More MS news articles for June 2002

Surviving a Life-Threatening Accident, Entrepreneur Invigorates Home Fitness Exercise Bicycle Company by Catering to Disability Market

 June 13, 2002

His neck broken in a bicycling accident while training for a triathlon, entrepreneur Peter Blumenthal faced the possibility he would never walk again. After a long rehabilitation period and full recovery, Blumenthal vowed his next business would include an exercise component to help physically challenged individuals.

Post accident, and with a heightened awareness of the dearth of comprehensive exercise options for the physically challenged, Blumenthal purchased the Exercycle Company (, makers of the first full-body, motor-enhanced home fitness exercise bicycle, determined to revitalize the 70-year-old brand.

While the Exercycle was originally intended as a rehabilitation tool for the founder's wife who suffered from a neuromuscular disorder, it was soon adopted by healthy individuals seeking convenient exercise options. Until the mid 1990s, all research and development focused on serving "at-home" athletes.

The Company then turned away from the cluttered traditional home fitness market and returned to its rehabilitation roots. Using the motor from the original product as a springboard for innovation, they adapted the Exercycle for the disability market and introduced the Theracycle(TM), which utilizes state of the art computerized electronics.

"My goal is to educate physically challenged individuals that exciting exercise options do exist for them," said Blumenthal, who has provided capital and marketing expertise to the Company. "I am gratified to be associated with a product that has the potential to allow those who use it to reclaim their bodies and lead fuller, more active lives."

Theracycle's design caters specifically to the needs of the physically disabled including safety features such as a wide, stable frame, easy on/off access, user-friendly speed controls and an extra large seat. The key element, however, is the motor, which enables even those who lack strength and endurance to partake in an exercise regimen, according to Blumenthal.

"In developing the Theracycle the team, lead by Exercycle president David St. Germain, collaborated with both patients and medical professionals," said Blumenthal, former owner of the picture framing retail chain Frame King.

For many physically-challenged individuals, who long ago lost the ability to exercise, the Theracycle is credited with providing increased energy enabling them to fight fatigue and achieve a heightened sense of well-being. The Theracycle has found a devoted following among those afflicted with degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

"The Theracycle has been a godsend," said Nina Lyvers, 41, of Harvard, MA, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis eighteen years ago. An active mother and former marathon runner, Lyvers works out on her Theracycle for 25 minutes, 4-5 times a week.

"The Theracycle makes me feel as though I can comfortably exercise again," Lyvers added. "As a one-time competitive athlete, that opportunity means the world to me."

Theracycle has also gained support from leaders of the disability community.

"For years the Exercycle Company has demonstrated a commitment to helping people with MS and other degenerative diseases to incorporate exercise in their daily lives," commented Gen. Michael Dugan, president and chief executive officer of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "Many individuals afflicted with MS acknowledge Theracycle's contribution to fighting the disease and have derived enormous physical and emotional benefits from regular use of Exercycle exercise bicycles."
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SOURCE Exercycle Company

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