I never had myself pegged as a spin-aholic, and to an extent I still don't as I have been having a slight break from it recently. However, I absolutely fell in love with this form of exercise.
For those who don't know what it is here is a link to Wikipedia's definition of spinning* (a.k.a Indoor Cycling).
Why on earth did you even go to a spin class in the first place let alone fall in love with it?". A question I often get from friends who have never been to a class or who have only heard horror stories of the 'torture' you go through in that 60 minutes. My reply is always "Because it's amazing". It is true, spinning is not for the faint hearted but I think everyone can learn to love it... eventually.
The first ever spin class I went to was a few years ago and I have to admit that it was like a little slice of absolute hell on earth. I did however vow to go back the following week with my spin buddy because I was in one of my 'health kick' phases. I never went back, as is the case with many people who first go to a spin class and are not used to it. I see now that this was a rookie mistake.
It took me another year to brave the world of spin classes again and this time I forced myself to go back the next week, and the week after that, and the one that followed. I started to notice a change in the length of time I was able to withstand the 'gruelling' routines without having to slow down, sit down or just plain give up. This boosted my confidence and made me realise I was making progress. It spurred me on to keep going back to see more and more results the following weeks.
After a while I actually started to enjoy the pain because I knew how awesome I would feel after the 45 minute class was done and we had finished the 15 minute abs session. Eventually I started going to classes twice a week and then when I had time I fitted a third session in too!
Crazy" I hear you say. Well this might be the case but I noticed that I was not only able to endure the classes longer, enjoy the pain but also that my mood outside of the gym had changed too. I felt happier in myself, healthier, more energetic and more positive. Perhaps not all of that was down to the spin classes themselves but the majority of it was definitely triggered by the fact that I had found a great way to relieve stress and relax after a stressful day.
Some people prefer yoga or swimming but for me it has to be something like spin classes, 60 minutes of pure hell that allows me to focus and get rid of all the negative energy in one go. I can then go home, relax and watch TV absolutely guilt free knowing I have burnt nearly a third of that day's calories in one hour**.
The key to spin classes, and in fact any classes which require a lot of stamina, is to just give it a proper chance. And no, going to one class for 10 minutes and deciding you hate it is not what I mean (I have seen many people do this).
What I mean is set yourself a reasonable limit of time and make sure you endure that regardless of how daunting it may at first feel. Your body can withstand a lot more than you think it can so don't give up on something that could be beneficial or even enjoyable because of a 'can't do' attitude. You will thank yourself when you're done and you feel you have achieved something you thought to be impossible. Be that achievement weight loss, a raised level of fitness, or just trying something new and not giving up at the first hurdle.
I personally felt that the first three classes were hideous and I certainly contemplated giving up during each one. This having been said, I urge you to push yourself through that stage and you will find yourself considering whether you can fit two spin classes back to back into your schedule (I saw many regulars doing this, I was not quite that hardcore yet.) or if it is easier to do one in the morning and one in the evening. You will find yourself wanting to work harder and for longer and will start to see results in what you are working towards i.e. weight loss and increased levels of fitness.
They*** do say exercise is good for boosting energy levels and making you happier so what better reason to give it a go... If you still hate it after the third session then by all means quit and do something else. It isn't for everyone but unless you try you'll never know... I dare you.
After spin Class
Please always consult your Doctor before undertaking a new or more intense exercise regime.
**Amount of calories burnt depends on each individual's weight and the amount of effort they put into each class i.e. whether they work at a low, medium or high intensity workout level and if they are a beginner or a pro, at goal weight or over weight. There are exercise calculators online which might help you calculate the approximate calories burnt. Most spin classes appear to be an average of approx. 400 - 600 calories burnt in a 40 minute class.
***I never know who 'They' are but if they say exercise is good for you then who are we to argue?! (On a serious note, I presume this means professionals i.e. Doctors and such like).