Fitness matters. It really does. When we are fit, we look better, and we feel better, and, I would submit, we are better all around. Many patients confide that they struggle with incorporating exercise into their busy schedules and get discouraged. So I thought I’d share what’s working well for me.
I have participated in several types of exercise or sports during my life. Yes, I am sort of a cardio freak. If you are looking to find something that you can stick with, let me tell you about my favorite piece of exercise equipment, ever. The Peloton. (I will disclose that my only association with Peloton is to ride their bike, but I have genuinely become a Peloton Evangelist, so to speak.)
First of all, what is the Peloton? It is an in-home spin bike of excellent quality with a large video screen that connects to the internet that allows you to take classes whenever you like. Their studio is in New York City, and they stream live classes up to fifteen times a day, and every class that has been taught is available on-demand.
Exercising with someone else is more fun and effective than going it on your own. With Peloton, you get company, encouragement, feedback, accountability, and – if you want it — competition. You always feel that you are with a room of fellow riders because you can see the performance of others who are currently riding and have ridden in the past. If you’re so inclined, you can connect with other riders through social media groups.
The coaches who are conducting the classes are excellent, but the real benefit of a coach is that they create a plan for your workout, which will help you achieve your goals. They are all well-versed in the proper mechanics and techniques for cycling and well educated about exercise physiology. All this leads to a better work out and better achievement of your exercise goals. They also throw in a few tips to help with life goals.
Easy on Your Body
Certain types of exercise are more prone to cause injuries. There are probably more injuries with running than any other form of cardio. Some injuries are acute like sprains or stress fractures, and some are chronic, like knee and ankle arthritis. This is because running is a very high impact exercise in terms of what it does to your body and, most importantly, to your joints. Cycling is very low impact. The only significant injuries come from crashes when riding outdoors, but the Peloton is low impact and kind to your joints. What it works are your muscles and your cardiac system.
Mixing up what you do can keep you interested and engaged. There is tremendous variety in the types of classes (climbs, endurance, max capacity, fun rides, music genre-based rides, etc.), as well as in the length and level of intensity. Doing the same thing each day can be dull for some people, not so with Peloton.
I have done a lot of cardio exercises from running to rowing to cross country skiing to cycling. Nothing that I have done has produced more sweat or burned more calories than indoor cycling. Nothing. So, if you want an efficient exercise to burn calories, there is nothing better than having a Peloton bike in your house.
All of us who like to exercise like to see progress in our fitness. With weight lifting, it’s pretty simple: you can lift more weight as you build strength. With intense running, you can see your average time for mile go down.
With Peloton, you can also do this in several different ways. It can be in watts achieved during a workout, calories burned, or improvement in heart rate for a level of work (heart rate zone training), or increasing levels of work that can be achieved during workouts (power zone training). You can see all the rides you have ever done either on the bike or online.
If you don’t like it, you won’t do it. I love riding the Peloton. I have a great time, and the rest of my family feels the same way. As one of my favorite coaches, Matt Wilpers, says, “Train smart, train hard, and always have fun.”
If you are looking for a great way to get started on an exercise routine or changing up your existing exercise routine, look at getting a Peloton Bike, and ride with me. You will love it, and it will get you where you want to go.
All the best,
David B. Reath, MD