I can't feel my legs this morning. I'm taking an hour-long weekly spin class on Monday nights at Fitness Options in South Burlington. It's incredibly fun and I'm excited to get back into it after taking the summer off to pursue other exercise avenues like hiking and running.
I missed spinning.
There are so many benefits. Yes, it's an incredibly hard workout, but you feel so accomplished when you get off the bike. And the post-ride stretching? It's better than brownies. (Whoa, did I just say that?) Anyway, here's a couple other benefits of taking a spinning class.
1. You burn 500-700 calories
I just bought a Polar heart-rate watch and finally configured it before my ride last night. I burned over 700 calories. Normally, it's a bit less, but it was a tough ride. You could run on a treadmill and hop on an elliptical, but it'd take you forever to burn the same amount of calories (plus I find those two machines boring). The calorie burn is a great supplement to your strength workouts and it really gets your heart pumping. I was hanging around 170 bpm for the tough parts of the ride.
2. It works your legs like nobody's business
I hate leg day. Hate it. I'll dedicate one day a week to leg day, but I'd rather get stronger on the bike. Doing hill sprints on the bike and tough climbs to work all of my leg muscles is more my liking. And you'll definitely feel it. I got off the bike last night just barely being able to stand, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.
3. You meet people driven to get in better shape
One of my favorite parts about spin class are the relationships you build with your classmates. They spin at the same time every week. You start to learn more about them, laugh with them, and build a small group mentality. We're all in this together, trying to get fit, and everyone helps each other out. Plus, you can go at your pace without anyone barking orders at you to pick it up. Spinning leads to doing other activities together like runs, cycling, and hiking. When you hang around fit people you're internally driven to get fit yourself. It's like good peer pressure.
4. It helps with running
For me, running is barely a hobby. I'll run every once in a while -- and no more than 3 miles because it gets incredibly boring at the three-mile mark. But, I make that run count. I run the same route every time. Sometimes I go left out of the driveway - sometimes left. But, after spinning for a few months, I can feel my stride getting stronger, my hill sprints getting faster, and I'm not catching my breath all the time now.
5. It's constantly changing & motivating
No spin is the same - it's always different. For example, last week I did a ride that was called "Climb & Climb Again" which was a whopping 8 short hill climbs. Yesterday, I did a ride called "British Invasion." It was five longer, more intense, hill climbs. The intensity is different. The music is different. And sometimes the instructor is different. Each time, you'll get a completely different experience. I love the variety in spin workouts.
So what are you waiting for? Find a spinning class near you right now. It'll put you on the path to a new healthier you - no new year's resolution needed. Have fun!