality of axons (which allow neurons to communicate with each other). In addition, some of the genes were active in cells of the frontal cortex and the brain’s subcortical nuclei. Especially relevant, recent brain imaging studies showed these same brain areas as suspects in people with insomnia.

Also, the study found a strong genetic similarity between insomnia and:

  • 1
    Depression
  • 2
    Anxiety
  • 3
    Stress
  • 4
    Other psychiatric disorders
  • 5
    Metabolic disturbances in obesity and diabetes

Finally, the study reported that vulnerability to insomnia runs in families.

Remedies for Transient Insomnia or Acute Insomnia

Because insomnia doubles the risk of coronary heart disease along with links to other conditions, insomnia needs to be treated. Moreover, treatments for acute or transient insomnia are given in the section below.

Treatments for Insomnia

  • Working
  • Emotionally upsetting conversations
  • Scary movies
  • Thrilling novels
  • Smoking – Nicotine is a stimulant making it hard to fall and stay asleep. In fact, studies show that nicotine increases insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep problems. In addition, nicotine suppresses the restorative Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep.
  • 2
    Next, get ready for bed by taking a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, meditating, or reading a soothing book
  • 3
    Meanwhile, alcohol can disrupt your sleep by interfering with your sleep cycle, causing you to wake up too early. In addition, alcohol blocks the deep restorative REM sleep.
  • 4
    And, if you must snack, eat easily digestible snacks before bedtime. For example eat cheese, fruits, or cereal with milk.
  • 5
    Moreover, to allow time for food to be digested, do not eat one hour before bedtime
  • 6
    Most of all get an aerobic workout, such as speed walking, during the day
  • 7
    And, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Regrettably, caffeine is found in many foods and drinks, so you really have to watch out for those kinds of foods.
  • 8
    And, if you get too  tired during the day, take a quick 20 minute nap in the middle of the afternoon but definitely before 5 PM.

Bedroom

  • 1
    Keep your bedroom quiet. For example, a fan may be able to drown out noise that you can’t control (such as street noise entering through the windows).
  • 2
    Don't forget to make the bedroom as dark as possible. For example, heavy shades help block outside lights.
  • 3
    Put your clock in a location that makes it difficult for you to look at it while lying down on your bed.
  • 4
    The bedroom should be free from all blue light emitting devices, such as cell phones, TV, and tablets.

Most of all, if none of these remedies work, it is important to see your doctor.

Best Under Desk Stepper When You Have to Sit

Best Under Desk Stepper When You Have to Sit

An under desk stepper is similar to a stair stepper found in many gyms, but much smaller. Most of all, an under desk stepper helps your body when you have to sit for long periods.

sitting stepper

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When do you use these Machines?

The best under desk steppers, described here, are principally used while sitting. Therefore, they do not come with handles. While they could be used in standing mode, it is recommended you do not use them in that mode if you have problems maintaining your balance.

Especially relevant, under desk or sitting steppers are  a type of mini steppers. And because they are compact, under desk steppers can be used at work if you have a job that requires a lot of sitting. Furthermore, you can use the under desk stepper at home while you are sitting on a couch  watching TV, working on your laptop, playing video games, socializing, and so on.

What are these Machines?

The under desk stepper is comprised of two independent footplates (also known as pedals) that move up and down. Moreover, some versions of the under desk stepper also come with handles. And these handles help you maintain your balance when you use the under desk stepper while standing. Because the handles are generally not easily removable, under desk steppers with handles can’t be used under the desk or table. And, even if used while sitting on a couch, the handles become a distraction. Therefore its best to get an under desk stepper without the handle if you intend to use it while sitting.

Differences between Sitting and Standing Steppers

Most of all, to use the standing stepper you use your body weight to push down on the footplates. So, to increase the stepping rate and get a better aerobic exercise you quickly shift weight from one footplate to the other. However, avoid bouncing or jumping on the footplates so that you get the most health benefits while using the stepper.

On the other hand, using the under desk stepper, you have to push down on the footplates with your legs. As a consequence, the pushing action exercises your leg muscles. However, the stepping rate is not as high as with the standing stepper. As a result you burn less calories when you use the under desk stepper.

Meanwhile, the under desk stepper, frees you to do other work such as reading a book, using your computer, cell phone, making phone calls. On the other hand, the standing stepper significantly hinders these activities from being done concurrently.

Also, under desk steppers are used to get your legs moving when you have to sit for a long time. Consequently, their use is not the same as when you stand on the steppers to get a cardio workout.

Under Desk Stepper Reviews

EFITMENT Fitness Stepper Step Machine for Fitness & Exercise - S021

The EFITMENT fitness stepper's up and down movement tightens and tones calves, gluteal muscles, and hip flexors. Meanwhile, other features of the EFITMENT fitness stepper are listed below.

Desk or Table Use

First and foremost, to use the EFITMENT fitness stepper under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

Also, the EFITMENT fitness stepper is 17 inches long, 12.5 inches wide, and 7.5 inches high.  Consequently, the EFITMENT fitness stepper needs a clearance of about 10 inches for use under a desk or table.

Display

Next, the EFITMENT fitness stepper's LCD monitor displays exercise duration, step count, steps per minute, and calories burned. Meanwhile, the scan function sequentially rotates through these values continuously.

Footplates

Most noteworthy, the footplates are wide, textured, and non-slip. Consequently, the footplates will accommodate a broad range of feet and shoes.

Pedal Height

Especially relevant, the pedal height is adjustable. Therefore, by adjusting pedal height to limit vertical pedal movement may help you to use the EFITMENT fitness stepper under a desk.

Resistance

Also, hydraulic power provides a smooth and quiet workout. However, the hydraulic resistance is not adjustable.

Warranty

Meanwhile, the EFITMENT fitness stepper comes with a 3 years manufacturer’s warranty. Indeed, a 3 year warranty is significantly longer than the usual 1 year warranty and speaks volumes for the quality of the EFITMENT fitness stepper.

Weight

In addition, the EFITMENT fitness stepper weighs 15 pounds, making it easy to lift and move to storage or other locations.

Weight Capacity

Finally, the weight capacity of the EFITMENT fitness stepper is 220 pounds when standing. Indeed, anyone heavier may exceed the design limits of the EFITMENT fitness stepper and potentially cause it to break.

PROS

  • 3-year manufacturer's warranty

HARISON Mini Stepper Desk Elliptical Massage Stepper Exercise Stair Stepper Machine Fitness Stepper

sitting stepper

The HARISON mini stepper has the following features.

Construction

First and foremost, the body of the HARISON mini stepper is made of heavy duty super sturdy and smooth steel.

Desk or Table Use

Also, to use the HARISON mini stepper under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

In addition, the HARISON mini stepper is 15.7 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 12.4 inches above the floor at the pedal's highest point. Consequently, the HARISON mini stepper needs a clearance of 13 inches for use under a desk or table.

Display

Also, the HARISON mini stepper's LCD monitor displays exercise duration, step count, strides per minute and calories burned. Meanwhile, the scan function sequentially rotates through these values continuously.

Feet

In addition, the anti-skid rubber feet prevents the HARISON mini stepper from skidding on smooth floors while providing a smooth and quiet workout.

Footplates

Most noteworthy, the footplates are slip resistant with a surface that provides foot massage. Moreover, the footplates don’t need you to wear shoes.

Pedal Height

Especially relevant, the pedal height adjustment knob adjusts height of step motion which in turn changes hydraulic resistance. Moreover, lowering the pedal height also makes it possible to use the HARISON mini stepper under a desk or a table.

Resistance

Also, the hydraulic resistance provides a smooth and quiet workout.

Warranty

Meanwhile, the HARISON mini stepper comes with a 12 month warranty with free replacement parts.

Weight

In addition, the HARISON mini stepper weighs 14 pounds, making it easy to lift and move to storage or other locations.

Weight Capacity

Finally, the weight capacity of the HARISON mini stepper is 220 pounds when standing. Indeed, anyone heavier may exceed the design limits of the HARISON mini stepper and potentially cause it to break.

PROS

  • Lowering the pedal height to be able to use it under a desk also reduces resistance
  • 12-month warranty with free replacement parts

Harvil Mini Adjustable Twist Stepper with Hydraulic Resistance, Large Non-Slip Foot Plates and LCD Monitor

desk stepper

Most noteworthy, the Harvil Mini Adjustable Twist Stepper moves up and down and side to side in a low impact twisting motion. In addition, hydraulic resistance provides smooth and quiet workout.

Construction

First and foremost, the body of the Harvil mini stepper is made out of heavy duty steel.

Desk or Table Use

Also, to use the Harvil mini stepper under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

In addition, the Harvil mini stepper is 15.74 inches long, 18.11 inches wide, and 11.81 inches high. Especially relevant, the 18 inch width increases it's stability. Meanwhile, the 11.81 inches is the clearance you will need to use the Harvil mini stepper under a desk or table.

Display

Also, the Harvil mini stepper's LCD monitor displays exercise duration, step count, total step count, and calories burned.

Footplates

Most noteworthy, the footplates are large and wide with non-slip characteristics. In fact, the footplates are 12.72 inches long, 5 inches wide, 1.5 inches high. Consequently, the footplates accommodate a wide variety of feet size and shoes.

Pedal Height

Especially relevant, at its highest point, the pedal is 11.81 inches above the floor, while at its lowest point, the pedal is 3.85 inches above the floor. Moreover, the height adjustment knob can be adjusted to lower the pedal height. As a result, you may be able to use the Harvil mini stepper under a desk or a table. Furthermore, the height adjustment knob also changes the hydraulic resistance.

Resistance

Also, the hydraulic resistance provides a smooth and quiet workout.

Warranty

Meanwhile, the Harvil mini stepper comes with a 90 day free replacement part warranty.

Weight

In addition, the Harvil mini stepper weighs 17.6 pounds, making it easy to lift and move to storage or other locations.

Weight Capacity

Finally, the weight capacity of the Harvil mini stepper is 220 pounds when standing. Indeed, anyone heavier may exceed the design limits of the Harvil mini stepper and potentially cause it to break.

PROS

  • Lowering the pedal height to use under a desk also reduces resistance
  • 90-day warranty with free replacement parts

Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands No 012-S

sitting stepper

Most of all, when used in the standing mode with the resistance bands, the Sunny mini stepper tightens over 20 different core muscles including your chest, back, shoulders, inner and outer thighs, abs, and obliques. While, simply removing the resistance bands makes the Sunny mini stepper an under desk stepper.

Construction

First and foremost, for lasting durability, the body of the Sunny mini stepper is made out of industrial strength steel.

Desk or Table Use

Also, to use the Sunny mini stepper under a desk or table, sit on a chair and measure the clearance between the top of your thighs and the underside of the desk or table.

Dimensions

In addition, the Sunny mini stepper is 16.5 inches long, 12.5 inches wide, and 8 inches high.  Consequently, the Sunny mini stepper needs a clearance of at least 10 inches for use under a desk or table.

Display

Also, the Sunny mini stepper's LCD monitor displays exercise duration, total step count, steps per minute, and calories burned. Meanwhile, the scan sequentially displays these exercise measures continuously.

Footplates

Most noteworthy, the footplates are wide, textured and have non-slip characteristics. In addition, the footplates twist side to side.

Pedal Height

Especially relevant, adjusting the pedal height changes hydraulic resistance. In addition, the height adjustment knob adjusts step motion height to give you either short or long steps. Therefore, if you want to use the Sunny mini stepper under a desk or a table, use the adjustment knob to lower pedal heights.

Resistance

Also, the hydraulic resistance provides a smooth and quiet workout.

Weight

In addition, the Sunny mini stepper weighs 14.5 pounds, making it easy to lift and move to storage or other locations.

Weight Capacity

Finally, the weight capacity of the Sunny mini stepper is 220 pounds when standing. Indeed, anyone heavier may exceed the design limits of the Sunny mini stepper and potentially cause it to break.

PROS

  • Lowering the pedal height to use under a desk also reduces resistance

CONS

  • No warranty information available

How do you Evaluate these Machines?

Above all, these machines are evaluated by looking at the factors described below.

Construction

Under desk steppers made of heavy-duty alloys or steel are preferable. At least the frame should be metal. And, since you are going to push them hard, the footplates should be made from heavy duty plastic or better.

Display

Displays help you keep track of step counts, speed in steps per minute, exercise time, and calories burned.

Height of Under Desk Stepper

Most of all, there is an additional constraint, if you going to use the under desk stepper under a desk. First you need to measure the distance between the top of your knee, when sitting on a chair, and the floor with your shoes on. Next you need to measure the highest point the top of the foot plate reaches above the floor. Next, the sum of these two numbers needs to be less than the distance between the underside of the table or desk top and the floor.

Pedals or Footplates

Footplates should have a non-slip surface to keep your feet secure and stable. In addition, footplates should be large enough to support your entire foot.

Resistance

For the most part, hydraulic cylinders with a piston provide the resistance. Incidentally, a heavy-duty hydraulic cylinder will not overheat after only 10 to 20 minutes of use and will let you exercise for at least 30 minutes or more before it starts to heat up.

Furthermore, you may want to be able to adjust the intensity of your workouts. Indeed, this is likely true when you are using the under desk steppers for aerobic workouts while standing.

On the other hand, when your predominant need is simply to get your legs moving while sitting, the need to change workout intensity is likely not there. As a result, the need to be able to change resistance settings or even have the ability to do so, is a decision you may have to make. But it’s an important decision because under desk steppers either have the capability to adjust resistance or they do not.

Sound

Because under desk steppers likely would be used in office environments, they need to run as quietly as possible.

Stepper Size

Meanwhile, the American College of Sports Medicine points out that many under desk stepper users feel uncomfortably restricted by the small size of the under desk stepper. Consequently, the under desk stepper may not give you the workout you want. But if you like the way the under desk stepper feels or you get used to its compact size, the under desk stepper provides some cardio workout.

Warranty

The longer the warranty period the better you are protected against loss from manufacturing defects. Generally, a 90 day period will cover the majority of manufacturing defects. Since most defects are found in this period, it’s important to ensure your purchase is covered during that time.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity is relevant only if you are going to use it in the standing position. On the other hand, if your plan to use it while sitting down a machine with a weight capacity of 220 pounds is more than adequate.

What to Look Out for

Most of all the weakest links in the under desk steppers are the pedals and the hydraulic piston. Obviously misuse can easily damage these components. However, if you only intend to use the steppers while sitting at home or in the office, they will last a long time. In any case, it’s always a good idea, especially if you later decide to use the steppers for aerobic workouts, to get a good quality under desk stepper.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you are looking for essentially an under desk stepper that:

  • Will allow you to use the under desk stepper located below the desk or table
  • Is reasonably solid
  • Is quiet
  • Offers adjustable resistance, if you need to
  • Displays exercise time, step count, steps per minute, and calories burned
  • Has at least a 90 day warranty

What Problems do these Machines Solve?

Hours Spent Sitting

According to the 2017 American time use survey by Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American over the age of 15 spent on average 8.78 hours each day sitting doing activities like, eating, drinking, working, attending classes, doing homework, watching television, socializing, being on the phone, going through mail and emails. 

Consequence of Too Much Sitting

In any case, sitting too much is really bad for your health. In fact, prolonged sitting on a regular basis results in health problems such as:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Obesity
  • Muscles and Posture
  • Develop diseases
  • Cancer
  • Mental Health
  • Longevity
  • Mortality

How do these Machines Solve the Problems?

Most of all, an under desk stepper helps lessen the negative effects of sitting. Also, because the under desk stepper is smaller it is affordable. In addition, the under desk stepper can be easily moved around and stored away when not being used. In fact, the under desk stepper can be used either at home or in the office.

Under desk steppers provide benefits of a cardio exercise. In fact, the repetitive stepping motion of the under desk stepper mimics climbing. As a result, your heart and lungs work harder thereby providing an aerobic workout for improved cardiovascular health and increased endurance. Most of all, under desk steppers offer a portable, affordable and convenient means to supplement your other daily workouts.

Is there Proof that Using Under Desk Stepper Really Helps Your Body?

First and foremost, many studies show that physical inactivity and sedentary work environments increases insulin resistance. Moreover, this increase in insulin resistance leads to higher risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Incidentally, University of Massachusetts researchers published a study in October 2018 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Indeed, the study reported that pedaling while working improves the body’s insulin response. While this study used pedals, under desk steppers are simply another way to get an equivalent exercise as the pedals. Consequently, the results of this study apply to under desk steppers also.

Meanwhile, the study comprised of six men and six women overweight/obese full-time sedentary office workers. And, these seated participants pedaled for two hours while working at their desks. Incidentally, the participants pedaled at their own pace for as little or as much time as they chose.

Next, after eating a light meal, the participants provided blood samples. The blood samples were used for analysis of metabolic responses of glucose, insulin and free fatty acids. Indeed, glucose, insulin, and free fatty acids are linked to obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

When compared to sedentary behavior, the study showed that pedaling required significantly less insulin to maintain glucose concentrations. Consequently, their insulin levels were lower, which in turn, reduced their risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Consequently, the body doesn’t work so hard to maintain blood glucose and fatty acid levels when pedaling. Best of all, their work output and efficiency were not affected by the pedaling.

Finally, under desk steppers are better than treadmill or standing desk because long periods of standing lowers productivity besides being tiring.

Tone Muscles

Most noteworthy, exercise machines, in general, move your body forward. Under desk steppers, on the other hand, require that you move vertically with an up and down motion of the legs. In fact, under desk steppers work your lower body, toning your legs and hips.

Because your range of motion is limited on the under desk stepper, your muscles will get some exercise. In fact, the under desk stepper uses the same muscles as you would when you walk or climb stairs. Indeed, the muscles that get exercised include the hip muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles.  And, the more you use the under desk stepper the stronger the muscles become. As a result, with time your leg’s muscular endurance increases. Lastly, to prevent injury or get sore muscles, it’s important to stretch before and after using the under desk stepper.

Other Health Benefits

The under desk stepper help you in the following ways.

  • 1
    First of all standing, for long periods creates excessive pressure on the legs, which can lead to varicose veins. While using the under desk stepper helps prevent varicose veins.
  • 2
    Using the under desk stepper exercises the calf muscles which increases circulation to your feet and ankles and stops blood from pooling. As a result, your risk of deep vein thrombosis or blood clots is reduced
  • 3
    Reduces numbness in feet and ankles
  • 4
    Prevents swelling of feet, ankles, and legs from water retention due to edema. Indeed, regular use of the under desk stepper, will reduce these symptoms of edema.
  • 5
    Reduces damage to the knees. In fact, the low impact under desk stepper does not cause body joints to get jerked or suddenly shocked. However, while the under desk stepper does not harm the knees, people with sustained injuries or weak knees should consult a doctor before using the under desk stepper.

Calories Burned Using Under Desk Stepper while Sitting

Meanwhile, the under desk or sitting stepper also helps you burn calories. In fact, according to Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic, using the under desk stepper while at work can help you burn about 100 calories in one hour of use.  Or, you can burn about 100 calories in an hour using the under desk stepper while watching television.

Especially noteworthy, a lean person, using the under desk stepper at a leisurely pace of 13 steps a minute or one step every 4.6 seconds, burns about 100 calories in an hour. On the other hand, if your other concurrent activities don’t need as much of your attention, you could speed up the pace to say 26 steps a minute or one step every 2.3 seconds. This pace would double the calories burned to 200 in one hour.

While an obese person using the under desk stepper at a leisurely pace of 10 steps a minute or one step every 6 seconds, burns about 108 calories in an hour. Similar to the discussion in the previous paragraph, you could double the calories burned to 216 calories in one hour by picking up the pace to a step every 3 seconds.

Therefore, you can use the under desk steppers to lose weight. In fact to lose one pound you have to burn 3,500 calories. Therefore, if you burn 300 calories daily you could lose one pound in 12 days assuming you ate the same calories as you normally do. However, to burn 300 calories in a day, you would have to use the under desk stepper for 3 hours each day. Something that’s possible if you sit a lot at work or at home.

Finally, regular use of the under desk stepper, will also increase your resting metabolic rate.

Calories Burned Using Stepper while Standing

First and foremost, lean adults stepping at 39 steps per minute burned on average 312 calories per hour or 0.13 calories per step. In fact, the 313 calories was an average for all the lean adults ranging from a minimum of 221 calories to a maximum of 403 calories.

Meanwhile, obese adults stepping at 40 steps per minute burned on average 433 calories per hour or 0.18 calories per step. In fact, the 433 calories was an average for all the obese adults ranging from a minimum of 324 calories to a maximum of 542 calories.

Next, in order to measure the effectiveness of steppers, a study was done by the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2007. Meanwhile, the study included lean adults with an average BMI of 25 and obese adults with an average BMI of 29. Especially relevant, the study used standing steppers. Lastly, the study reported that everything else being equal, using the standing steppers for 2 hours a day can result in losing 44 pounds in a year.

As another data point, Harvard Health published the following.

  • First, a 125 pound person using a standing stepper for one hour uses up 360 calories
  • Next, a 155 pound person uses up 446 calories in one hour, and
  • Finally, a 185 pound person uses up 532 calories in one hour

Furthermore, adjusting the resistance of the standing stepper allows you to burn even more calories. For example, a 175 pound person using the standing stepper for 60 minutes could burn 556 calories as opposed to 504 calories with very low resistance.

How are these Machines Used?

Most of all, to use the under desk stepper, you simply step on the footplates and push down with each foot. Next you move your feet in a stepping or climbing motion. Meanwhile, the adjustable hydraulics  provide resistance as you push down on the footplates.

Warm up

Warm up is pretty straightforward. In fact, start using the under desk steppers at a slow stepping pace. And keep this up for five minutes or so.

Keep Those Legs Moving

Once you have warmed up, increase the stepping rate to what is possible in your environment. For example, if you happen to be at work and the phone starts ringing, slowing down the stepping rate is natural. On the other hand, if you are surfing the web or doing activities that don’t need your intense concentration, then, yes, speed up your stepping rate to whatever you are comfortable with.

Cool Down

Cooling down shouldn’t interfere with whatever you happen to be doing. For example, if you have to get up and leave the desk or the couch, then go. On the other hand, if you know you have to come to a stop, then slow down your stepping rate for the last five minutes.

Using the Under Desk Stepper

To use the under desk stepper, sit up straight close to the edge of the seat. Next position the under desk stepper so that back of the stepper is directly under your knees. In fact, in this position, your shins are nearly vertical to the floor as you push down on the footplates. Lastly, as you use the under desk stepper, your posture should be such that you are not straining your back or knees.

Guidance on How Much to Use

Most of all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic workouts weekly. Therefore, daily use of an under desk stepper for 30 minutes allows you to meet that target in five days.

In addition, according to the Mayo Clinic, to get the most out of the under desk stepper, you need to use the under desk stepper for at least 10 minutes. Consequently, three 10 minute sessions throughout the day helps you get the recommended 30 minutes of aerobic workout in a day.

Other Under Desk Exercise Machines

Comparison with Other Under Desk Exercise Machines

Some under desk steppers have resistance cords for an upper body workout. Also, some steppers can be used while sitting or standing. Because the stepping action requires pushing down on the pedals against hydraulic resistance, there is greater stress on the knees. But there is a better muscle workout, especially of the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

Meanwhile, under desk elliptical machines produces a walking action swinging the lower legs back and forth. Consequently, the joints relax during the exercise. In addition, the under desk elliptical machines don’t put too much stress on the legs

Finally, under desk pedal exercisers have a greater circular motion of the lower legs and hence more circular movement of the knees than the sitting steppers.

Links to Under Desk Pedal Exercisers

Links to Under Desk Ellipticals

What’s the Best Time for an Evening Workout

What's the Best Time for an Evening Workout

People have their own favorite time to exercise. The morning people prefer to work out in the morning. While others prefer to exercise around the lunch hours. And some prefer to exercise sometimes in the afternoon. Finally, some prefer the evening workout.

Evening Workout

Evening Workouts

But are there any downsides to working out in the evening hours.  Some downsides include the evening workout interfering with social activities. While other downsides include the possibility that an evening workout may interfere with your ability to sleep.

Working Out in the Evening

A recommendation, that’s been around for a while, is to avoid strenuous workouts before bed. Seems like there are several reasons for this recommendation, including that the workout before bed:

  • Increases the heart rate
  • Causes your body to release stimulating epinephrine, also known as, adrenaline
  • Causes core body temperature to rise during the workout and it stays high for four to five hours. Moreover, the high temperature may interfere with your need to fall asleep. In fact, the normal pattern is for your body temperature to go down as you approach bed time.List Element

However, people are not all affected the same way. For example, some couldn’t care less if they just came out of a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout. They may fall asleep as soon as they lay on the mattress.

Indeed, most people are able to fall asleep even after they exercise before bed. Especially relevant, a 2011 study reported that those who did 35 minutes of exercise before bed slept just as well as on those nights when they didn’t exercise.

2013 Survey of Evening Workout Effects on Sleep

In the meantime, the National Sleep Foundation in 2013 conducted a poll of about 1,000 people. And, the poll found that 83 percent of the people who exercised (at any time of the day, including evenings) slept better than those who didn’t exercise at all. In fact, only 3 percent of the late day exercisers said they slept worse on days when they exercised compared to days when they didn’t.

2013 Japanese Research on Effects of Evening Workout

A 2013 Hokusho University in Japan study reported that vigorous exercise within one hour of bedtime resulted in participants taking an average 14 minutes longer to fall asleep. Especially relevant, the participants in the study were 12 healthy males. The study pointed out that vigorous exercise created a large physiologic excitement, likely due to release of adrenaline, delaying the start of sleep.

2019 Meta-Analysis of Evening Workout Effects on Sleep

Next, the journal Sports Medicine reported, in February 2019, about a meta-analysis by researchers at ETH Zurich. In fact, the meta-analysis discovered that compared to people who didn’t exercise at all, people who exercised within four hours of going to bed showed no difference in the:

  • Time it took to fall asleep
  • Time spent awake during the night after falling asleep
  • Quality of their sleep

On the other hand, researchers found that exercise could actually improve sleep by increasing the percentage of time spent in slow-wave sleep, or deep sleep. In fact, study participants, who did some type of workout within four hours of bed, spent an average of 21.2 percent of the night in deep sleep. While those who didn’t exercise only spent an average of 19.9 percent of the night in deep sleep.

Especially relevant, the only exception to the above results were those doing HIIT. Seems like, vigorous exercise like HIIT, one hour before going to sleep can mess up sleep. And, this is because your heart rate goes very high during HIIT. Moreover, one hour just isn’t enough time for your heart rate to come back near its resting rate. Consequently, your body isn’t as relaxed and ready to fall and stay asleep.

Therefore, it’s necessary to limit the evening workouts to low or moderate intensity. In fact, researchers think that moderate intensity workouts, causes the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in. And, when that happens, your heart rate slows down which in turn, helps you relax.

Because people are different, each person has to try out the intensity of the workout before bed that will allow them to fall asleep after the workout.

2019 Observational Study of Evening Workout Effects on Sleep

A 2019 Australian study reported that 30 minutes of HIIT bike training had no effect on sleep. In addition, the HIIT session didn’t result in hunger pangs.

Above all, the study was based on only 11 middle-age men. Moreover, the study looked at how the men slept when they exercised in the morning (6 to 7 AM), afternoon (2 to 4 PM) and evening (7 to 9 PM).

Meanwhile, the study found sleep time was shortest when the men exercised in the morning. Next, the sleep time was the longest when the men exercised in the afternoon. Finally, the sleep time was somewhere in the middle when the men exercised in the evening.

In addition, there was only a one or two minute difference in the time to fall asleep between the morning, afternoon, and evening exercise sessions.

Next, researchers found reduced levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin when the men exercised in the evening.

Finally, the study reported that the men had more energy when they exercised in the afternoon or evening than when they exercised in the morning.

Weight Training as an Evening Workout

Research on hormones cortisol and testosterone indicates that weight training in the evening is best for building muscles. In fact, cortisol helps regulate blood sugar my breaking down muscle tissue (called catabolism) as needed. While testosterone, with the help of proteins, build muscles (called anabolism).

Cortisol levels are highest when you first get up in the morning and lowest in the evening. Similarly, testosterone levels are also highest in the morning and lowest in the evening. However, the ratio of testosterone to cortisol is highest in the evening. While both cortisol and testosterone levels dropped during the day, cortisol levels dropped more than testosterone levels. As a result, the evening provides a more anabolic, muscle-building environment for weight training. In fact, according to Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, anaerobic capacity is 7 percent higher in the evening when compared to morning. For this reason, early evening gym sessions are preferred by weight trainers.

Furthermore, temperature peaks in late afternoon. And research shows that muscle strength also peaks in the afternoon almost in sync with temperature. Moreover a 2005 study found that optimum performance is towards the end of the afternoon and early evening when the body temperature is also at its peak. In fact, a study found that those who weight trained after 6 PM in the evening gained 3 percent muscles while losing 4 percent body fat.

Finally, it is recommended that a carbs and protein post-workout meal be eaten within 45 minutes after the end of the weight training workout. Indeed a delay of carb consumption by as much as two hours may result in 50 percent lower rates of glycogen synthesis. On the other hand, you could eat the meal before the weight training session.

Conclusion

In conclusion, vigorous exercise such as HIIT workouts pumps out adrenaline, just before bedtime, which may delay start of sleep. However, light or moderate intensity workout before bed likely will have minimal, if any, impact on your sleep. However, because of individual differences, the best way to determine if a workout before sleep works for you, is to experiment.

Meanwhile, if you are under stress before bedtime, a vigorous workout before bed is the best thing to release all that stress, clear the mind and help you sleep.

How to Keep Your Gut Bacteria Strong and Healthy

How to Keep Your Gut Bacteria Strong and Healthy

The GastroIntestinal or GI tract is made up of the stomach, the small intestine, and the large intestine.  Indeed this entire tract is filled with gut bacteria that is important to your health.

gut bacteria

Bacterial Genera in the Gut

First of all, the stomach is home to the gut bacterium Lactobacillus, with a population that is less than one thousand colony forming units per milliliter.

Next, the small intestine is home to two gut bacteria: Enterococcus and Lactobacillus with a total bacteria population of one hundred to one billion colony forming units per milliliter.

Finally, the large intestine is home to eight gut bacteria: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus, Bacteroides, Clostridium, Eubacterium, Staphylococcus, and Coliforms with a total bacteria population that ranges from ten thousand to one trillion colony forming units per milliliter.

Most noteworthy, a 2016 study at the Weizmann Institute of Science reported that the average human male has about 40 trillion bacteria, most of which resides in his digestive tract. Moreover, all of these gut bacteria may weigh as much as two to five pounds.

Benefits of Gut Bacteria

Most noteworthy, the benefits of these gut bacteria include weight loss, immune functions, and digestive health. Furthermore, these probiotic mixtures help treat irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, atopic diseases, immune functions, respiratory tract infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, and treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection.

In addition, a study in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility reported about the beneficial effects of gut bacteria.  In fact, probiotic lactic acid bacteria strains from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium likely help psychiatric disorder-related behaviors. Indeed, these behaviors include anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, along with memory abilities, including spatial and non-spatial memory.

Consequently, keeping your gut biome healthy is in your best interest. Indeed one way to keep the gut biome healthy, while also enabling its growth, is by eating healthy snacks. And snacks that help fuel growth of gut biome, while keeping it healthy, make up the healthy gut bacteria diet.

Healthy Gut Bacteria Diet with Bananas

First of all, bananas help stabilize gut bacteria. Moreover, a medium sized green banana contains about 3 grams of fiber, some of which is the Type 2 resistant starch, a carbohydrate. Especially relevant, neither the stomach nor the small intestines digest the resistant starch. Accordingly, the resistant starch feeds the growth of bacteria in the large intestines. Next, the bacteria breaks down and ferments starch passing through the large intestines producing short-chain fatty acids. And these fatty acids, in turn, may help prevent chronic diseases. Furthermore, use of fatty acids in treating ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea has been demonstrated by clinical studies.

Benefits of Cheese

Eating soft cheese is an excellent way to deliver probiotics to the large intestines. In fact, the pH of the cheese enables probiotics to survive and grow in the intestines. Consequently, soft cheese is better than yogurt at delivering probiotics to the large intestines. Most noteworthy, soft cheeses with fair amounts of probiotics include cheddar, parmesan, and Swiss cheese. However, Gouda cheese delivers the most probiotics to the large intestines.

Cold Potatoes for Healthy Gut Bacteria

Cold potatoes are potatoes that are washed, boiled, and then left to cool down. Next, as they cool down, cold potatoes form a firm texture. Indeed, this is the resistant starch forming. And, like green bananas, these cold potatoes contain Type 2 resistant starch. Also, like green bananas, the Type 2 resistant starch is an indigestible carbohydrate ending up in the large intestines. And, like green bananas, the resistant starch feeds gut bacteria, encouraging their growth and helping them flourish.

Surprising Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Next, a study in the International Journal of Food Microbiology reported that chocolate protected probiotic bacteria in the stomach.  As a result, the probiotic bacteria made its way to the large intestines.

Indeed, 22 volunteers, experienced significant increase in Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli population in their guts after consuming high-flavanol cocoa for four weeks.

In addition, scientist at the 2014 American Chemical Society meeting reported more benefits of eating dark chocolate. Most noteworthy, cocoa contains flavonols - antioxidant molecules that are too large for our body to absorb on its own.

However, Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, at the end of the digestive tract, ferments the antioxidants and fiber in cocoa into smaller, absorbable compounds that make their way into our bloodstream. Moreover, these anti-inflammatory compounds reduces stress on blood vessels and lowers blood pressure - thereby benefiting the cardiovascular system. Finally, these anti-inflammatory compounds increase insulin sensitivity – thereby reducing the blood’s insulin levels.

Meanwhile, the fermentation process results in short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and acetic acid. And these acids helps fend off harmful microbes while reinforcing the gut barrier against antigens and invaders.

Healthy Gut Bacteria Diet with Garlic

Above all, raw garlic is the best source of non-digestible prebiotic fiber. However you eat garlic (either raw or cooked), the stomach does not digest the prebiotic fiber in garlic. Consequently, the prebiotic fiber makes its way to the large intestines where it promotes growth of gut bacteria.

Meanwhile, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, nuts, lentils, chickpeas, fruits, vegetables, and beans are also all excellent sources of prebiotic fiber.

Honey for Healthy Gut Bacteria

Most of all, raw honey contains compounds like oligosaccharides that are not digested by the small intestines. Consequently, the oligosaccharide compounds end up in the large intestines, where they provide nourishment to the good bacteria. Most noteworthy, raw honey primarily encourages growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli bacteria. Moreover, the Bifidobacteria bacteria helps your body with digestion. While the Lactobacilli bacteria produces lactic acid, which prevents harmful bacteria from colonizing the intestines.

Healthy Gut Bacteria Diet with Oatmeal

First of all, oats contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber. Moreover, healthy sugars, such as beta glucans, are found in the cell walls of certain bacteria.  Furthermore, beta-glucan fiber encourages growth of good bacteria in the gut.  Indeed, according to researchers, eating oats results in significantly higher levels of Lactobacilli bacteria, and lower levels of Enterobacteriaceae along with other non-essential bacteria.

Benefits of Sauerkraut

Most of all, unpasteurized sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage that is rich in probiotics. In fact, the probiotics are a result of the fermentation process. Also sauerkraut is a good form of dietary fiber while also containing vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Finally, sauerkraut has bacteria that helps to fight inflammation and helps the immune system.

Sour Pickles for a Healthy Gut Biome

Next, naturally fermented pickles have plenty of good bacteria. In fact, the sea salt and water used to ferment the pickles causes good bacteria to grow. Above all, make sure the pickling process did not use vinegar. Finally, sour pickles hinder the growth of harmful gut bacteria while boosting the body’s defenses against infection.

Healthy Gut Bacteria Diet with Yogurt

Most of all, a very familiar healthy food for many is yogurt. Moreover, yogurt supplies probiotics such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus. In fact, Lactobacillus bulgaricus is also a bacteria normally residing in your intestines. Furthermore, Lactobacillus bulgaricus prevents harmful bacteria from growing in the gut while promoting growth of beneficial bacteria.

In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, Lactobacillus bulgaricus bacteria may benefit some health conditions. These include liver disease, common cold, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, eczema, hay fever, colic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.

Furthermore, yogurt also provides minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and of course calcium for healthy bones.

Lastly, the best yogurt for weight loss is plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. In fact, some Greek yogurts have added probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei bacteria.

What Is the Most Daily Calories I Need For Weight Loss

What Is the Most Daily Calories I Need For Weight Loss

Most noteworthy, the United States Dairy Association published Dietary Guidelines for Americans, for the years 2015 to 2020. And, according to these guidelines, the daily calories needed by Americans are as follows:

  • Sedentary women between the ages of 26 to 50 need 1,800 calories daily
  • Sedentary women 51 and up need 1,600 calories daily
  • Moderately active women between the ages of 26 to 50 need 2,000 calories daily
  • Moderately active women 51 and up need 1,800 calories daily
  • Active women between the ages of 31 to 60 need 2,200 calories daily
  • Active women 61 and up need 2,000 calories daily
  • Sedentary men between the ages 41 to 60 need 2,200 calories daily
  • Sedentary men 61 and up need 2,000 calories daily
  • Moderately active men between the ages 26 to 45 need 2,600 calories daily
  • Moderately active men between the ages 46 to 65 need 2,400 calories daily
  • Lastly, moderately active men 66 and up need 2,200 calories daily
  • Active men between the ages 36 to 55 need 2,800 calories daily
  • Active men between the ages 56 to 75 need 2,600 calories daily
daily calories

Most noteworthy, the average woman is 5 feet 4 inches tall weighing 126 pounds. While the average man is 5 feet 10 inches tall weighing 154 pounds. Regrettably, the daily calories you actually need is difficult to estimate. Indeed, the actual daily calories you burn depends on things like your age, height, sex, weight, and your activity level.

How to Budget Your Daily Calories

Especially relevant, irrespective of whether you are sedentary, moderately active, or active, if you want to lose weight you have to cut back on what you eat. For example, to lose a pound in a week, means that you avoid eating foods, packed with 3,500 calories, during the week.

Calories in Body Fat

Most noteworthy, calories are stored in the body as either glycogen, in the liver, from carbs or as body fat. Consequently, when you don’t have enough calories in your blood, calories are first taken from the glycogen and then from body fat.

Indeed, pure fat has an energy content at about 9 calories per gram of pure fat. In the meantime, there are 454 grams of pure fat in one pound of pure fat. As a result, one pound of pure fat has about 454 x 9 = 4,086 calories.

Incidentally, body fat is not just pure fat. Indeed, body fat is made up of adipocytes, also known as fat cells. Moreover, fat cells contain mostly fat but also contain fluids and proteins. As a result, one pound of body fat is less than 3,500 calories.

Meanwhile, one pound of body fat equals 454 grams. Furthermore, pure fat contains anywhere from 8.7 to 9.5 calories per gram of pure fat. Meanwhile, body fat tissue is 87 percent fat. However, some studies report that body fat tissue contains only 72 percent fat. Moreover different types of body fat contains different percentages of fat.

As a result, one pound of body fat contains a minimum of 454 * 87% *8.7 = 3,436 calories, while a maximum of 454*87%*9.5 = 3,752 calories. In summary, the 3,500 calories in a pound of body is just a round number to use for estimations.

A Budget for Daily Calories

Therefore, to lose one pound in one week you need to avoid eating about 500 (3,500 / 7) calories each day of the week. So if you need 2,000 calories daily to maintain your weight, to lose one pound in a week, you will have to get by on 1,500 (2000 – 500) calories each day of that week.

Body’s Reaction to Restricted Calories

Sounds easy right! Right, in fact it’s a myth. Indeed, overweight and those who are obese, can lose the calories in the short term for a moderate weight loss. Regrettably, a 500 calorie deficit may not work for the long term.

Regrettably, the explanation fails to take into account the body’s response to changes in body composition (such as fat loss) and diet. Indeed, when you start running a 500 calorie deficit, your body thinks there is a famine. As a result, the body starts shutting down unnecessary activities and reduces the metabolic rate. In the meantime, by burning fewer calories the body is prepared to survive famine conditions.

Moreover, you start moving around less, and the body becomes efficient in doing the same amount of work with fewer calories. Consequently, instead of burning fat, you end up losing muscle tissue and/or lean tissue which makes you burn fewer calories. Indeed, this reaction of the body is known as the starvation mode or adaptive thermogenesis. Consequently, weight loss slows down with time.

Meanwhile, to stop loss of muscle mass, it’s important to do resistance training. Incidentally, eating high protein foods ensures that your body is less likely to break down your muscles for energy. Most of all, these approaches prevent a reduction in calories burned making it difficult to lose weight. Furthermore, you start having mood swings, and you start feeling hungry, get intense cravings for food which in turn makes you irritable.

Other Ways to Budget Daily Calories

Meanwhile, because a 500 calorie deficit may be too much stress on your body, it makes it very difficult for you to sustain that deficit. In fact, a more realistic alternative is to plan on losing half a pound each week or 250 calories each day. So instead of a 1,500 calorie diet, you end up on a 1,750 calorie diet, which is a much more reasonable number. Consequently, you may lose four pounds if you maintained that diet for 8 weeks. Ultimately, seeing that weight loss may motivate you to continue with the diet, while at some point in the near future you reach your target weight.

Avoid Counting Daily Calories

However, avoid counting calories because counting calories is next to impossible to do. Besides counting calories creates stress, which, in turn releases the hormone cortisol and more fat.

Indeed, rather than counting calories, a far better approach is to go on a diet as well as eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and fruits are low in calories and they will satisfy your urge to eat. Finally, most important of all, don’t forget to cut back your portion sizes.

Daily Calories for Exercises

Exercise offers a way to exceed you daily calorie budget. However, it you choose to do this, make sure you exercise enough to burn the excess calories you ate over your daily budget. For example, a 154 pound person hiking for an hour would burn nearly 370 calories, walking @3.5 mph for an hour would burn 280 calories, jogging at 5 mph for one hour 590 calories. In fact, instead of being limited to only these, choose your favorite activity and workout for either 30 minutes or one hour to burn the estimated calories given. The advantages of this method is that you can eat more than the budgeted daily calories while also getting a workout that’s good for your body, relieves stress, and take your mind off your diet.

Monitor Daily Calories by Frequently Weighing Yourself

Most noteworthy, research shows that frequently weighing yourself helps you monitor the effect of daily calories on you weight. In fact, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing reported weighing yourself everyday makes you more likely to lose weight. Most of all, this study monitored 1,042 adults whose average age was 47. And, as part of the study, these adults weighed or did not weigh themselves as they would normally. Meanwhile, after a year, adults who never weighed themselves or weighed themselves only once a week or so, didn’t lose any weight. On the other hand, those adults who weighed themselves six or seven times a week lost almost 2% of their body weight.

Indeed, weighing yourself every day helps you keep a close eye on your weight. Which, in turn, helps you relate the scale readings with what you ate or didn’t eat, as well as things like going to the gym.

Limitations of Frequent Weight Watching

However, weighing yourself each and every day isn’t for everyone. In fact, this is especially true for people struggling with their weight, body image, or battling eating disorders. For these people, looking at the scale, could bring about anxiety and even depression. Or, even other unhealthy patterns like not eating enough or binge eating. Lastly, weighing every day is too much for those with a history of disordered eating.