Whether you are looking to improve your fitness level or just want to get a little more exercise in, a hand cycle could be the answer. There are many benefits to using a hand cycle, such as the fact that you can burn more calories than you would if you used a regular bicycle. You can also enjoy the benefits of the resistance element, which helps you build muscle strength.
Resistance element helps build muscle strength
Keeping your arms and legs from slacking off is a top priority if you are a fan of the road warrior persuasion. In fact, your first ride may have you upping the ante in no time flat. Besides, the rewards are plentiful. For example, you can take your pick from a slew of local gyms that offer free memberships in return for your sweat equity. If you are lucky, you may even take home the trophy of the year. Regardless, it is still a grueling regimen. For this reason alone, you may want to enlist the services of a local fitness buff to help you on the home front.
Promotes release of endorphins
Getting an endorphin boost can be beneficial in many ways, such as relieving stress and anxiety. It may even help you get a good night’s sleep. It may also help you improve your mood and self-esteem. Boosting your endorphins naturally is possible with a variety of options, including massage and acupuncture.
Exercise, which triggers the release of endorphins, can benefit your mental health. Studies have shown that physical activity reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Exercise also promotes neurogenesis in the brain. Beta-endorphins may play a role in enhancing neurogenesis by inhibiting GABAergic interneurons in the dentate gyrus. This may promote hippocampal plasticity and encourage reward seeking.
The mechanisms behind these effects are not well understood. Some research suggests that b-endorphins are released peripherally during exercise, whereas others propose that they act centrally. It is unknown how b-endorphins are transported from the periphery to the hippocampus. Currently, no studies have investigated whether or not a habituation of running-induced b-endorphin release occurs.
The release of b-endorphins during exercise may affect the way that the brain responds to stress. It has been linked to a number of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
B-endorphins have been found to be transportable across the blood-brain barrier. They are believed to be able to signal in the hippocampus via volume transmission or by directly crossing the BBB. Regardless of where the molecule enters the brain, it has been shown to be active on mu-opioid receptors (MORs).
A b-endorphin-dependent increase in MOR expression is observed in the dentate gyrus within several minutes after a moderately intense workout. However, MORs return to normal levels in long-term running conditions.
Contributes to a healthy lifestyle
Whether for fitness, rehabilitation or daily outdoor ambulation, hand cycling is an alternative mobility option. In addition to its biomechanical benefits, it contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
The potential of handcycling to improve physical capacity, muscle strength, cardiovascular function and prognosis of chronic diseases has been investigated. Several studies have reported improvements in peak power output and local perceived exertion. In addition, male and female handcycling techniques were compared.
Although some studies suggest that males have a better biomechanical performance than females, there is still no clear gender difference. This is because there are many factors that can influence the efficiency of handcycling.
The mechanical interface should be optimized, minimizing the external power. This should reduce the risk of instability and overuse injuries. A person’s level of impairment may also impact the physiological responses.
A study in patients with paraplegia investigated the effects of handcycling on their physical capacity. The researchers found that the patients’ peak VO2 improved (+29%) and their muscle strength improved (+42%).
Handcycling is a safe, effective and efficient exercise modality to train individuals with lower physical capabilities. However, more research is needed to enhance performance.
The current narrative review aims to provide a foundation of knowledge for handcycling practice and research. It provides a summary of international scientific literature on wheeled mobility and handcycling, and summarizes the benefits of handcycling in both daily life and rehabilitation.
Four conceptual models form a framework to discuss the benefits of handcycling in daily life and rehabilitation. These models include:
The HAAT-model (Human-Activity-Assistive-Technology) is a model focusing on the optimal interaction between an individual and an assistive device. In addition to the physiological and mechanical aspects, the HAAT-model emphasizes the importance of a proper handcycle interface. The optimal handcycle-user interface should reduce the risk of overuse injuries, increase the speed of performance, and optimize performance.
Burns more calories than regular cycling
Whether you are trying to lose weight or just stay healthy, cycling is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn calories. It is a low-impact workout that can be done indoors or out. It is also an inexpensive, fun way to exercise.
It is also an efficient form of transportation. If you cycle to work every day, you’ll spend less money on gas. However, there are some disadvantages to cycling. For example, it isn’t recommended for year-round transportation in cold climates. If you’re looking for a workout that’s easy to do at home, a stationary bike can be a better choice.
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a study showing that not exercising can cause a person’s life expectancy to decrease. A 150-pound person will burn about 300 calories while walking and about 600 calories while cycling.
If you’re recovering from an illness or injury, you might want to begin with a light exercise program. You can then build up to more challenging physical activity.
A moderate bike ride can burn about 232 calories per hour. If you’re cycling at a fast speed, you can burn up to 844 calories per hour. If you’re biking over difficult terrain, you may even burn more calories. A slow bicycle ride at 5.5 miles per hour will still burn around 280 calories an hour.
If you want to increase your energy level, you can try interval training. This raises your heart rate for short periods, requiring a faster pace. The average person can burn 500 to 600 calories during a race-walking workout. A 155-pound person will burn about 280 calories while cycling.
Two-wheeled hand cycles also exist
Among the oldest human powered vehicles on the planet are handcycles, or more commonly known as handbikes. This is a suitable mode of transportation for riders who have disabilities or are elderly. Using a handcycle allows a person to reap the benefits of cycling while enjoying a lower risk of injury. The technology has evolved to the point that today, a quadriplegic can ride an off-road hand cycle to tackle tough terrain.
A good handcycle will also have a low center of gravity to optimize aerodynamics. For competitive use, modern racing handcycles have aerodynamic wheels, electronic shifting, and a lightweight aluminium frame.
An important performance metric for hand cyclists is speed. However, a high velocity has a nonlinear effect on the power needed to maintain that speed. The hand cycles of the early 1800s were very heavy and had limited maneuverability. The two-wheeled hand cycle of today also exists, but these have not been subject to any serious experimental tests.
Likewise, the most expensive, heavy duty handcycle of the past may not have been the best choice for a racer. For the average consumer, a better option may be a cheaper aluminum handcycle. A good example of this is the Lasher Sports ATH. This handcycle features a two-wheel design with one driven front wheel and an adjustable seating position.
The best performing hand cycle will be able to accommodate a wide range of mobility, while allowing the user to enjoy a wide range of activities. This makes handcycling a fun and interesting sport. And, it is one of the fastest growing adaptive sports. Whether you’re an expert or a novice, this is a great way to spend your weekend.