Managing fitness and pain with my DIY Peloton

A little over a year ago I pieced together my own 'low-rent' Peloton spinning cycle. This cheap spinning bike has become an invaluable tool managing my so-called fitness, as well as the pain my degenerating discs provide.

I've long suffered from 'a bad back.' I have several different spine-related maladies whose collaboration creates pain. Pain. Over the last decade I've learned to manage said pain without losing my mind to painkillers, tho there have been fun times! I have struggled to relearn decades of bad posture and physical behavior. Nothing has been as helpful as finding a way to exercise without re-injuring my back. Riding a stationary bike gets my heart rate up and helps me build core strength! Luckily, I've always enjoyed spinning classes.

I thought the Peloton might be a great bike for me, but it would have been a very expensive experiment had I found the bike didn't work for me or my back. So instead, I found an excellent, supremely solid, and very reliable stationary bicycle and stuck an old iPad on it. Peloton lets us run their software on an IOS device, so AWAY I WENT (or not, cause actually I stayed in place.)

I added a cadence sensor and a heart rate one to give me the insights of the more expensive cycles. I started riding it regularly.

All of the things I ignored about regular exercise being good for me actually appear to be true. The amount of tension that riding this silly bike every day or so releases is kind of shocking to me! Over the last year my response to my body not feeling great, to tightness in my muscles or just feeling like something is off, has become to hop on the bike. My gut reaction is no longer to reach for a muscle relaxant or a painkiller. I can't always keep up with a 45-50 minute spinning coach when I'm feeling off, but even 30 minutes of doing intervals while watching Netflix or Twitch helps a lot.

Overall, I'm in better shape. I can now march up stairs with my groceries or chase down a wild-eyed and tongue flailing Cavalier King Charles without being winded. I have fewer episodes where my back reduces my mobility, and I haven't been hobbled to my cane for any extended period of time.

I still need to exercise a lot of caution in my exercise, but Spinning provides every opportunity to self regulate. Only you can turn the resistance dial up! If there is any pain in places it doesn't belong, you can immediately turn it down. My body has taught me very painful lessons about limits. Oh, how I have learned!

Exercise by no means solves all my physical problems, but it is so incredibly helpful. For a long time I felt grateful I could just walk my dogs without a cane, so I avoided pushing myself at all for fear of injuring my back.

I am lucky this works as well for me as it does.

Peloton Cycle

Peloton's iOS app

Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycle Trainer – 49 lb. Flywheel via Amazon

Shimano Unisex PD-M520 MTB SPD Pedal via Amazon

Wahoo Cadence Sensor for iPhone, Android and Bike Computers via Amazon

Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor, Bluetooth / ANT+ via Amazon

ChargerCity Strap-Lock Tablet Mount for Bicycle Treadmill Exercise Bike Boat Helm Handlebar w/ universal tablet holder via Amazon