Probably the most common question which I have been asked from friends and family throughout my life is, ‘What is Spinning/Yoga/Body Pump (etc, etc) and will I like it?’. I absolutely love it when people ask me what a certain form of exercise is like and how it will make them feel, will they enjoy it or will it just hurt. Growing up surrounded by dance, gymnastics and exercise, I have never been scared or dubious in trying out new forms of exercise. However, I know I am relatively alone in this and the majority of people I have met throughout my life find it difficult to experiment with new fitness classes or methods of training.
In this scenario, I believe knowledge is power. If you kind of know what to expect, you know how it will benefit you and what to be careful of, this can tear down many fears or insecurities you may have previously felt. With this in mind, I feel it is my duty to give you the low down on a variety of exercise forms. With this knowledge hopefully you realise that actually it does not sound as scary as before, or that you maybe you are more suited to something else. Even if at this point in time you are a couch potato and the thought of sweat makes you sweat (!), I promise you, there is a form or exercise/activity that you will enjoy. It is simply down to finding the one for you.
This week Spinning or Indoor Cycling (same thing) is under the spotlight.
Spinning / Indoor Cycling
Summary – Spinning or sometimes called Indoor Cycling, is usually a class based form of exercise, however many personal trainers also include it within their sessions. Spinning consists of you cycling on a stationary bike (feels more like a road bike) to music. The instructor will get you to sit and stand in different positions, adding or taking off resistance (feels like you are going up a hill) throughout the class, all timed to music.
Good for? Losing weight and stripping away fat. It is an intense cardiovascular exercise which has been scientifically proven to burn the highest amount of calories compared to other exercise classes. It builds a great deal of stamina and develops strength and endurance in your legs. Many people think they are not fit enough to take part, but this is complete rubbish. You control the resistance and you control how fast your legs move. If you are a beginner, you should take it steady and pace yourself and just try to keep moving your legs. Even if you have no resistance on the bike to begin with, no one else will know!
Be careful if… you suffer from serious back problems as you will be sat down on the bike and most people have a tendency to slouch forward and not engage their abdominal’s to support their spine. Many people do not set up their bike correctly either, so poor sitting posture can put extra strain on existing back problems and cause discomfort.
Good tip – bring a gel seat cover or a hand towel to sit on. The seats tend to be very hard and you can feel bruised ‘underneath’ during and after!
This video although quite long gives you a good taste of what Spinning is all about – enjoy! Tune in next week when I explain in laymans terms what Pilates is all about.