Charlotte Maschke doesn’t miss a beat. The 93-year-old resident is taking action to stay active by using CyberCycle in the fitness center at The Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens — her home of four years.
CyberCycle is a stationary bicycle that takes the user through computer-simulated environments — offering a virtual reality while burning calories.
Born and raised in Germany, Maschke remembers riding a bicycle as a means for transportation. In 1953, she moved with her husband to Fresno.
Although Maschke has been active for a majority of her life, she started using a stationary bicycle after she was advised by her doctor. She needed her right knee replaced.
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“My doctor told me that he wouldn’t operate on my right knee if I didn’t exercise,” she says.
In comparison to a stationary bicycle, Maschke says CyberCycle “isn’t as boring.”
Each day, she aims to spend 20 minutes using CyberCycle. It features about 40 computer-simulated environments like Rabbit Run, Alpine Splash and Coastal Run. Maschke says her favorite route is Redwood Dash. She has logged nearly 15 miles in 1 1/2 weeks. In addition to using the equipment in the fitness center, Maschke aims for at least 8,000 steps on a daily basis.
“I feel stronger — not as painful,” she says as she points to her right knee. “I feel invigorated.”
She’s also part of the Pedal Pushers, a group of volunteers who take residents with physical or mental limitations on strolls throughout TSJG.
Including Maschke, there are nine residents who use CyberCycle at TSJG: Lee Wheeler, Rick Morrisson, Faye Wearin, Maxine Spencer, Linda Mack, Rosemary Cotton, Mary Duke and Ann Rumbaugh. Wheeler takes the lead on the scoreboard — he has accumulated more than 245 miles since the start of 2018.
A group of residents headed to the San Diego Senior Games last year to take part in a number of competitions like CyberCycle, which earned Maschke two gold medals.
AJ Castillo says CyberCycle engages the user on physical, mental and social levels. The fitness coordinator says the user has to switch shifts, steer using motion-controlled handlebars and move their legs against counterbalanced pedals.
The process strengthens the muscles in your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves, as well as increases the range of motion in your knee and hip joints. TSJG hopes to purchase an additional CyberCycle in the future.