So: should you buy a fancy, expensive, totally integrated, wi-fi connected home fitness solution? That is the question on a lot of people’s minds since the nationwide lockdowns last year.
I will admit to some bias here. As an avid Mirror and Peloton user myself, I will go ahead and give it my ringing endorsement. But as an integrative health coach, my official position is that you must find the movement that works for you.
As Dr. Falcone wrote in his post, Move or Die: Exercising as We Age, the best thing for you may be a simple walk with friends. He calls walks with friends a “3-fer,” in that you get three benefits in one: physical movement, mental wellbeing, and social interaction. All of these are crucially important to a plan for integrative health and wellbeing.
And that is precisely why integrated fitness solutions have become so successful! As the pandemic hit and we could no longer go to our local gym, or CrossFit box, or climbing gym, we were missing out on both movement and the social aspects of being around other people while we exercise. By connecting you to real people and real instructors at home, integrated fitness solutions filled both those needs.
I myself was once an active spin class go-er and used to only feel productive when surrounded by other “real” people, not just screen people. But that changed during the pandemic.
These home solutions offer a plethora of features that entice you to remain challenged, engaged, and supported. You can participate in group challenges, earn badges and rewards, join synced up rides with friends, try out the live classes, and even try out the themed classes, i.e., The Madonna Ride.
There is also a major convenience factor, with on-demand classes for the days that I don’t have the energy or willpower to get in the car and go to the gym. I can happily drink my Mud Water, stare at my lovely bed head, and get that sweat in, all while in the comfort of my own home.
I don’t mean to sound like an advertisement for these solutions, but the fact is they work hard to help people overcome many of the common barriers to exercise, whether that’s lack of time, lack of access to a gym, no one to help motivate you or keep you accountable, or maybe the feeling of not making enough progress in your fitness goals.
Maybe that’s part of why solutions like Peloton have become so popular (The Washington Post reported in January that the company reported $758 million in revenue in 2020—a 232% increase from 2019).
So, should you buy an integrative home fitness solution? If you are not into cycling, there are other solutions for other kinds of workouts: kettlebells, rowing, general fitness, you name it. Now a days, there is pretty much an option for everything.
The main question is: what will work best for you? It may be just a simple routine to go for a walk with a friend every morning. Or training to climb a certain mountain. Or it may be a Peloton!