Cardio can be somewhat of a mood killer. Some of you probably thrive off of the thrill of cardio, although, in general, I find that if given the choice to be dancing with some cardio, or with the couch, I jive sooooooo well with the couch. That’s why when I found indoor cycling, it seemed to be a match made in heaven. I DIDN’T HATE CARDIO. In fact, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much I became an instructor for the sweat sessions we call spin classes. Here is why this form of cardio is great for your body, your soul, and your motivation:
- HAPPY is the name of the game
If you have worked out before, you know that exercise releases endorphins known to reduce stress, enhance the body’s immune responses and create a feeling of euphoria. THIS is true. You will walk out of a 60-min spin class with those endorphins running free and you feeling happy and your legs will feel amazing.
- The power is in the music
Happy, fun, and exciting aren’t usually words I use to describe my workout regime. But, when it comes to spin classes, it is. If you find an instructor who knows how to get hearts pumping and mouths smiling, you’ll find the music they play will take you to new heights and push you further. It’s all in the groove!
- Reaching goals
The bike is a device that can be adjusted to your own fitness goals. If it’s weight loss you are after? Individuals can burn anywhere from 400-600 calories per avg. 45-min cycle. If it’s muscle definition you’re after? Muscular endurance can be increased tenfold by pedaling against higher tensions for longer periods of time. Quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, are all working during that higher tension to build endurance and make regular tasks a piece of cake for you. You’ll start noticing that you’re walking up those steps to work with a little more ease!
- Feeding off of others’ energy
Everyone there has the same goal as you. To enhance their fitness level. It’s surprising how the energy of so many motivated people in one room can push you slightly further out of that comfort zone to see greater results. You’ll suddenly feel obligated to push yourself to your edge. Plus, the energy is electric! You can’t avoid the hoots of excitement from the instructor over the next climb, or the hollers of “keep pumping!” as you’re finishing a sprint.
- Low impact, reduced risk
Cycling is a low impact sport and one that is often used for people who have been cleared by their doctor to start performing again after some injuries. That means it’s a safer form of exercise in comparison to a typical gym routine. When your bike is setup correctly, and you have proper footwear, it can have very little impact on your hip, knee and ankle joints. This allows for flexion in your muscles and tendons without the pounding and harsh movements of other cardio choices, such as running.
If you’re still not convinced cycling could be for you, I challenge you to try it. Find a favorite instructor that plays stellar music, a measure of time that you can manage (30 min, 45 min, 60 min) and start killing the spin game – your body and mind will thank you. And if there’s one piece of advice I’ll give? It’s that I PROMISE that your butt stops hurting from that bike seat after 2-3 times. You have my word.