$2,245 For A Peloton Bike? Here Are Affordable Ways To Stay In Shape



(Image by Steve Jurvetson via CC BY 2.0 )

I don’t think outrage culture is a new concept at all. It has only become more instantaneously recognizable in the age of the internet.

I think outrage culture is just weaponized procrastination by any other name. Or, a celebration of procrastination culture.

It’s one thing to offer constructive criticism, and culturally time-sensitive smart-aleck memes, in response to a pop culture moment that has tapped into the zeitgeist.

And, it’s quite another to use outrage culture as a distraction from true pubic health issues that adversely affects the population.

Like the unhealthy normalization of obesity.

Over 30% of Americans never exercise and eat way too many of these.

However, most people would rather busy themselves with being outraged with an advertisement instead of facing the fact that they would rather procrastinate endlessly instead of modifying their lifestyles in a healthy manner.

And, you know, exercise regularly.

Consider the now infamous, and PR disastrous, Peloton stationary bike ad that was unveiled to the public just in time for the Christmas 2019 advertising rush.

If you haven’t heard about it, the public outrage with this Peloton ad has a lot to do with accusations of corporate perpetuated depictions of sexism, unfair and unequal gender standards of beauty vis-à-vis weight loss, and out-of-touch class-ism.

Another criticism of the ad was the fact that Peloton was offensively oblivious to the reality of income inequality in the United States.

The stationary bike featured in the notorious ad costs over $2,000 to own.

It Costs How Much to Exercise?

Income inequality in the United States has a status chasm that hasn’t been this stark since before the Great Depression.

In the 1920s, the richest 1% controlled 25% of wealth in the country. As of 2016, the 1% controlled over 40% of the wealth in the United States.

Even when adjusting for inflation, that means that the 1% controls just as much wealth now as they did a century ago.

What does that have to do with the Peloton ad?

Well, the ad may be subtly intimating that you must buy a $2,000 stationary bike before you can seriously think about losing weight.

I think the Peloton ad is comically tone-deaf for many reasons. Most of which has already been meme-ifested (see what I did there?) to death.

However, I think the main problem with outrage culture is that people use it to distract themselves from more important issues.

Like the connections between sedentary lifestyles and obesity. Over 30% of Americans never engage in any kind of exercise.

Just 75 minutes of weekly, long-term exercise can diminish the risks of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes by over 14%

Its easy to be angry at the Peloton ad. It’s a distraction.

People buy expensive gym memberships, home-delivered health food, exercise outfits, and various-exercise related paraphernalia all the time instead of just exercising.

Home gym or open-air storage items?

The motivation to exercise, and the related financial sacrifice to achieve such, can act as an emotional compensation for not actually exercising.

This reality existed long before the collective outrage for the Peloton ad went mainstream.

Exercising doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. Before I get into that, let’s examine why people love to criticize the Peloton ad and how such feeds into procrastination culture.

Feeding Procrastination Culture

I am not defending the Peloton ad. There is a lot to take issue with it if you watch it.

The basic premise of the ad is that a financially prosperous husband gifts his wife a Peloton stationary bike as a Christmas gift.

After receiving the gift, the wife spends a year documenting her weight loss via social media.

However, the ad seems a bit incredulous since the Peloton Wife is petite woman who looks like she could only weigh 110 pounds if she was wearing winter clothes, soaking wet, and holding large cinder blocks with each hand.

The implication seems to be that the husband is anxious for her to lose 2 pounds over a year. As a year of exercise elapses in the ad, no visually appreciable weight loss can be seen.

What most people find particularly egregious about the ad, besides the accusations of sexism and preconceived notions of body health, is the idea of paying $2,245 for a stationary bike.

Classes at official Peloton clubs are infamous for peer-motivating exercises. Video screens mounted on bikes display the stats of members who traverse the longest distances.

If you buy the bike for home use, you can telecommute to Peloton club classes for a $40 monthly subscription.

So, the $2,245 bike and the $480 annual telecommuting exercise class subscription means you must pay $2,725 to lose weight the Peloton way.

It’s easy enough to smirk at this idea. However, for every person who stays healthy the Peloton way, many more find affordable ways to pretend like they will exercise without ever attempting to.

The Motivation to Exercise as Pseudo-Exercise

Some people spend about $60 a month, or $700 annually, for private gym club memberships. It can cost as much as $1,200 annually for the more upscale private gyms.

Americans waste almost $2 billion every year on unused gym membership. Most don’t go.

Since most gym memberships are automatically renewed every month via credit card, people pay a lot of money to validate procrastination culture month-to-month.

People don’t go to the gym, even after paying for membership, for various reasons. These include procrastination or over-hyping their own personal expectations.

However, there are just as many ways to efficiently exercise for free.

Use Online Exercise Tutorials

You can exercise from the comfort of your own home without having to buy any exercise equipment.

There are numerous exercise and physical fitness videos on YouTube, FB and various other social media networks.

You will find innumerable exercise videos online. Find one that suits your needs.

I am a big fan of the HASFit videos on YouTube.

They focus on cardiovascular fitness. You don’t need gym equipment, or, you’ll only need moderately-sized weight dumbbells and jump rope.

Cut Down on the Junk Food

Listen, I know its hard. While caviar may be fine dining to the next person, those blueberry donuts with the creamy glaze sold by Dunkin’ Donuts are a delicacy to me.

But you should know that for every can of soda you drink, you gain a quarter of a pound of weight every year.

Cheat days are self-defeating if you don’t exercise and if every day becomes cheat day.


Walk as much as can. Take a walk before work and afterwards. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator.

Powerwalking, or walking in fast strides with overexaggerated movements, can burn 350 calories on a 140-pound person walking 3.5 miles per hour for 30 minutes.

Use Your Own Body As a Resistance Weight

You will find a variety of exercise videos online to stave off boredom. However, it takes resistance exercises, or forcing your body to move against the resistance of weights, to really burn calories.

If you don’t want to buy a home gym you can use your own body as the ultimate resistance weight. Look for online exercise videos with tutorials on:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Burpees
  • Push-ups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Sit Ups
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Crunches
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Leg Raises
  • Arm Raises

Example of squat thrust exercise.

Home is Where the Exercise Motivation Lies

Outrage culture is not going anywhere, but I think it’s a front for procrastination culture. Making online memes, unto itself, is not going to eradicate sexism, gender inequality, or income inequality.

However, I think the most egregious aspect of the Peloton ad is that it also reinforces the idea that if one buys expensive home gym equipment, they can lose weight.

You must exercise at least 75 minutes a week and radically change your eating lifestyle for the better to lose weight.

A Peloton bike, an unused gym membership, or an unused home gym will not help you lose the weight if your motivation exceeds your actions.

It also helps to keep in mind that from 2005 to 2010, the average cost to aid an obese person in a hospital increased from $3,070 to $3,500.

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Posted in: Health, Life Hacks, Money, Philosophy, saving money, Saving Money

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