By Sam Lovett | Illustration by Jubilee Hernandez
Hello Catalyst readers! I’m writing to you from New York. For those of you also in populated areas with a high rate of COVID-19 and the subsequent inability to venture beyond the end of your block, allow me to introduce to you my latest discovery to keep you active. I know many of you have heard of the Peloton bike, a stationary bike for indoor exercise, but did you know there is an app that you can use without the large purchase of the bike?
The Peloton app is free of charge and can be downloaded on any smartphone device. If you do not have a smartphone, no worries, you can access their app online at onepelonton.com. The app features their classes for biking on the Peloton bike; however, you do NOT need the bike or the treadmill to make great use of this application. It offers ten sections, including strength, yoga, cardio, meditation, running, outdoor, cycling, stretching, bootcamp, and walking. I am still new to this application, so I have not tried everything, but I have highlighted what I think is best for quarantine below.
My favorite part of this app is the outdoor section. It is essentially a podcast of some of the best trainers in New York City who lead you through the workout of your choice: walking, hiking, or running. The trainers on the podcast are running while recording, so they know exactly what you are feeling — you can even hear them out of breath some of the time. It is more like running with a friend than having a trainer scream at you to just keep going. They are all themed in some way — 2000s music, 90s music, Broadway, Beyoncé … whichever you choose, they are all stupendous.
Spring is here and it is important to get outside and stretch your legs, whether you walk or run, but of course, you have to be careful where you go and stay six feet away from those you run or walk by. If you are craving something short and sweet, they have audios that are only 15 minutes. That being said, if you’re looking for something a bit longer, they also have classes up to 60 minutes. Chose what works best for you!
Coming close in second to my favorites is the strength section, which I absolutely love. They have classes ranging from five to 45 minutes, which focus on lower body, upper body, full body, and/or core. There are classes that require some form of weights, but they also offer an abundant assortment of classes using only your body weight. You can also get creative and use wine bottles or cans of soup as weights. Again, there are themed classes with some of NYC’s most famous trainers, and I think they have something for everyone. With these classes, you can work out in your room or in an open area … and while you may not want to do a core workout, it is necessary to keep your body strong during these isolating times. In fact, it is the perfect opportunity to improve your strength because you have ample time to do so!
In all honesty, I am not a big fan of workout apps because the tracker is usually wrong, or you must pay if you want more than the basics of doing a jumping jack. Peloton has made the app free for three months because they do not want people to be restricted during this strange time. You only need five minutes to get a good work out in, but give yourself the time to unplug and take a class with some of the best instructors in the country — I promise it is worth it.
Lastly, if exercise is not for you, you have COVID-19, or have any other underlying issues that prevent you from taking these classes, they have some of the best meditation classes ranging from four to 50 minutes. There is something for everyone: you just have to give yourself the opportunity to experience it.