Peloton Fitness Tech Company Doesn’t Understand The People Who Love It Most

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The internet has some feedback on Peloton’s holiday ad campaign. The fitness-tech company, famous for its $2,400, Wi-Fi-enabled stationary bikes that let riders stream spin classes, debuted a new television commercial in mid-November, but it didn’t become infamous until earlier this week, when Twitter got ahold of it.

In the ad, a young mom gains confidence in the year after her husband buys her a Peloton for Christmas—or, at least, that’s what the ad seems to be aiming for. The commercial documents the woman (who is also documenting herself, via her phone’s front-facing camera) while she gets up early day after day to exercise or jumps on the bike after work. At the end, she presents the video of her exercise journey to her husband. “A year ago, I didn’t realize how much this would change me,” she tells him. “Thank you.”

Unfortunately, rather than grateful, the newly minted indoor cyclist appears terrified during the entire video. Her facial expression suggests to some viewers a desperate effort to please her spouse, and maybe, if you really want to take things to their logical extreme, that she was compelled to mount her fancy new bike against her will. The commercial has inspired days of both earnest Twitter outrage and mocking parody videos, mostly because the actor in it has what the journalist Helen Rosner aptly described as “perpetually sad eyebrows,” which make her look scared even when her lines are joyful. The company’s stock lost nearly a billion dollars of value in a day.

Casting and directorial decisions aside, it’s not difficult to imagine that a genuinely doting husband might buy his wife an expensive exercise bike for Christmas, or that an affluent mom might ask for one, or that someone trying to get out of a personal rut might feel nervous that they’ll fail. Before-and-after photos of newly thin bodies have long been an element of fitness marketing, and now Peloton wants to make the case for a before-and-after of the soul. As it turns out, that is a little tougher to telegraph.

Earlier this year, I spent six months pedaling after a question that a lot of people have about Peloton: Why would anyone become emotionally devoted to an expensive exercise bike? The answers turned out to be fairly simple: The bike was convenient. Yes, they all admitted, it was expensive (in addition to the bike, a monthly subscription to classes is $40), but fancy gym memberships easily top $100 a month, and boutique fitness classes are usually $25 to $45 each. Peloton devotees told me they felt good about being active. Online communities of Peloton riders support one another and often provide real opportunities for people to make friends. And the company’s instructors generally don’t use weight as a tool of shame-motivation, unlike many fitness brands.

a person posing for the camera© Reuters

[Read: I joined a stationary-biker gang]

The emotional journey clumsily depicted in the new ad isn’t unlike the stories actual users told me, about how they were afraid to exercise but found themselves spurred forward by documenting and sharing their efforts. In a sedentary, lonely country where wide swaths of the population lack accessible or safe outdoor areas to exercise or much free time to devote to fitness, products that address those problems are going to find customers—even if they’re expensive.

I wasn’t the only person surprised by the simple reasons for Peloton’s popularity. The brand, too, seems to have initially misjudged what its own appeal might be, and the controversial ad appears to be part of a larger effort to walk back some of its early messaging. The company’s first ads, which have been widely mocked in their own right, featured young, confident, clearly affluent people working out their already toned bodies while gazing out the windows of their multimillion-dollar homes. After a few years, however, it became clear to the company that many of its bikes were going into the basements and guest bedrooms of middle-class American homes, used by regular people who lead regular lives.

As a result, Peloton has tried to pivot to something more wholesome than the pursuit of peak fitness. The company introduced financing plans, dropped the price of its digital-only subscription, and added bigger sizes to its line of branded merchandise. It started running ads that showed the bikes in more types of homes. Now it’s trying to figure out the same thing as a million other wellness brands: how to talk about exercise and well-being without emphasizing ideals of physical perfection that feel outdated to a lot of potential customers.

In response to the ad’s controversy, a spokesperson for the brand said that the ad was an attempt to give viewers a broader sense of the product’s advantages. “We constantly hear from our members how their lives have been meaningfully and positively impacted after purchasing or being gifted a Peloton Bike or Tread, often in ways that surprise them,” the statement read. “Our holiday spot was created to celebrate that fitness and wellness journey.”

[Read: The fitness craze that changed the way women exercise]

A holistic mind-body wellness journey might just be a little too conceptual to make for a good ad. For the commercial to make sense to many people, they have to already have a fairly detailed sense of why Peloton’s devotees find the device worthwhile, which makes it a risky strategy for a medium that reaches millions of people. Those people all live in a culture where exercise has long been regarded as punishment for the joy of indulgence, and where women are supposed to maintain an impossible level of physical perfection well into middle age, lest they face the denigration of both the culture at large and their own romantic partners.

Viewers who have spent their lives enduring those anxieties see them lurking just out of frame in Peloton’s new commercial, which reveals a larger problem with America’s relatioship to exercise: It can’t be fixed with a good product and some slick ads.

By: Amanda Mull

Source: http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/analysis-peloton

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It’s the commercial that launched 1,000 memes. Exercise bike maker Peleton released a holiday commercial showing a husband gifting his thin wife with the bicycle. The internet has reacted swiftly and they are not happy with the mesaage they say the ad implies. “Message received: Ladies, exercise harder/be thinner for your man and then thank him for it,” one user wrote. Perhaps the most popular parody is from a comedian who decides a divorce is the perfect response to the present.

Muscle Soreness Body Fatigue Exercise Recovery Is Important & Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

I recently embarked on what some people (me) would describe as an intensive exercise regime, and was unable to walk properly for the following week.

Getting out of bed required enormous willpower, walking down stairs was a precarious and daunting challenge, and bending to pick something up off the ground was out of the question.

I learnt my lesson, and vowed never to exercise again.

(No, no. Just kidding! Exercise is very important. Don’t stop.)

It was a good reminder, though, of the importance of exercise recovery, both to ease the pain of sore muscles and to keep consistency to my workout routine.

So, to find out how it’s best done, I called recovery scientist and former director of the Australian Olympic Committee’s Recovery Centre, Shona Halson.

“People tend to think of recovery as ice baths and compression garments,” said Dr Halson, who is also an associate professor at the Australian Catholic University.

“But recovery is the foundational things like sleep and nutrition.

“Those are the things we should all be doing well. The other techniques … they’re more like the icing on the cake.”

Firstly, why am I so sore?

A couple of things can happen when we exercise: fatigue and soreness.

“The fitter you are and the more accustomed you are to doing a particular type of exercise, the less fatigue and soreness you’re likely to have,” Dr Halson said.

But the type of exercise matters too.

Muscle fatigue typically arises from exercise that involves “concentric contractions” (where the muscle is shortening) and no impact with the ground such as swimming and cycling.

“You can swim for hours, you can cycle for hours. And you burn fuel, but you don’t really get super sore, you get more tired,” Dr Halson said.

Muscle soreness, on the other hand, comes about after exercise that involves the lengthening of muscles.

This can break the connections between muscle fibres, causing inflammation and swelling.

“That swelling causes the soreness,” Dr Halson explained.

The microscopic damage our muscles accrue can be the result of impact with the ground, for example through running, or with another person if you play contact sport.

It also happens when we force our muscles to work harder than usual, or exercise muscle groups we don’t normally use.

“Weight training is another type of exercise typically associated with soreness,” Dr Halson said.

“You have some shortening muscle contractions, but you also usually have some lengthening contractions, and it’s those lengthening contractions that cause the soreness.”

While the fatigue most people feel from activities like cycling and swimming tends to go away quickly, soreness from damaged muscle fibres can last for a few days.

Soreness isn’t a bad sign

If it takes up to 72 hours for soreness to go away after exercise, it’s probably a sign that you have induced a fair bit of muscle damage, Dr Halson said.

While it’s not much fun at the time, making progress with your fitness usually means pushing yourself a little bit more each time, she said.

“You’re not going to keep improving if you don’t generate some soreness and fatigue. It’s part of the process.”

That being said, soreness that doesn’t go away after three to five days may be a sign you’ve pushed yourself too hard.

If you are trying to build up your exercise routine, it’s important to do it gradually, and allow your muscles to adapt and repair.

But what if I’m a regular exerciser?

Consistent exercise provides somewhat of a protective effect against muscle fatigue and soreness.

“You’re still putting stress and strain through the muscles … it’s just you adapt,” Dr Halson said.

However, people who regularly work out still encounter muscle soreness because they’re often building their strength or aerobic fitness over time.

“You’ll up your weights, or try to run a bit further or a bit faster,” she said.

“Often, if you do exercise that you haven’t done before and you exercise quite extremely, it can be really painful.”

What’s the best way to recover?

Sleep is the answer

“Sleep is the most powerful recovery strategy that you have,” according to Dr Halson.

It’s well known sleep is important for brain function and memory consolidation. But, she said, it also plays a key role in restoring and repairing muscle tissue.

“Sleep is one of the most active times both from a physical and mental recovery perspective. There’s hormone release, muscle repair and restoring of the brain.”

Stay hydrated

When we exercise, our muscles initially use their stores of carbohydrates for fuel, before burning fat.

Sports drinks, which typically contain water and electrolytes for rehydration and carbohydrates (as sugars) for energy, were originally designed to replenish fluid and provide extra fuel for intense, long-lasting exercise.

But water should meet most people’s fluid requirements unless you’re a professional athlete, Dr Halson said.

“It’s important to rehydrate if you’ve lost fluid, and one of the best ways is to measure yourself pre and post-[workout], and replace 150 per cent of what you’ve lost.”

When it comes to food, Dr Halson said it was important to replenish any carbohydrates depleted during exercise, and protein — the main nutrient needed for muscle repair.

If you’re doing high intensity interval training or weight lifting, for example, you might want to focus especially on protein. If you work out is predominantly cardio-based, you should be looking at carbohydrate replacement.

“It just depends on your activity.”

Compression can work

While compression garments aren’t necessary for most people’s exercise recovery, Dr Halson said they can help reduce the perception of soreness.

“There are a couple of theories behind compression garments,” she said.

“One of the main ones is that the tightness [of the garment] basically compresses the superficial veins close to the skin, particularly in the legs, and that forces the blood to flow through deeper vessels.”

That increase in blood flow can help to clear “some of the waste products” in the blood, she said.

“That can be good for inflammation and swelling, which we know is what partly causes that soreness.”

Ice, ice baby

Ice baths are a popular recovery tool for athletes, and for good reason; like compression garments, water can be compressive.

“There’s hydrostatic pressure in water, so it has that similar effect on blood flow,” Dr Halson said.

But the benefits of ice baths can be achieved without actually filling up a bath tub with ice.

“As long as the water is colder than your skin temperature [about 34 degrees Celsius] … it will eventually cool you down.”

That means jumping into a cold swimming pool or the ocean after exercising can help to reduce soreness. Even a cold shower — though it won’t provide the hydrostatic pressure of a body of water — isn’t a bad place to start.

But what about the effects of freezing cold… air?

Cryotherapy is a treatment that involves exposing the body to freezing or near-freezing temperatures for several minutes, and its use has grown in recent years.

“There is a little bit of science … mainly in patients with rheumatic arthritis or an inflammatory disease,” Dr Halson said.

“But what you don’t get with cryotherapy chambers … is the hydrostatic pressure of water.”

Dr Halson said the evidence for water immersion was stronger. Plus, a dip in the ocean is free.

Stretch if you feel like it

For something so many of us do either before or after exercise, there isn’t a whole lot of evidence that stretching is effective at reducing injury risk.

“A lot of athletes say that if they don’t stretch, they feel more sore the next day,” Dr Halson said.

“But in terms of scientific evidence to say we should be stretching after exercise, there’s not a huge amount.”

For those who find it beneficial, there’s no reason to stop, she said.

“Stretching can be something that might reduce soreness and stiffness, especially if you’re someone that’s doing something you’re not really accustomed to.”

Listen to your body

Sometimes, when your muscles are feeling sore or fatigued, it can be helpful to do some gentle exercise to “work through the soreness and stiffness”.

But taking periods of rest is also important.

“If you look at elite athletes, even they would have one day a week off,” Dr Halson said.

“So, I think your average person should be looking to have at least one day [per week] of complete rest.”

The most important thing to do is listen to your body.

“If you are a bit sore, starting to get really tired, maybe not concentrating at work, or you feel like you might be getting sick, having a day off in the long run is probably better for you.”

By: Olivia Willis

Source: Muscle soreness? Body fatigue? Exercise recovery is important, and shouldn’t be overlooked – Health – ABC News

Stretching is a great way to minimize post workout soreness. Using ice packs and massaging sore muscles also can help with any sore spots. Premier Health Physical Therapist, Greg Schultz, talks more about how to minimize post-workout soreness. #Conditioning

An Aging Marathoner Tries to Run Fast After 40 – Nicholas Thompson

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Running is the most elemental sport. The equipment is simple: shoes, socks, shorts, shirt. The activity is natural. We once ran after antelopes on the savannah, and we now run around playgrounds as kids. For the most part, we compete against ourselves. And because it’s so personal, and so elemental, the inevitable decline that comes with age can be wrenching. Aging reduces our performance at everything athletic, but sometimes it’s hard to make out what’s happening. The ball doesn’t seem to go quite as far; the racket or the bat doesn’t swing quite as fast…….

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/aging-marathoner-tries-to-run-fast-after-40/

 

 

 

 

 

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10 At-Home Exercises to Get Rid of Belly Fat In a Month – BRIGHT SIDE

How to get rid of belly fat quickly? 💪 If you have no time to go to the gym, try these 10 at-home exercises to finally lose belly fat once and for all! It will take you a month to reduce excess fat around your waistline. No leaving your house, no special equipment needed, and no excuses!

💥 TIMESTAMPS: #1. 5 Jumping Jacks + 1 Burpee 1:00 #2. 4 Mountain Climbers + 2 Sit-throughs 2:08 #3. Plyo step-ups 3:21 #4. Push-ups 4:08 #5. 2 Split Squat Jumps + 1 Burpee 4:50 #6. Toe Taps 5:34 #7. Plank Walks 6:29 #8. Sprinter Sit-ups 7:28 #9. Squat thrusts 8:15 #10. Sumo Goblet Squat Pulses 9:01 #absworkout #flatstomach #bellyfat

 

 

 

 

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Expansive New Study Says Not Exercising Is Worse for Your Health Than Smoking – Gina Martinez

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It’s common knowledge that there are many benefits to being fit, but one large new study found that skipping out on the gym is practically the worst thing you can do for your health. In fact, the study claims not exercising might be more harmful to your health than smoking. New findings, published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open, detail how researchers at the Cleveland Clinic studied 122,007 patients from 1991 to 2014, putting them under treadmill testing and later recording mortality……..

Read more: http://time.com/5430203/new-study-not-exercising-worse-than-smoking/

 

 

 

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