Updated: 03/26/2013 8:29 AM
Created: 03/25/2013 2:56 PM WNYT.com
By: Benita Zahn
Yes, those are bicycles in the water. Hydroriders. Made from rust proof, lightweight aluminum - you can can pedal on these stationary bikes while immersed in water.
"When you're outdoors, outside of the pool, you're working a lot with gravity" explains Barbara Howansky, Fitness Director at Avila Retirement Community in Albany. " In the pool you're working with buoyancy which helps the joins with less impact ."
And for seniors, like 71 year old Ray Teichman, 86 year old June Lee, 91 year old Frank Benoit it's just what the doctor ordered.
"I like it because it seems effortless" says Benoit. "So for a while you can pedal and I can do this longer than I could on the land with the bike."
Avila Retirement Community added the Hydrorider to its exercise offerings about a month ago and it was an immediate hit. Currently riders spend 15 minutes on the bikes, working up to 45 minutes. A dozen people use the bikes during the week and given the interest, more Hydro Riders may be added. And don't be fooled, this is a full body workout.
"You're working against volumes of water. We call that hydro static pressure and you. It gets them to move much freer in the pool so it gets them to use large muscles" explains Howansky.
Resistance can be increased by four adjustable paddle wheels. The longer the paddle is pulled out, more resistance. You can also adjust the handlebars. Riders not only get an aerobic workout, this also works on balance and core strength. And when the session is over, the bikes easily lift out of the pool.