And 5 Reasons You Should Consider Buying One Too!
Please allow me to give you a little look into my favorite exercise equipment ever (I’m not affiliated with them at all). In case you were wondering why in the world I would be talking about a Peloton and my knees, take a look back at my goals in the Home Life section. There you will see that riding my beloved bike is an ongoing goal. Right now I’m at 176 rides with a goal this year to hit 300. By next year I fully expect to hit that 50o mark and then I’m heading towards my ultimate goal: 1,000 rides!
What is a Peloton?
If you have been watching any television recently or keeping up with the latest fitness trends, then you have most likely heard about the Peloton bike or treadmill. In the last six to eight months the brand has blown up and there have even been rumblings about the company going public sometime later this year. Basically, Peloton has designed a spinning experience that not only allows you to get an amazing workout at home, but it has also integrated a way for you to be connected to anyone else who owns a bike across the world at the same time.
Peloton has done this by giving each user an individual leaderboard name (LB) which allows them to sync up to the network. When users are logged in, they can access a ride on-demand or live, which lets them cycle in real time with everyone else who is on their bikes at that moment and have joined the class. During the class the rider is able to see where they are in comparison to all of the other riders via the leaderboard. It’s a fun way to ride with others, give each other high fives and see where you rank against individuals your age as well as in other age brackets. Combine that with an instructor who is giving you an interactive experience (they are calling out encouragement to riders via their leaderboard names) and you have an exciting and heart-pounding workout right in the comfort in your own home any time of the day.
How Peloton Saved My Knees
Before I get into why I’m convinced the Peloton bike is keeping me from having a full knee replacement, let me give you a little background on my situation.
My knee issues began back in high school at the ripe age of 16 years old. Right before my sophomore year of high school I had my first laparoscopic surgery on my right knee to repair a torn meniscus. As a spry and athletic high schooler, it was no big deal to bounce back with rigor and go back to my routine of leaping and twisting across the dance floor. In fact, I was surprised to hear that I would have to take time to heal because I was feeling better just a few short weeks after my surgery! Ah, the folly of youth.
Jump ahead four years to where I’m still an active college student, but not in the same way I was just a few years earlier. By now my knee had started to bother me again and there were some rough edges on the bone that were jagged enough to damage my remaining cartilage. Looking back, the pain and discomfort probably wasn’t bad enough to require another surgery to “clean up” the spurs and cartilage that was breaking away, but I went ahead and had a second surgery to ease the discomfort I was having.
All was well for about 18 years and though I had some pretty arthritic knees for a person my age, I was still able to get around well enough to go about my business. Squatting and kneeling were a thing of the past unless an emergency was happening, but that wasn’t too big of a deal until I had kids about six years ago. The demand of having children who need you 24/7 meant that I wasn’t able to be too gentle as I lunged and knelt to help with potty breaks. Somewhere along the way, I tore the remaining bit of my meniscus in my right knee.
My trip to the surgeon and resulting surgery went well, but (not surprisingly) I didn’t heal as fast at 38 like I did at 16 and 20. In fact, my surgeon said that I should expect to be back in about 10 years for a full knee replacement because my joints were practically bone-to-bone and it was just a matter of time. I hadn’t even reached 40 and I was told that I was probably going to need a full joint replacement before I hit 50?! Things were getting dire and I knew that I had to protect these knees for as long as humanly possible. Did you know that you can only have two knee replacements in a lifetime? And that each replacement only lasts for about a decade? Scary stuff.
After two years of limping around in pain, I saw an ad online for the Peloton bike. I was intrigued, but my husband and I don’t have the best track record when it comes to exercise equipment so I kept the thought rolling around in the back of my head, thinking of ways to bring it up so that I could lay the groundwork.
Much to my surprise and delight, my husband came to me out of the blue right before Thanksgiving asking what I thought about buying one. A stroke of luck indeed! After the initial intimidation factor, we both discovered that the hype is real and the Peloton is as addictive as you’ve heard.
My top 5 reasons you should jump on the Peloton bandwagon and consider investing in one too
1. There is an instructor for EVERYONE – If you are one of those people that need a drill sergeant to yell at you and keep pushing you to climb that hill, Peloton has you covered. Need someone who is quiet, stoic and encourages you to increase that resistance so that you hit a personal record (PR)? No problem because there are at least two instructors I can think of for that. Peloton has so many great instructors and so many classes with each instructor that you could take a class everyday for at least six months or more without repeating a class.
2. The communities they have built are amazing- Are you in need of motivation from others, accountability or inspiration? Peloton has built an amazing community full of thousands of riders on Facebook in their Official Peloton Member Page. There will be an answer to ANY question you have, at ANY time of day. Do you like to ride with only one instructor-no problem! Each instructor has their own tribe where you can dish about the latest 20 minute pop ride or find out the exact wording of that quote you want to put onto your wall. There is a community for everyone- my personal favorites are the Peloton SweaxySwarm and the Power Zone Pack. Which leads to my next point…
3. Programs- If you are someone who needs a set schedule to hold yourself accountable or you just don’t want to think about which ride to choose the next day (guilty!), there are tribes to join or you can just opt in right on the screen so that you know exactly which classes to take. They are adding new programs all the time, so there is truly something for everyone. I’m also a part of an Early Riser’s group that ride each day at 5:00-5:30 am, they organize weekly rides so you will have friends to high five the whole time.
4. Badges Are Fun for Everyone!- I think there are a lot of people out there like me who enjoy getting a gold star for their efforts, Peloton realized that and accommodated. Each month you can join into at least two challenges: one for how many days you do an activity and how many miles you add up during the month. The company also does special events and rides for: Black History Month, Pride Month, Women’s History Month and so many more. There is something truly addictive about acquiring these digital badges and I wish they would let you purchase stickers or patches so that in case a lighting bolt blows up my house I have proof that I earned these.
5. It’s not just biking!- Yes, you bought a spin bike, but it’s not practical to cycle everyday. You gotta work all those muscles, not just the ones in your legs and booty! Peloton has you covered. In addition to all of their cycling and tread classes, they also have arms, legs, stretches, yoga, meditation and probably many more that I have not even had a chance to explore. With this bike/subscription you are pretty much getting an entire gym experience from your own home. How awesome is that?!
After riding consistently for 6 months I can honestly say that my knees are feeling so much better than they have in years. The muscles that surround my kneecaps are strong and are keeping all the ligaments in place so that my joints don’t shift as much. Will this prevent me from actually having a knee replacement? I don’t know for sure because I’m not a doctor, but I believe it will. I have been off the bike for about six weeks due to another medical issue and my knees have started to ache again. To me, that means my Peloton obsession is actually a good thing and I’m counting down the days until I can get back into my groove.
Let me just add, my husband is just as addicted to the bike as I am, perhaps even more so. This is the first time in both of our lives that we have been consistently committed to exercising and both look forward to getting on the bike 3-5 times during the week. On those days we don’t feel like doing a full on class, there are beautiful scenic rides that range from 10 minutes to 60 minutes where you can pedal at your own pace while enjoying the views of gorgeous landscapes around the world. It’s cliche to say that this bike has something for everyone, but since we’ve come this far I’ll just say it. There really is something for every single level of athlete out there. Oh, and let’s be clear about something-once you ride on a Peloton, you are an athlete no matter where you are on your journey.
If you are thinking about purchasing one, my referral code is: D9Z3HC This code will get you a discount on an accessory package, because you are going to need some spin shoes!
If you are already a Peloton lover/member, please follow me on the leaderboard #SpinItForward I’m always looking for new friends to high five!