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Today's Family Magazine

Health District offers virtual cycling program for seniors

Lake County Connections, a senior outreach program of the Lake County General Health District (LCGHD), and the Unite Ohio network, a coordinated care network, looks forward to implementing a program that will allow seniors to enjoy the benefits of bike riding while indoors with other members of the community.  Dave Patton, bike program coordinator and LCGHD health educator recently partnered with the Perry Senior Center to test-run his virtual cycling bike program.  He’s excited to continue to increase the awareness of bicycles, promote bike safety, and share the benefits of cycling for all age groups, especially seniors across the county.

Building a program 
with seniors in mind
So, how does the virtual bike program work?  The virtual cycling class uses the convenience of a stationary bike combined with a smart tablet and a class instructor to ensure participants can use the equipment as planned.  What does the setup look like?  Each bike will be paired with a tablet, which will be positioned in front of the bike, that will be preloaded with an app that responds to the rider’s pedaling and will move their virtual avatar through a vivid, engaging, virtual environment.  The goal of the class is to introduce bike riding without the ups and downs of the weather and without the risks that come with riding on various kinds of terrain.

What’s coming up for the bike program at LCGHD?
In the next year, the Health District is also interested in implementing trishaw rides through an organization called Cycling Without Age as a component of well-aging in the county.  Trishaws are three-wheeled bikes that seat passengers out front with a full view and a pilot who pedals and controls the bike from behind.  These rides allow seniors to experience movement, enjoy the outdoors, and have great conversations with their pilot.  

For more information, call 440-350-2543 and ask to speak with Dave.