Is Peloton A Good Workout For Seniors?

David Bolton

/

July 28, 2022

Retirement Health
Is Peloton A Good Workout For Seniors? | Retire Fearless

Indoor cycling is a sport marketed to the young and old; however, is the peloton a good workout for seniors?

The peloton came into being in 2012, and within 8 years, it has managed to become one of the most famous indoor cycle brands. People have gone crazy over the "live online class" marketing since the brand combines indoor cycling with a big touchscreen, along with a real-time account that allows you to attend a spin class. Seniors, people working remotely, and those who do not have time to go outdoors may find themselves wondering whether the peloton is a good investment for them.

The good news is that pelotons are a great way to work out for all age groups – even seniors. Seniors who have been following an exercise routine can hop on the peloton without any worry. However, seniors who have not exercised in a while should test their suitability before using a peloton.

The suitability test is called Matt Wilpers' FTP Test- a test that we will tell you more about. This test will determine a senior's fitness levels, which will, in turn, determine whether they should include the peloton in their fitness regimen.

We've used Peloton bikes for a number of years now, and we've found that seniors can really make the most of these exercise bikes. In general, seniors can use the peloton, but they have to be careful about using shoes with Delta pedals and cleats.

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Is Peloton A Good Workout For Seniors?

Peloton for Seniors

With the correct precautions, Peloton bikes can be a wonderful workout for seniors. As people move into their senior years, they can play an important role in maintaining one's fitness levels. According to research, a senior who cycles 4 miles every day can lower their risk of coronary heart disease by approximately 50 percent.

As compared to outdoor exercises, a peloton bike is a great alternative for seniors. Since it is an indoor exercise, you can stop whenever you feel tired. When it comes to taking part in physical activities, fatigue is the biggest cause of concern for seniors.

Apart from some things that one needs to take care of, cycling on a peloton is a great workout for an older person. In fact, cycling is known to increase the overall life expectancy of an individual. Research has also linked working out regularly with a steady decline in depression and stress levels. This is important for seniors as they are often victims of mental health issues that no one around them is aware of.

Using the Peloton as a Senior

As a senior person, the key to using the peloton is to ensure that cycling sessions are kept to a minimum. Seniors should not go overboard when cycling and should only focus on working out on the peloton for up to an hour every day. This period includes the warm-up, as well as the cooldown session, which means that cycling should be half of the whole workout.

As soon as the warm-up is done, seniors can feel free to get on the bike and gradually begin their workout. The power of the workout can keep increasing slowly during the duration of the session. However, we would not advise anyone, especially an older person, to test their limits. It is best to stay patient and increase output over time.

If you're wondering how to know how much one should work out, the answer is in what we mentioned earlier – the Matt Wilpers' FTP Test.

Matt Wilpers' FTP Test

FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power. The Matt Wilpers' FTP Test is a way to understand how much power someone can sustain when they are exercising at a set threshold level. To put it simply, this test determines the highest power someone can cycle for without feeling tired or burnt out.

Once you determine the intensity that you can cycle at, you are good to go. The FLP will help you understand how much you should cycle on the peloton, as well as the amount of time you can spend cycling without facing any side effects.

The best part is that you do not need any fancy equipment to carry out the FTP test. The test comes in different forms, allowing you to conduct it at home. You can try the 5-minute test, the 8-minute test, the 20-minute test, the 30-minute test, the ramp test, and many other FTP tests to determine your fitness levels.

The 20-Minute FTP Test

With the help of the 20-minute test, seniors can understand how long they need to spend on the peloton bike without facing any adverse effects.

The test is meant to record an individual's highest average power during a 20-minute time period. Before you can begin the test, you will have to warm up. You must go through a 10-15 minute warm-up session to ensure that your FTP test results are accurate.

Preparation

Put the timer on the machine for 5 to 7 minutes and begin by doing some basic stretches. It is important to stretch every single part of your body. When you are finished, set another timer for the same time period. During this time, you will start with some aerobic warm-ups. This includes jogging and jumping.

After the warm-up, you will begin your workout. At this point, you must ensure that no one will disturb you for 20-minutes.

The Test

Now is the fun part – you can get on the peloton bike and begin pedaling. Check the wattage on your Peloton bike. The aim of the test is to check the average wattage over the 20 minutes. Hence, you can start off slowly and gradually increase the power in each quarter.

After you have worked out for 20-minutes, check the average wattage. However, keep in mind that this is not your final FTP score. The Functional Threshold Power- FTP - is the power that an individual can maintain over a period of one hour. Hence, you need to decrease the average power from the 20-minute test by a minimum of 5 percent so that your final FTP score is accurate.

Interpreting the Results

Here are what the test results look like for an average male:

  • FTP > 260: 49 percent
  • FTP between 260 and 270: 6.7 percent
  • FTP < 270: 44.3 percent

FTP/ pound for an average male:

  • FTP > 1.5 W/lbs: 49 percent
  • FTP between 1.5 W/lbs and 1.6 W/lbs: 10 percent
  • FTP < 1.6 W/lbs: 41 percent.

Here are what the test results look like for an average female:

  • FTP > 200: 46 percent
  • FTP between 200 and 210: 10 percent
  • FTP < 210: 44 percent

FTP/ pound for an average female:

  • FTP > 1.4 W/lbs: 47 percent
  • FTP between 1.4 W/lbs and 1.5 W/lbs: 45 percent
  • FTP < 1.5 W/lbs: 8 percent

Depending on the experience they have with cycling or exercising in general, a senior individual may fall in either of the categories mentioned above. If an individual finds themselves in the average or above-average category, he can use the peloton without fear of any side effects.

However, someone who does not fall in the above-mentioned categories should use the peloton at their own risk. One must remember that they can always choose to start slow and build up their intensity over a period of time. In this case, FTP tests should be taken every 3 to 6 months so that progress can be recorded.

Those who started this article wondering, "is peloton good for seniors" must have solid reasoning behind why it is a great form of workout and how to ensure that no elderly individual will be badly affected by this exercise regimen. Even though the peloton is okay to use for most seniors, taking the FTP test will help one understand where they stand. Someone who does not fall in the FTP categories should think twice before opting for an intense workout session.

About THE AUTHOR

David Bolton

With multiple family members currently in senior living facilities, David is in the trenches every week, learning the ins and outs of nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, and general senior living.

Read more about David Bolton

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