Spinning your way to fitness: Is a spin class right for you?

Do you want to have a better body, but feel tired and bored with your regular workout routine? Walking...

Do you want to have a better body, but feel tired and bored with your regular workout routine? Walking and running may build endurance and tone muscles, but these activities can sometimes become tedious. Instead of sticking with your old routine, try mixing it up and spin your way to fitness.

What is spinning anyway?

Spin bikes resemble upright stationary bikes, but the different positions and controls will allow you to replicate real bike riding. You can adjust the tension on the pedals, lift and lower yourself on the bike seat, move the pedals with resistance or free spin. It makes you feel like you are moving a real bicycle up and down hills, through mud or racing super fast down a road. This type of workout can lower your BMI and helps your body burn an enormous amount of calories: between 400 and 600 calories in under an hour. You can find a spin class at most major fitness centers, which offer different classes for different abilities and experience levels.

Top spin tips

When you decide to start spinning, you can make the most out of your workout by following a few spin tips.

  • Bring water: Spinning really makes you sweat...a lot! You might look like you took a dip in the pool when you finish a spin class, so replenish your fluids by drinking a lot of water before, during and after the class.
  • Start slow: If you are new to spinning, don't try to act like a pro on your first day of class. If you do, you might end up with extremely sore muscles the next day. Try to start slow and listen to your body. If you feel pain or have difficulty breathing, slow down and coast. Over time, your heart rate and breathing capacity will improve to allow you to really push yourself in class. In the beginning, it is important to start out at a gradual pace.
  • Be prepared to sweat: Your clothing may look totally wet after your spin class, so make sure to pack an extra change of clothes and a towel. Although you can often wear yoga or running clothes from gym to the coffee shop, this is definitely not the case when you take a spin class.
  • Use proper etiquette: You will sweat during your spin class, and so will everyone else. If you think about it, the sweat does not only stay on your clothing. In fact, it will often get all over the seat, handles and floor. Use proper spin class etiquette by wiping down your equipment before you leave using a washcloth, towel or wet wipes that most gyms provide for patrons.

It is always a good idea to have a physical with your Atlanta-based doctor before starting a new type of exercise, especially one as intense as spinning. A spin class can really increase your breathing and heart rate, so make sure that you have a good bill of health before getting on a bike.

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