As a working mom, Plymouth resident Ali Van Straten found herself falling short when it came to working out and eating healthy. Searching for a way to combine her busy life with her passions, she launched her blog Champagne and Coffee Stains in 2019 as way to express herself creatively through easy recipes, fitness tips and family-friendly content. Come COVID-19, she was furloughed from her job for three months, providing her with the opportunity to pursue this blog full time.
With more time on her hands due to gyms being closed, Van Straten needed to find a different way to exercise, leading her to the discovery of the Peloton app. Although most commonly known for their bikes and treadmill machines, Peloton is more than just that. As an online community for individuals to get in tune with the healthiest versions of themselves, the app offers a variety of live classes ranging from strength barre, yoga, running and cycling. “It is pretty much all types of fitness. You can use your phone, and you don’t even need equipment, which is how I started,” Van Straten says. “It is like having a fitness studio in your house.”
Navigating her way through the app, Van Straten says she found more functions than she could have ever imagined. But although it was all exciting, as a newbie, it can be overwhelming to navigate the vast array of programs offered. Finding that it was necessary to share her experience with others, Van Straten turned to creating Peloton-specific content on her blog. “I think there is so much out there, and there [are] so many ways to approach it,” she says about the variety of class options offered. “There weren’t really a lot of resources when I was getting started, and I wanted to document my journey and provide assistance to others experiencing the same things as me.”
Champagne and Coffee Stains features a variety of content, ranging from how to synch your Apple Watch to the bike and how to stack your classes to tips on financing your machines and meal guides for preworkouts. Beyond the physical gain, Van Straten says she also loves the interconnectedness of the Peloton community. Meeting friends online through Facebook groups, she realized that there were others like her who wanted to be held accountable. “The community is really what drew me in, and what appealed to me was the aspect of being able to workout at home virtually with all of my friends at any time that I want to,” she says.
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