Two Peloton Instructors on the Role of Health & Fitness in the Latinx Community
As Peloton cements its status as one of the most popular fitness platforms globally, their efforts to include a broader range of voices and perspectives has become even more important.
For a long time, the Latinx community had few, if any, leaders of influence in the boutique fitness space. Hiring instructors like Mariana Fernández (yoga), Rad Lopez (strength) and Camila Ramón (cycling) to teach in Spanish and English signals a marked effort to increase and highlight that representation.
It can be argued that the trio has the platform to be amongst the most impactful voices in Latinx fitness and create a bridge for communities that have long felt marginalized by the cost and approach of boutique fitness.
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In separate conversations, we spoke with Fernández and Lopez by phone and Ramón via email to have an open and honest discussion about the role of health and fitness in the Latinx community and how they view their own roles as leaders of influence in the space.
The following has been edited for brevity and clarity.
AskMen: What kind of role, if any, did health and fitness play in your childhood and early adult years?
Mariana Fernández: Growing up in Mexico, fitness was not a part of my lifestyle. My mother is an athlete (she didn’t start competing in running races until her 40s), and she was often the only woman competing in those races. However, we did learn to swim early on, and she did teach us to take care of our bodies.
I discovered yoga in college when I was so stressed out during my sophomore year ahead of a geology final. It was cold outside, and the gym wasn’t calling, so I tried a heated yoga class. I remember my muscles were shaking and I was falling out of poses. I remember being so challenged physically. But I also found I was less anxious and mentally I felt much better. I felt something shift.
Rad Lopez: I’m Dominican and I grew up in the Bronx with my mother and father. My father passed early on, so my mom did what she had to do for me and my younger sister. To be completely honest, “wellness” did not play a part in my upbringing. The Bronx is a very underserved community