Fitness: 5 Reasons to Love Spinning

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's no secret that I love spinning. My friends know it too - nowadays, I have internal battles between going out late Friday night or my favorite spin class at 8:30 AM on Saturday morning. Spin wins 3 out of 4 times.

I first discovered spinning 3 years ago when my Bestie told me about her awesome workout during spin class. All I knew about spin at the time was what I learned from looking into the class - everyone always looked super intense and tortured during class. AND the teacher would be screaming at them to bike harder. Yikes. Also, how good of a workout could spinning be anyway? Aren't you just riding a bike to nowhere?

I didn't want to try it until Bestie gave me extra words of encouragement to go. It also didn't hurt that the class was free at the gym I already paid to go to. After my first spin class, I found out that spinning is a cardio class like no other. By the end of class, I was completely drenched in sweat. I know, ewww, gross yet SO so satisfying.

I've found that the more I ride now, the more I love it. For those of you who are as skeptical as I was when I first decided to give spin a try, here's that extra push for you:



5 Reasons to  Spinning

1) Joint Health. You can never be too young to be thinking about joint health. Silly or not, I've always had a concern that if I ever ran too much, I would end up with bad knees. I know friends who are marathon runners who are just fine, but the thought of that hard impact freaks me out. So, cycling is a great way to get the cardio in, but have the least impact on your joints since it keeps the pressure off of your knees and feet.

2) Work at your own pace. You control the resistance of your bike, and how quickly you pedal. Instructors will usually guide you and tell you on a scale of 1-10 of how hard you should work, but you are in complete control. This is great because it accommodates people of all levels. In other gym classes, if I stopped lifting and didn't finish a rep of weights, people will notice. In spin, there is no way that you can't keep up, because even if you push yourself to your max and you get tired, you can ease up the intensity quickly and just keep riding.

3) No coordination needed. If you're like me, and hate, hate, hate, choreography in gym classes (I'm looking at you Zumba), then spin is great, because there is minimal instructions to follow. Great for those who are uncoordinated like me. There's only 3 hand positions for the bike, and usually you're either sitting or standing. That's it. I actually haven't tried the madness at SoulCycle or FlyWheel yet - I know there's some upper body weights involved, but as far as I know, there's no dance moves to follow and that's fine by me.

4) You can't really give up. After work, the last thing I want to do is hop on the treadmill or elliptical for an hour. I'm not the best self-motivator and if you give me the chance, I will usually just stop half way through my intended workout time. Going to a spin class is different because not only do you have an instructor telling you what to do - they are working to motivate you and to push you harder. The more that I get yelled at, the less I can hear myself telling myself to give up. Almost like a free personal trainer if you will.  Plus, any time you think you want to give up, you really can't because it's a bit embarrassing to ditch the class early. Trust me, I've considered it more than once.

5) Burn more calories. People come out of spin drenched in sweat for a good reason - spin can be really challenging. For me, it pushes me to go harder, faster and stronger than I normally would by myself. On average, ever since I started using my heart rate monitor (I'll write about this in another post), I've found that I burn about 450-500 calories during my 45 minute spin class. Also, once you get past the first few classes of spin and think more about your posture and concentrating on different muscles, you'll find that you'll begin to work your abs and upper body in addition to your legs.

Oh, if I haven't mentioned it already, it's super fun! I could probably talk to you all day about why I go to spin 3-4 times a week, but I'll save some more spin tidbits for later. Hopefully you found these reasons enough to push you to try it at least once. If you have free spin classes at your gym, you really have no excuse.

Also, I encourage you to shop around for an instructor that you like. Not all spin classes are made equal, it may vary from spin class to spin class, so it is important to try at least a few before you make up your mind about if spin's for you!

Have you ever tried Spinning? What have you liked or not liked about it? Let me know about your Spin experience!

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