Fitness Swellness: My review of the Peloton Tread

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I planned to post this a few months ago, but then the Peloton Tread was recalled. Now that it’s back on the market, well, here you go! My experience trying out the Peloton Tread for 3+ months.

If you’ve following my running journey, you know that I really dislike treadmill running. I need the stimulation of different scenery, having to pay attention to where I’m going, the terrain, everything. To go step after step on a treadmill has always been terribly boring to me. I’ve mostly done treadmill workouts begrudgingly while on a press trip when a treadmill run is the easiest or safest option in my destination.

So when Peloton offered a trial of the new Peloton Tread back in early February when it launched in Canada, I considered turning down the opportunity for two reasons; would I even use it, given how boring I find treadmill running? And also, I just don’t have room for a treadmill in my downtown condo. 

But my curiosity got the better of me. And the most shocking thing happened.

I enjoyed running on the Peloton Tread.

I know, I couldn’t believe it either. 

A 20-minute class (most of the ones I did over the three months were 20-minutes long) flies by. The instructors are a super fit, attractive bunch (hello, Adrian!) and their banter keeps it entertaining and motivating (take a class with Chase, and it feels like he’s your personal hype man). I took a few longer classes, but never made it to taking a 60-minute class because my trial was unexpectedly cut short when the Tread was recalled (more on that later. Note that I tested out the Peloton Tread, which was launched in Canada and the U.K., not the higher-end Tread+).

My favourite classes were the ones with speed intervals; I definitely need the distraction of changing up my pace and having breaks to keep me focused. The one tempo run I completed dragged on—just maintaining the same pace, I felt that familiar treadmill boredom settle in.

The treadmill itself is beautiful. Streamlined, with a huge, crisp screen. It takes up a massive amount of space, and given that it needs a significant amount of clearance on all four sides of it I had them place it right in the middle of my living room and it was truly in the way the whole time I had it. How much space does it need? According to Peloton, “173cm L x 84cm W x 157cm H. Additionally, you will need at least 2 m of clearance directly behind the Tread and 60 cm of clearance on either side.” That’s a lot of space when you have a small Toronto condo.

And still, I enjoyed having it to work out on even though it took up so much room.

So much so, I ended up using the Peloton Tread every single day. Why? For one, I figured I’d try to make the most out of it while I had it, and also, I found it really pleasing that the app’s calendar showed a workout every day. Sure, I could’ve also tried other classes on the app to have the calendar colour-blocked with a workout, but running is the only workout that is a habit for me so it just comes more naturally to me; doing a different type of workout takes more out of me, I need to motivate myself more to wrap my head around getting up and actually doing it.

Also, another reason I ran daily on it? I remembered that if I completed 100 Tread workouts, I’d get into the Century Club (the little club you get into when you complete 100 of the same workout on Peloton).

Three main reasons I liked the Peloton Tread:

  1. I could run late at night on the Tread. My schedule has been unbearable for months. And even though last year I often ran at night through the spring and summer so I could complete the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee early, I know it’s not the safest thing to do. During the time I was trialing the Tread, I would get home at 11 p.m. and that’s the only time I could carve out time to work out, so it was great to use with my schedule at the time.
  2. The Tread’s design. It’s sleeker than any treadmill I’ve ever seen. The dials to change the pace and incline are easy to use. The large, bright screen is beautiful. I like how you could either emphasize the volume of the instructor or the music. It runs pretty quietly; I never had any neighbours complaining. I didn’t get too involved with the community aspect of it; while I did high-five other runners during classes, I never did get to try the Session function as I don’t know any other Tread users.
  3. The Peloton classes. I already mentioned Adrian and Chase. But let’s talk about the powerhouse female instructors. My favourites included Selena Samuela and Olivia Amato—I found they kept me focused without veering too heavily into motivational talk that’s eyeball-roll worthy territory. And classes with Becs Gentry? As a marathon runner, I couldn’t help but be inspired by working out out with this elite runner. I see there are a lot of new Tread instructors, too, which is great, I liked being able to switch up whose class I would take, and now there’s more to choose from. Aside from the instructors, I also enjoyed taking part in live classes and seeing my rank within everyone taking part; I expected the average Peloton user to be an elite runner, but I was pretty satisfied with my ranking and it was like getting a little pat on the back.

As you may have heard, the Peloton Tread was recalled a couple of months ago. There’d been some incidents of the screen falling off. While I at first intended to continue using it, when I got a pretty stern email to stop using it immediately, I realized I didn’t want to have to potentially deal with a broken screen and any damage or injury it could cause to me, my condo floor or my pets, so I quit using it promptly and the Tread was picked up a couple of weeks after that.

The Tread has since been relaunched (as of August 30, 2021) and has been updated with regards to safety:

  • There’s now Peloton Tread Lock. So you have to enter your passcode to unlock it in order to use it.
  • The instructors talk you through the safety features before each workout.
  • There’s a safety key you should clip on as you run (but this was always an existing feature).

I haven’t tried the Tread since its relaunch, but I will say I miss having the Tread for workouts; ever since I stopped using it, I barely ran all summer and I’m only now starting again with a few runs outdoors. While the timing of my Peloton Tread trial was great because I ran indoors for the last part of the dreary winter, I wish I’d gotten to try it out when actual races were taking place so that I’d be in the middle of marathon-training season. I know I found myself pushing harder during speed work on the Tread compared to my speedwork outdoors  so it’d be a great tool to have while in training for a race.

My best friend misses me having it, too. She uses the Peloton app for workouts and liked having me to talk about Peloton with (yes, there’s totally a cultish side to it! I even tuned in to watch Cody on Dancing With the Stars and even never even taken a Cody Rigsby class ever!)

I’ve gotten a few DMs asking about my thoughts on the Tread. So here you go. Could you get a similar experience using the Peloton app for its workouts, but running on a different brand of treadmill? Yes, probably. I should mention that the Tread has a traditional running belt, compare to a shock-absorbing slat belt; I personally don’t have a lot of experience running on a slat belt but the slat-style is said to be more cushioning and result in less impact on your joints. If you’re a serious runner, you might want to opt for the slat-belt style (which is on the Tread+, which has not yet been re-released yet).

If you appreciate great design and the 23.8-inch screen of the Tread (it truly is a fantastic display)… well, if you’re in the market for a treadmill, then you might find it worth the investment to go for the Tread; if you’re wondering about the cost, it’s $3,295 (plus the all-access membership fee of $49/month). If you’ve already got a ‘mill, then maybe just subscribe to the app to try out the workouts first.

If you have any specific questions about my experience with the Tread, slide into my DMs or comment here!

 How are you keeping fit nowadays?

 

2 Comments October 4, 2021

Tech Swellness: At home with Amazon

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Now having been home without any international travel for a whole year, I’ve slept in my own bed more in the last 365 days than I have for the past decade or so. Being at home so much has made me want to carve out ways to streamline routines and habits, and make it a little more comfortable. Having routines can help ease stress, and so they contribute to your overall mental health.

I had a chat with Amazon Canada who teamed up with designer Arren Williams several weeks ago and learned about Amazon’s lineup of products and how they could work with my home decor. Although I’ve used a few Amazon products for a couple of years now, I recently upgraded both my Echo and my Firestick. I don’t consider myself a very techy person but the new and improved Echo and Fire TV Stick are such fun and do make my everyday life at home better.

The new Echo, an adorable sphere, fits in better with my aesthetic compared to the previous model I had (a black cylinder), and I’ve set up one routine thus far on it. Each morning, I say “Alexa, good morning!” and Alexa replies with the date (I never know the date so I like this little reminder), the time, the weather (so I know how to get dressed for the day, although let’s face it, it’s pretty much either sweatsuits and running gear now during lockdown life), what’s on my calendar for the day, and it ends with news tidbits from CBC News.

This routine I’ve set up is a quick little rundown that helps me prepare for the day. I left out traffic since I don’t drive regularly. I should set up a bedtime routine, too; that’s next on my to-do list. There’s another routine they suggest, which is for Alexa to share the weather once you turn off the alarm, which is a good one if you don’t have time to do the entire detailed good morning routine. Add in a traffic report if you’re driving, too (I mostly walk or bike so I’ve left that one out). And as always, the Echo is great as a Bluetooth speaker for listening to Spotify or my favourite podcasts (I’m currently catching up on episodes of Conan O’Brien’s podcast, along with Fake Doctors Real Friends, and Office Ladies).

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And the Amazon Fire TV Stick? I got one a few years ago and loved that I no longer had to watch everything on my laptop, which is great since I got rid of cable and  now mostly watch shows streaming from Prime, Netflix and C rave. My favourite thing about the new Fire TV Stick I got to replace my oldie? It has power, volume and mute on the remote, which is extremely handy for me since I seem to have misplaced my TV remote. But even better, it has an Alexa Voice Remote, so I just hold down the button and say, “Alexa, play Superstore” and it automatically finds and plays Superstore from Prime. Helluva lot more convenient than first having to google which streaming service a show is on, going onto the streaming service and then tediously typing in the show and searching for it. The Alexa Voice Remote is a game changer and IMO worth upgrading to the current Fire TV Stick if you’ve got an older model.

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My newest tech toy isn’t that new to the market but I’ve never had any smart lightbulbs until now. I’m excited to test out the Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting because I have a bad habit of falling asleep with the light on. Now I can set a routine for the light to slowly dim (and maybe it’ll prompt me to go to bed at a decent hour!) so that I don’t wake up at 3 a.m. to turn it off. And to help me wake up in the mornings? I can set up a routine to gradually brighten to help me ease into the day (which is especially helpful now in the winter with the sunrise so late). I’m only just getting started using the Philips Hue but I think it’ll really benefit my sleep routine. Stay tuned, I’ll report back on my Instagram!

How smart is your home? The smart home tools I’ve tried out so far really benefit my health and lifestyle (you don’t want to know how often I’ve used it to help find my phone in my place. Sometimes I find myself asking Alexa to help me find everything from my keys (and I don’t have a Tile on them) to my library book, that is how hooked I am!

Disclosure: Amazon Canada gifted me with the Amazon and Philips products.

2 Comments February 19, 2021

Healthy Swellness: Three Simple Ways to Boost the Nutrition of What You’re Eating

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When it comes to eating well, I take a balanced approach. One of the greatest pleasures in my opinion is eating delicious foods, including those that aren’t so good for youso I eat a balanced diet most of the time, and then savour without any guilt the less than healthy items once in a while. I’ve always railed against that thinking, that healthy means kale and celery juice and quinoa only.

And another thing: Eating nutritiously doesn’t have to mean spending more. You just have to make smart budget-conscious choices with what you purchase and shop in stores where you can count on lower prices, like Giant Tiger. (Bonus: you can buy other items you need there, like cute workout gear, too, so you can limit your shopping excursions at the one convenient location that’s nearest you). In the past year, I’ve switched from only going to my usual (pricey) grocery store, and I can tell you the savings are significant if you make the effort to shop for groceries at a budget-friendly store like Giant Tiger.

Anyhow, as for the balanced approach to eating well? I look at every meal and snack as an opportunity to up the nutrition of what I’m consuming. You can accomplish this with some simple tactics, like these three, which work well for me:

1. Add veggies whenever possible. More often than not, I tend to cook one-pot type meals. So when cooking up my all-in-one dish, I consider how I can throw more vegetables into it as well. A pasta with meat sauce? Well, you can easily include some mushrooms in there, too, and celery and grated carrots. 

Or consider your breakfast; it’s a prime opportunity to eat more veggies, especially as veg is not a typical breakfast ingredient. I used to make fruit and juice smoothies all the time, but I realized you can easily throw some kale or spinach into the blender too (and some Greek yogurt for richness and protein) and it tastes great. Another great vehicle for veggies? Frittatas and breakfast wraps: throw in your usual eggs and sausage but add tomatoes, black beans, spinach and green peppers, too.

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Also, why not enjoy a salad for breakfast? Instead of just making bacon and eggs for your first meal of the day, take inspiration from a BLT and make a salad with those same ingredients, and throw in a hardboiled egg for protein, some avocado (which provides omega-3 fatty acids), some flax, chia seeds or hemp hearts for texture, and a vinaigrette made with olive oil (a staple of the Mediterranean diet, considered one of the most healthy in the world). I’m really digging salads for breakfast when I have time to throw one together as it’s not only tasty, but I always feel like I’ve kicked off the day on the right track with a healthy helping of veggies, which is a great motivator to staying on the wellness train the rest of the day.

2. Include some protein in each meal or snack so that your body feels satiated. Plan what you snack on for the week (so that you’re not opting for a danish when you feel that tummy grumble) and make sure your snacks have got some protein so you can keep plugging through your day well fueled. A quick snack I often go for is an apple, but eat it with some nut butter (I enjoyed this apple with Wow Butter, a tasty nut-alternative option available at Giant Tiger) and not only will your snack feel more like a treat but your body will feel more full longer. 

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Or for dinner on those nights you don’t feel like cooking? Do a ploughman’s lunch-inspired meal to snack on: here I’ve included almonds, hummus and a hardboiled egg for protein, carrots for some colour (and then you’re also accomplishing point #1 above!) and a serving of Saint Paulin cheese (one of my all-time favourite cheeses, and I love that it’s carried at Giant Tiger).

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3. Stock up on smart staples that make eating well easy. It’s always easier to eat healthily if you make it super simple to incorporate into your schedule. Having ingredients on hand that help you eat a more balanced diet can make a world of difference when you’ve got tons of work to get done, a dog to walk, piles of laundry to do, etc, etc.

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Some of the convenient staples you can stock up on at Giant Tiger that I love: 

  • natural almonds (good as add to salad or as a quick snack on their ownjust watch your portion size; keep it to a small handful or approximately 23 almonds); 
  • hard-boiled eggs (this package of ready-boiled eggs is a lifesaver when you’ve got a busy week); 
  • canned tomatoes (great to have on hand so you can whip up a shakshuka meal or a quick pasta sauce; plus canned tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene); 
  • frozen fruit for smoothies; 
  • hummus (which research has shown is linked to fighting inflammation in the body); 
  • Gardein products, the meat-alternative products from this brand make meatless Monday meals no brainers;
  • Larabars (when buying packaged snacks to enjoy on the go, look for ones with ingredients you can identify, like Larabar, which is one of my favourite bar brands).

I know when I go to Giant Tiger I’ll be able to get everything I need to make loads of affordable meals and snacks as they sell fresh produce and fresh meat, along with the pantry staples I always keep on hand, like canned tomatoes and flavoured Perrier, and it’s all at fantastic prices. Because a lot of us, especially now during the pandemic, are more conscious about our spending than ever, I know I am. So on top of making Giant Tiger a go-to shop for your groceries and more, be sure to also sign up here for GT VIPyou’ll save even more on grocery items, plus you’ll get exclusive weekly deals.

Happy shopping (and savings)! I’d love to hear about your own nutrition-boosting tactics!

(sponsored partnership with Giant Tiger)

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22 Comments January 27, 2021

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