“Spinning” a indoor cycle class on a stationary bike with a 15 pound front fly wheel controlled by resistance.  The class is lead by an instructor who guides you through a ride simulating the outdoors.  Done to upbeat music experiencing flat roads, sprints, jumps and hill climbing.  Some classes are held in the dark so you can close your eyes and visualize the “open road”.

What a great way to burn over 500 calories in 50 minutes or less. That is just one benefit to spinning. There are so many more such as weight loss, increased energy and bone density, stronger heart and lungs, decreased stress and anxiety, better sleep and lowers your risk for heart disease. Wow!!! All packed in one class if consistently done 2-3 times a week. Oh…I forgot to mention its easy on the joints. Your knees will thank you.  Which is the main reason I started to spin.

I’ve been a consistent spin rider for about 2.5 years now. I’m also a runner. I average about 20 miles a week, sometimes more when I’m really motivated. I love to run, run, run!  After having my two kids I noticed my anxiety levels increased with the everyday hustle of life.  My remedy was to get out and run. As we know our bodies can’t handle the constant pounding, especially on the knees. When I would run the pain would start about mile 4. My doctor told me to start cross training with other activities if I wanted to continue to run. I tried other cardio classes like kickboxing and step, but my knees would still cry out to me.  I tried a spin class and I was hooked. My knees feel great after each class and no pounding on the joints.   A great alternative to running.  I still run 3-4 times a week and spin between my run days.

When I workout I love to sweat and oh boy do you work up a sweat in spin class. As your heart rate increases sweat drips down from your body to the bike and down on the floor. You can’t leave the spin room without giving your bike the proper wipe down. I must say the first time I finished a spin class I was sore in places I couldn’t even imagine. My glutes, quads, arms and core all felt the pain.  A lot of people shy away from spin class because of that feeling. I’m here to tell you don’t get discouraged . With proper form and equipment your ride will become enjoyable. During your first spin class the instructor will come and help you with the setup for your bike based on your height. During the class she will advise you with proper form. I do highly recommend having a pair of padded cycling shorts or a gel seat cover. Spin shoes are not required but with my experience you will have a more efficient ride. You don’t have to spend a fortune, a basic pair will do.

Most classes require a heart rate monitor, but if you don’t have one the instructor will have you follow the RPE chart(rate of perceived exertion). A water bottle or two is a must. You definitely want to hydrate before, during and after class.  I promise after you get comfortable on your bike you will have a fantastic ride (cardio wise). My advice to you is to “push through” the intensity of the class and feel awesome after. This is why I spin.  Happy Spinning!!!!!

Sandy Butler