Spin class has been around since the early ’90s, but as of late, the hardcore workout has developed something of a cult following. So why is everyone raving about biking in place? It turns out, like most exercises, indoor cycling classes are really, really good for you.
From its stress-reduction abilities to its impressive calorie-burning, this exercise provides a serious workout that improves physical and mental health. Here are eight benefits of cycling studio classes and the reasons you should give them a try:
1. It’s Easy On the Joints
Spinning is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints. Like running, cycling classes are a great cardiovascular workout. However, you are less likely to suffer from hip, knee and ankle injuries commonly associated with other cardio exercises because it is low-impact. For those with joint pain or mobility issues, especially older adults, cycling can be a great way to keep active while avoiding pain.
Even better—indoor cycling can improve your joint function: The continuous motion that we do while indoor cycling is also super beneficial to your joints (especially your knees) because that constant full-range movement of your legs produces synovial fluids, which will keep your joints lubricated throughout the day.
Moreover, cycling studio classes may increase the strength and function of your muscles, ligaments and bones that surround your joints, improving your daily function and helping keep you fit and active as you age.
2. Decreases Stress
Yoga isn’t the only mind-and-body workout. Indoor cycling signals an adrenaline rush and endorphin release, proven to lower stress levels. Endorphins help improve our moods, sleep, reduces stress, etc. For me, indoor cycling is my release.
While most exercise forms help with stress management, 40- to 60-minute cycling studio classes are a quick and effective way to relieve stress and improve physical fitness. Once you’re in the zone, it’s hard to focus on anything other than keeping up with the instructor. It takes your mind off that rough day at work and makes you feel super accomplished when you finish your workout.
3. Burns Calories
As evidenced by the sweaty shirts of many indoor cyclers post-ride, these classes are a great way to burn calories because it’s fun and engaging. You really have to exercise your mind to keep up with the choreography sequences and cues. You are also in control of how far you push yourself, which is empowering. With awesome computers on our bikes, you are able to push yourself and have valuable information at your fingertips to continually monitor your progress and success!
Since cycling is so intense, many classes incorporate high-intensity interval training, which is thought to increase calorie burn post-workout.
This bonus benefit means that cycling studio classes are both a fast and effective cardiovascular workout. Although we’re not technically a HIIT class, we try to give our classes a nice mix of heavy resistance work and fast fun songs. So your heart rate doesn’t stay the same the entire class, which helps with calorie burn even when class is over.
4. Improves Strength
Contrary to popular belief, indoor cycling classes build muscle strength without adding bulk. Like all other forms of cardio, indoor cycling recruits your whole body, not just your quads.
While each class is designed differently, a cycling segment may focus on building arm strength or increasing resistance on the bike to build strength. The variety in the cycling studio classes is intended to help build strength and endurance and improve cardiovascular health.
5. Builds Mental Strength
Indoor cycling classes can be a challenge, pushing you mentally to keep up with the instructor and classmates. Although you should always listen to your body, pushing yourself close to your limits is a fantastic way to build mental strength.
We are constantly throwing out different sequences of choreography at a fast pace to keep you on your toes. I’d say the heavier resistance work is to build muscle and spike our heart rates, and the faster lighter resistance/more choreography-focused work builds endurance and strengthens the mind.
Research shows that intense exercise benefits cognitive functioning and well-being and even protects your brain from age-related decline.
So jump on that bike to remain sharp as a tack as you get older.
6. Strengthens Core
As you keep your body in an upright position while balancing on the bike, your core will work to prevent you from tipping over. Your core is the meat and potatoes of effective indoor cycling classes. It supports every movement we do on the bike, protecting you from straining your lower back.
Mastering your form is vital so properly engaging your core is fundamental. Your core strength increases with every class you take.
7. Gives Sense of Community
Group exercise classes like the ones at Five Starr Pilates & Fitness can help give you a sense of community. After all, you’re all in it together. Research shows that group exercise lowers stress and improves emotional well-being while increasing social connectedness and mutual support.
And with group exercise, you are more likely to keep up your new habit and keep coming back. The community at any indoor cycling studio is everything. I can truly say you work harder when you know you have a pack of like-minded people in the same room aiming for the same goal. The community pushes you and keeps you coming back.
8. Promotes a Healthy Heart
Aerobic activity improves heart health, protecting you from heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of exercise, such as spin class, that gets your heart pumping each week. If your classes are vigorous, then 75 minutes is plenty to provide these protective benefits. Cycling studio classes promise to improve your aerobic capacity, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and body composition.
Getting Started Indoor Cycling Classes
Indoor Cycling classes like those at Five Starr Pilates & Fitness are a fun way to increase your physical, mental and social well-being. Joining group exercise classes can increase the likelihood that you’ll return to your workout, helping you reach your fitness goals. I try to take out whatever I’m feeling on my bike.
And being able to do that with a group of amazing people cheering you on and pushing themselves as well is euphoric. Try signing up for an indoor cycling class in your community today! They are well worth it!!!