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Spinning your way to Good Health

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Spinning is a form of exercise that has gained popularity in recent times. Read about this exercise technique.

Exercising is no longer just about going to the gym. While weight training is still popular among most people, other forms of exercise are slowly gaining prominence. People are beginning to become more fitness conscious and are keener on getting a full body workout. Various alternatives to traditional fitness routines have evolved such as Capoeira, Tae-bo, Pilates, etc. Each routine has its own pros and cons. Choosing which routine suits you best will largely depend on what your fitness needs are.

Spinning is a form of indoor cycling. It is a specialised exercise program, designed to give you a high intensity workout. This is a group oriented fitness routine, with each person performing the exercises on a stationary exercise bike.

Spinning as a Workout

Riding a bicycle is not only an enjoyable experience but also gives you your daily dose of exercise. However, as you get older, you often find that your balance is not as good as it was when you were a child. In addition, crowded cities usually do not have dedicated paths on the road for cyclists. Your passion for riding is therefore overcome by safety concerns, leaving you unable to enjoy a simple bicycle ride.

Origins of Spinning

This fitness routine originated in the nineteen eighties. An endurance athlete named Jonathan Goldberg, in partnership with the Schwinn bicycle manufacturers, started the concept of spinning. The workout was taught only on cycles manufactured by Schwinn. In recent years, other companies have also started manufacturingspinning bikes. These include companies like Reebok and Keiser.

The term 'spinning' has now been trademarked and the license belongs to Mad Dogg Athletics. The official program is currently partnered with Star Trac to manufacture thespinning bikes. To avoid copyright issues, many gyms and fitness centres do not officially refer to their programs as spinning. They mostly use a more generic term such as 'indoor cycling'.

Typical Spinning Routine

Spinning is primarily a group activity. You can join a spinning class run by a fitness centre. In each class, there will be a qualified spinning instructor who is in charge of conducting the program. The instructor uses a combination of up tempo music and voice commands to motivate his students to work harder. A single session is designed to simulate the same conditions you would experience while cycling on natural terrain. Thus, aspinning session usually consists of simulating climbing hills, going downhill, sprinting, etc. Most instructors prefer to have an interval ride routine, which simulates all the desired conditions but does not follow a definite pattern of exercises.

The type of music played during a session can have a huge influence on the participants during a spinning session. The music forms a part of the external stimulus. Participants tend to synchronise their pedalling movements in time with the music. Music with a fast beat encourages participants to work harder than they would if there was no music.

Benefits of Spinning

Although spinning is a group activity, participants are free to move at a pace that is comfortable for them. Each participant has his own heart monitor, to record the heart rate. Based on the desired heart rate, a person usually sets a goal for each session. In case a person does not have a heart rate monitor, then a relative perceived exertion (RPE) scale is used. According to the RPE scale, a value of six means no exertion at all while twenty refers to the maximum exertion value. An instructor will usually call out the numbers and participants adjust their exertion levels accordingly.

A typical spinning session lasts for forty minutes. In this time, a person usually burns around five hundred calories. This makes spinning a great option for an individual looking to lose weight. Spinning can be pursued by almost anyone since each person can choose his own level of exertion. The repeated pedalling movement firms the leg muscles and also tones the legs, making them shapelier. The increase in muscle strength also boosts metabolism.

No matter what your current fitness level, go ahead and give spinning a try. Apart from giving you a good workout, the group nature of this program ensures that you will get to meet new people as well.

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Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
Have you ever heard of spinning? Would you like to try a spinning session? How do think other exercise routines compare with spinning?
While you have said a lot about the benefits of spinning, I think you have missed out one important point. Spinning classes are not cheap. Each session is extremely costly. This makes spinning an exer...
I liked reading this article. Spinning sounds like a great exercise alternative. I would be very interested in trying out this exercise program and seeing the results. 500 calories in 40 minutes sound...
I am highly sceptical about this technique. The benefits you have mentioned seem almost too good to be true. If it was so easy, everyone would have been walking around with perfect model figures by no...
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