Health on the Homestead: Indoor Exercise Bike that Helps Power the Farm


SportsArt Recumbent Bicycle

 Photo courtesy SportsArt

Like so many homesteaders this past year, we pivoted digital, implemented contactless deliveries for our organic fruits and vegetables, and found ourselves implementing many, if not all, of our emergency preparedness protocols. Our once, highly profitable agritourism operation of Inn Serendipity was severely impacted by the covid-19 pandemic and a climate change-induced extreme weather calamity: a hail storm that took out windows and dented up our metal roof. At least we didn’t get the land-based hurricane known as the derecho that hit parts of Iowa just 125 miles away.

We recognized, almost immediately, in March of 2020, what we were up against with the pandemic in the US. Like many Mother Earth News readers, we prepared for something like this. So, we committed massive cost-saving cuts and embraced the reality of life on the farm, rarely leaving the safety of the homestead. Besides pivoting digital with an online course like my wife Lisa Kivirist’s How to Start a Food Business from your Home Kitchen, or virtual events like the Home-based Food Entrepreneur Virtual National Conference, we re-crafted our health and wellness routine.

Today, my wife starts her day with a brisk morning exercise regimen, followed by yoga later in the day. My young adult son devised his own “bucket-with-weights work-out” that ended on a pull-up bar added to beams in our strawbale greenhouse.

After exploring various options for indoor exercise bikes so that we could invest in our health and remain fit through the long Wisconsin winter, we opted for the SportsArt G575R Recumbent Cycle, an older model we lucked out in finding. When plugged into a standard power outlet, our physical exertion generates power that is converted to utility-grade electricity. SportsArt Eco-Powr cycles have integrated micro-inverters built in. The company is the first of its kind to harness the power of human energy and put it back into the grid.

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