During the Coronavirus Pandemic, thousands of people discovered the joy of working out from home when they were unable to go to the gym. Even as the pandemic winds down, studies show that many people don’t plan to renew their gym membership, for reasons ranging from affordability to safety.
If you were one of the many people who purchased home exercise equipment during the pandemic, or if you were cycling before it was cool, have you considered putting your exercise equipment outside? If you live in a moderately temperate climate or can move your equipment back inside when the seasons change, the benefits can be huge.
Benefits of Putting Your Exercise Equipment Outdoors
1. Save Space Indoors
Most exercise machines are bulky, and most also need room around them to keep users safe as they work out. A treadmill can easily take up half a room, and even the smallest exercise bikes will still take up space that you could put to other purposes.
One solution may be to invest in a compact version of the type of exercise equipment you want, but they often don’t perform as well. If you already own an exercise machine, then buying another one probably isn’t high on your list of solutions.
Putting your exercise machine outside, in your garage, or on your patio or porch could be a great solution! The machine will be out of the way, but still more easily accessible than driving to the gym.
2. Isolate Noise
Even if space isn’t a big consideration for you, putting your exercise machine outdoors could still benefit everyone in your living situation. Using most exercise machines is a noisy process; mechanical parts and engines are running, you are breathing hard, and the motivational trainer or music you are listening to can all contribute to a less-than-peaceful atmosphere.
If your housemates get annoyed with the noise or you find yourself working out at odd hours to avoid them being around, putting your exercise machine outside will give you privacy and isolate the noise. If you live in an apartment or condo, your downstairs neighbors will thank you for putting your machine on your balcony, so they don’t have to listen to your high-intensity workouts.
3. Get Sunshine and Fresh Air
Being outside is good for you. Research shows that vitamin D deficiency is soaring in the United States. Vitamin D isn’t naturally present in many foods, so the most common way to get it is through sun exposure. Vitamin D is responsible for numerous processes in the body, including calcium absorption, cell growth, and reducing inflammation. Studies are linking a lack of vitamin D to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
If you have already made your exercise machine part of your daily routine, you could easily knock out two birds with one stone by putting it outside.
If you are a runner, you may wonder why you should bother putting your treadmill outside when you could easily just run around your neighborhood. If running outside is something you already do, and you keep your treadmill for rainy days, you are right! But if you tend to avoid outdoor runs or live in an area that isn’t runner-friendly, this may be a solution for you. On a treadmill, you don’t have to worry about obstacles like potholes, stoplights, or other pedestrians disrupting your run, and you don’t have to take the extra time to drive yourself to a bike or running path.
Just make sure you use sunscreen on your face!
Have we convinced you yet? If so, there are a few things you should consider before making the move.
1. Check Your Warranty
With some companies, putting your exercise machine outside may void your warranty. Even if the issue you are reporting wasn’t caused by the machine being outdoors, just the fact that it was outside may allow the company to get out of fixing or replacing your machine.
This may or may not concern you depending on the terms of your warranty in the first place, or whether you bought your machine used, but its worth knowing. You should always review the warranty for equipment before using it anyways, as some of them have important notices and fine print.
2. You’ll Need Flat Ground and an Outlet
Unfortunately, just having a yard, porch, or patio isn’t enough. You’ll need an area that is relatively flat – a slight slope may not be a problem for most machines, but rocky or uneven ground might make it dangerous to workout on your machine or may damage your machine if it shifts while you are on it.
For most machines, you’ll also need an outlet. You’ll want it to be close to the machine, as having cords running across your yard can present a hazard. You’ll also need the outlet to be protected from the elements, specifically moisture from rain or snow. Water and electricity is a dangerous mix.
3. Protect your Machine with a Cover
Water and electricity are dangerous, but water on the plastic and metal components can also cause damage over time.
A cover from Equip will offer protection from weather and UV rays and extend the life of your machine.
Equip offers cover in standard sizes for a variety of machines, including some covers for your favorite brands like Peloton and NordicTrack. We also offer custom covers. Our production team can work with you to produce a beautiful cover from easy-to-follow directions.
If you haven’t used a Peloton or done a lot of cycling, you may not be familiar with the cleats required. You can’t use regular running or biking shoes with your Peloton Bike, you have to use a special type of cleat that clips onto the pedals.
These specialty cleats offer better control – the shoes effectively attach you to the bike. This gives you more “pull” on the upswing and lets you work out more rigorously.
The Peloton Bike comes with “Delta” style pedals, which require “Delta” style cleats, as the standard. As we’ll discuss later, it isn’t difficult to switch out the pedals, so that doesn’t necessarily have to be a limiting factor for the shoes you pick.
Some of the most important things to look for in riding cleats are the stiffness of the soles and insulation against heat. These cleats come with great reviews and are well loved by riders.
When you are working out on a Peloton Bike, a ceiling fan is not going to cut it. An adjustable fan pointing at you will make an enormous difference in how you feel during your workout.
You will want to take into account the size of the room that your Peloton is in. Your fan isn’t likely to cool the entire room unless the room is very small, but you’ll still want something more powerful for a large room.
The height of the fan is another important factor. If you don’t have a desk or shelf to place it on, you’ll probably want something about shoulder height when sitting on your Peloton. Alternatively, you could choose a mounting fan and save some space. We love this 16-inch Hurricane.
We’ve talked before about why a mat is so important – it protects your floor and your Peloton Bike. The Peloton Bike has a footprint of 48 inches by 24 inches, so choose a mat that is at least that size. If your Peloton is indoors on carpet or hardwood, you might want to invest in a bigger mat to catch any drops of sweat that fall during your workout.
Pick a mat that is easy to clean that won’t absorb those sweat drops – there is nothing worse than a mildew smell coming from a bike mat that isn’t cleaned enough.
Personally, we like Peloton’s own mat – its easy to clean and one of the biggest mats on the market.
Don’t forget, the Peloton bike weighs 135 pounds! Make sure you have your mat on hand when your bike is delivered if possible or get a friend to help you lift bike onto the mat if necessary.
4. Seat Cover
Unless you were an avid biker before getting a Peloton, you are going to be sore from more than just the workout after your first ride.
For most people, it isn’t worth getting a wide seat, even though it may feel more comfortable in the short term. In the long term, it will get in your way while you are working out.
Rather, its better to give yourself a few rides to adjust and get used to using a bike seat. Generally, six to ten rides seems to be enough for most people to build up a tolerance.
That being said, a gel or padded seat cover for your Peloton bike can still make your ride more enjoyable, especially if you plan to ride for longer intervals. We like this Zacro Gel Cover. The gel is perfect padding, and its easy to install but won’t move around once its on.
5. Heart Rate Monitor
A lot of workouts in 2021 are based around the trainee’s individual heart rate maximum and the percentages of that maximum reached at different points in the workout. This is sometimes called interval training and is considered one of the most efficient ways of working out.
This heart rate monitor can be worn as a watch and can connect via Bluetooth to most devices. It will also let you personalize your heart rate zones to get the best workout for you.
6. Alternative Pedals
The main reason to change the Peloton’s pedals is to expand the shoe options you can choose from.
The pedals that come with the Peloton Bike can only be used with “Delta” style cleats. While there are a lot of options for these cleats available, it does somewhat limit the shoes you can use. If you need specialized shoes with more arch support or special padding, it might be easier to switch out the pedals rather than finding cleats that meet your needs, especially if you already have shoes that work for you.
If you want to use your own shoes for cycling on your Peloton Bike, looks for pedals that have toe straps, like these BV Bike Shimano pedals. The toe straps will hold any shoes onto the pedal without the need for clipping in. These pedals are also the 9/16th size required for the Peloton Bike.
7. Bluetooth Headphones
While the Peloton Bike does have speakers, most people consider the sound quality to be mediocre. If you share your household, you may also risk bothering others if you play your classes out loud.
We prefer to use headphones, partially for the more immersive feeling. We highly suggest using wireless headphones for freedom of movement. There is nothing worse than accidentally yanking your headphone off during a workout! We also prefer in-ear, like these versus over-the-ear, so we aren’t sweating on our headphones. These are great because they stay on well, too!
The Peloton subscription comes with strength training classes, as well as “Bootcamp” classes that incorporate weightlifting into the biking regime. Incorporating these into your fitness routine is meant to give you a more well-rounded workout.
You can upgrade your Peloton Bike package to include weights, but they only offer dumbbells up to 3 pounds, which isn’t enough for many people.
We like this set, but you’ll need to consider what size weight you will realistically be able to work out with. You will get stronger as you work out, which is why we suggest a set with a range of weights, so you’ll be able to upgrade when the weights you are using aren’t pushing you hard enough.
Working out hard = a lot of sweat, at least for us. We already discussed making sure that your mat is big enough to catch any sweat that falls, but you may want a towel to keep it from running down your face if you are a heavy sweater.
You can, of course, use a towel that you already own, but we think everyone should try a cooling towel at least once. The Chill Pal isn’t a huge investment, so you can get yourself a few so you don’t have to wash it between every workout.
A Peloton Bike is an investment and needs appropriate protection. Equip, Inc. offers indoor dust covers for the Peloton bike to protect it from dust, pet hair, and more. These covers were made with the Peloton Bike in mind and will be a stylish, attractive part of your home gym set up. As Peloton Bikes can be a hazard for children and pets, it will help keep them away from your bike.
Equip, Inc. also offers an outdoor cover. If you haven’t read up on the benefits of keeping your bike outdoors when temperatures allow, read about it here. Our covers are UV, mold, mildew, and water resistant and will protect your Peloton Bike from the elements.
There is no shortage of reasons to love your Peloton Bike, but its still a significant financial investment. As such, its worth investing the time necessary to provide appropriate care for your Peloton Bike. Spending some extra time after workouts to do a quick cleaning will extend the working life of your machine. Putting aside some time once a month to do a deeper clean will make it last even longer.
Here are five easy ways to keep your Peloton Bike in great condition for years to come.
1. Clean your Peloton Bike regularly
You don’t need harsh chemicals – or even soap – to keep your Peloton Bike clean. Peloton recommends using a damp cloth for the frame and seat, though some enthusiasts recommend baby wipes. If you share your bike, you might want to use disinfectant wipes to wipe down the seat and frame after every workout instead. Even if you only share it with people you live with, your body and bike will thank you for removing the accumulated sweat. The salt in sweat may rust parts of your Peloton Bike, similar to how road salt rusts the underside of cars, and it can irritate your skin with prolonged contact. Just be careful to avoid using wipes that contain trace amounts of bleach, though, which can discolor and warp parts of the bike.
For the screen, make sure you only use approved electronics cleaners. A microfiber cloth might be enough for a daily wipe down, but a plasma screen cleaner like this one can help with grime and oils left behind from frequent touching.
Dust and particles may accumulate in openings and crevices. Use a particle-trapping duster while the bike is turned off wipe areas that are awkward or difficult to reach with a cloth. You could also use the soft hose attachment for your vacuum as part of your regular cleaning routine.
2. Tighten the Seat and Pedals Monthly
The seat and pedals of your Peloton Bike will loosen naturally with normal use. From session to session, it may be difficult to notice it is happening, but over time it will affect your bike. Wiggling caused by loose pedals may wear against the threading that attaches the pedal to the frame, damaging the component. In severe enough cases, if the threading becomes stripped, you may have to replace additional parts to be able to tighten the pedals again. Pedals that become loose enough may even cause injury during workouts.
While pedals may not need tightening monthly, it’s a good idea to incorporate it into your regular deep cleaning routine to ensure it doesn’t get missed.
Peloton Bike Pedals are 9/16” size, so you’ll need a 15 mm wrench to tighten them. It’s also important to remember that the left pedal is reverse-threaded, so you’ll need to tighten it counter-clockwise, while the right pedal will be tightened clockwise.
If you share your Peloton Bike, its likely that each person who uses it adjusts the seat to their own height which means you probably don’t need to worry about tightening the seat since you will tighten it every time you adjust the height. Ensuring that it is tight every time you adjust it to your preferred height will be enough. However, if you don’t frequently adjust your seat, you’ll need to check that it is tight when you tighten the pedals. Allowing the seat to become loose will allow it to wobble and potentially scrape the threading, permanently damaging it and possibly causing injury.
3. Oil Moving Pieces
Peloton Bikes do not use a chain, but run-on magnetic resistance, so if you are used to caring for outdoor bikes, you’ll find caring for a Peloton bike a different experience. Typically, a bike chain requires lubricant to allow it to smoothly rub against the metal spokes. On the Peloton Bike, any spot where metal rubs on metal, particularly if there the area may be exposed to sweat, can still benefit from oil. As we mentioned above, sweat may rust metal components of the bike. Oiling it, along with a good cleaning regimen, will keep your bike running smoothly. A dry oil is best for Peloton.
You may also want to consider oiling the threads of the pedals and seat, especially if you share your Peloton Bike and the seat gets adjusted often. The frequent movement can cause scraping if the metal is unlubricated.
4. Use a Mat – Even on Carpet
A bike mat will protect your hard floors from scratches by the bike, as well as water spills from water bottles or drops of sweat. It can also protect your Peloton from dirt, dust, and pet hair on your floor, which can get pulled into the moving parts and cause damage. Carpet holds dust well, and the vibration of the bike may dislodge it and make it airborne. The mat will be an easy-to-clean layer between your bike and the floor.
5. Get a Fitted Cover for you Peloton Bike
Dust can damage Peloton Bikes, but the danger increases if the bike is kept somewhere like a garage, shed, or sunroom, where it is exposed to the elements more frequently. Windows or garage doors that are frequently open allow particles from the outdoors into your workout space and into your Peloton. You may also be exposing your bike to UV rays, which will fade the frame and seat over time.
An indoor dust cover can protect your bike when it isn’t in use. It will save you the extra time that would be spent cleaning it. Out form-fitting cover was made for the Peloton, so it will look stylish and polished wherever you store your bike.
Recent trends have shown an increasing number of people keeping their home exercise equipment, including Peloton Bikes, outdoors. The pandemic accelerated this habit; people seemed to look for any reason to escape the homes they were isolating in.
There are numerous benefits to outdoor exercise equipment where the climate won’t damage the equipment. Fresh air and sunshine lower blood pressure, improve mood, and improves focus, even in urban and suburban areas.
But keeping your Peloton Bike outdoors can expose it to potentially harmful weather. Equip, Inc. offers outdoor Peloton Bike covers which are water, mold, mildew, and UV-resistant, providing a significant level of protection, and a lockable cord at the bottom to keep the cover in place under wind conditions.
With the proper care and servicing of your Peloton Bike, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your investment for years to come.
As states in the United States and countries around the world begin to reopen, the resounding question is: what is the new normal? Businesses and communities have adjusted around the pandemic, and with fear of a second wave rising, many people look to the future expecting their lives to be fundamentally different from what they were in the past.
Is it Safe to go to the Gym?
When it comes to working out, many people had to adjust their workout routines to account for closed gyms. Now that gyms across the country are being allowed to reopen, many more people wonder about the safety of attending fitness classes or working out, even alone, in such a public space. How will gyms comply with this new, complex set of laws, that can differ at the federal, state, and community level? How will they protect patrons from the risks associated with being exposed, especially as government officials promote an active lifestyle to boost immune systems?
Gyms are considered high-risk environments for spreading germs, in part because many gyms are relatively humid, and in part because of the use of shared equipment. While many people clean equipment before and after using it, reducing risk of spread by contact, research shows that coronavirus can live in the air for up to three hours. While evidence on coronavirus itself is still pending, previous research on flu germs has proven that they can spread to others up to six feet away through the air. On top of this, evidence shows that the heavy breathing that often accompanies working out likely spreads germs even farther.
How are Gyms Responding?
Because of varied guidelines at different levels of government, laws are not practical guidelines for gyms’ responses to the virus. Standard responses include contactless check-ins and payments, requiring employees to wear gloves and masks, increased cleaning schedules, and in some places even requiring a temperature check at check in, to avoid allowing someone with a fever, who might be sick, into the gym. Some gyms, like Equinox, are requiring patrons to wear a mask when not “vigorously exercising.”
Many gyms are closing for periods of up to an hour in the middle of the day, or several times a day, to thoroughly clean equipment. Gyms that usually provide fitness classes will close the studio for 30 minutes between classes to clean it. Other are investing in professional grade equipment, like floor scrubbers that are rated to kill coronavirus. Gyms are also adding more sanitation stations, and shutting down water fountains that require touch to activate. Air circulation is also an important consideration, with many locations investing in fan systems or keeping doors open where possible.
In order to comply with the six-foot distancing suggestion, many gyms are closing every other machine or otherwise reducing equipment. Pools, spas, team sports areas, and even locker rooms are often remaining closed even as other portions of the gym open, because of the impossibility of maintaining the recommended distance of six feet.
Other gyms are requiring patrons to make appointments before showing up, often through an app or website. While this helps to limit the number of people in the building at any given time, complying with some states’ orders to open at certain percentages of capacity (as low as 25% in Texas), it also severely cuts down availability during prime work out times. To compensate, many gyms are also limiting the length any individual can spend in the building, frequently to only an hour. This causes an extra level of frustration for people who don’t find this to be enough time to complete their entire work out. Its often compounded by longer wait times for machines.
Fitness classes also have reduced capacity, in some cases going from up to fifty students to closer to a dozen. Instructors often have to mark out areas on the floor where students can stand, and are no longer able to provide hands on assistance or encouragement. Many students are mourning the ban on high-fives. This issue also effects personal trainers, whose job requires a certain proximity, and will be made more difficult if not impossible by distancing.
One gym in California is even using large plastic pods to completely separate members and reduce risk of contamination. The pods are made of clear shower curtains and plexiglass, meant to be cost-effective. Clients have initially proven excited and appreciative of the move, though because each pod requires its own complete set of equipment, it could prove cost-prohibitive for many other places despite the low cost of the pod itself.
Other gyms are going an entirely different route by converting partially to digital classes. Initially, it was a necessity, when gyms were considered non-essential in many states and forced to close. The only way to maintain revenue and connection with clients was to be available in their own homes, on their computers and phones.
Will Home Fitness be the new Gym?
ClassPass, a digital fitness class subscription that partners with local fitness boutiques, introduced live-streamed classes in March 2020. More than 500 studios added bookable classes.
Other gyms have turned to YouTube and other social media sites, posting free workouts to keep their customers engaged and loyal. Many gyms have already had to close, and as worry about a second wave of the pandemic spreads, gyms worry about their customers returning even when they are allowed to open up.
Besides online classes, customers have committed to taking their workouts home in other ways. Fitness equipment sales have grown by 170% since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. This is another indication of changes that may be coming to the landscape of fitness in the future. Now that many people have the necessary equipment, how will gyms compete with the ease and lower price of working out from home? Only time will show the innovations in structure and benefits in the industry moving forward.
Of course, picking home fitness equipment is no easier than picking a gym. Resources have sprung up across the internet to help new fitness equipment consumers make choices that suit their lifestyle best.
Were you one of many who invested in home workout equipment while your gym was closed? Is your gym using any interesting methods to keep patrons safe? We’d love to hear from you in the comments, or email us at email@example.com.