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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Peloton app might be what you need to get fit

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Peloton
One of my go-to workouts is Kirsten Ferguson’s popular ‘90s Walk series.

Do you find yourself spending long periods without exercise, fresh air or sunlight? Are you a victim of trauma from the pacer test and or timed miles? Have you ever walked into a gym and then walked right back out five seconds later, never to return? The good news: There is a solution. 

The answer to your fitness woes is Peloton. No, not the $2,495 Bike+ or the $3,495 Tread. I’m talking about the $12.99 monthly subscription to the company’s mobile app.

Over the years, a combination of unfortunate factors (asthma, depression, a bum ankle) came together to drive me away from any and every form of exercise I could think of. After failed attempts at mile runs around the neighborhood, countless Chloe Ting YouTube ab workouts and itchy, sniffly hikes, I gave up on working out and miserably settled back into my lethargic lifestyle.

At the end of 2022, I finally had a license and a car. It was New Year’s, so I decided to try one last resort: the gym. Fitness19 was uncharted territory to me, so I decided to hit the treadmills first (they were the only equipment I knew how to use). The problem was that I got bored and worn out almost immediately; I had no idea how to get in an effective workout. That’s when I had the bright idea of downloading a workout app to guide me through it — based on my athletic cousin’s glowing reviews, I settled on Peloton.

I cannot understate what a great app it is. There are thousands of workouts from five minutes to an hour in length, from biking to running to Pilates, with playlists containing music from Bjork to Beyoncé. Although the walking and running workouts are designed to be used with the Peloton Tread, they work well with any kind of treadmill. 

The classes have a fitness instructor to guide users through a comprehensive interval-based workout with different incline and speed variations. Kirsten Ferguson, who primarily teaches Treadmill workouts, quickly became my go-to instructor because of her contagious positivity, fun-loving attitude and killer hip hop and R&B setlists. Other classes I enjoy are Jermaine Johnson’s strength workouts and Aditi Shah’s pop Pilates classes.

There are a few things that differentiate Peloton from most YouTube video classes. First, the instructors are all certified personal trainers — not mere influencers. Second, you can track your progress in the app and reach milestones and awards based on fitness activity, which makes it all the more fun. Third, there is a great balance of professionalism and friendliness from instructors that makes you feel like you’re actually in a workout studio. 

The accessibility of the workouts is also a big deal. Apart from those that require equipment like a bike or treadmill, most workouts can be done with a simple yoga mat and/or a pair of dumbbells. I’ve tried Pilates, yoga, barre, core workouts and stretching. At this point, the only part of my workout routine that doesn’t regularly incorporate Peloton classes is weight training at the gym. And even then, I often use a set of dumbbells for Peloton strength training at home when I don’t have the time to go out.

Inspired by the Peloton app, I found myself willing to tackle longer and more difficult walks and runs. Rest days became an excuse to check out a relaxing mat Pilates class or hop into a core workout — it’s so much easier to get into the flow of things when there is somebody guiding you. Most importantly, I began to enjoy exercise for the first time in my life. 

Of course, you are ultimately the only one responsible for your fitness — but it never hurts to have some expert help and consistent inspiration along the way. So if you’re someone who, like me, feels allergic to working out, try the Peloton app. It turned out to be one of the best investments I’ve made for both my mental and physical health: Exercise and I are finally on speaking terms.

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