Let's give it a spin!
In 2013 I did a single spin class and was not sure I would ever repeat it!
Fast-forward 4 years and the first spinning studio in Liverpool happens to have opened just around the corner from my house– Rise Cycling Studio– and it is amazing. It’s swanky, slick and has a whole host of different classes for whatever music type or fitness style you prefer. You get a fluffy towel, comfy clip-in shoes, everyone is really lovely and encourages you to do as much as you can to get healthier and happier.
Being the salesman’s dream that I am, I first tried the introductory offer in it’s opening few weeks (3 classes for £15) and just loved it. I subsequently block booked 10 classes and have been going a few times a week since.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with spinning, it is a static bicycle that has a dial below the handlebars to increase and decrease resistance to replicate terrain and gear changes. A computer on the bike shows you how fast you are riding, measured in RPM (revolutions per minute), and this can help to guide your workout. With a class size of around 25 you cycle to different styles of music, standing and sitting, sprinting and climbing, to burn fat with high intensity but low impact on the joints. Some classes also use weights to tone the upper body, which is really good to get a full body workout.
For me, this exercise has been brilliant. The cyclical movements allow my legs to gain strength, I can shed some of my (prescription!) steroid-induced fat through calorie loss, but I don’t have to worry about the difficulty of high impact training or potential injury that running or other workouts have on my knees and ankles.
I took a little look at some literature and In 2015, a pilot study trialled high intensity interval training (HIIT) in women with Rheumatoid Arthritis and adult-onset JIA. It found that disease severity and inflammatory markers were well maintained, and cardiovascular risk was reduced<1>. Another small study done in Pittsburgh in 2009 showed that spinning reduced pain on walking, for people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis<2>. So, if you needed anymore proof, there it is!
As with any form of exercise that gets the heart pumping, the body releases endorphins and afterwards helps you to feel amazing! spinning has really helped to make me feel more positive about myself, my health, and has also become slightly addictive!
Anyone can spin. I do a class with a man in his mid sixties, one lady who is just starting her weight-loss programme, and then there is me who is unfit, has not really exercised for several years, and a few months ago could not walk a flight of stairs!
So, find out where your nearest spinning studio is (could well be your local leisure centre), get yourself down there and give it a spin!
If you're lucky enough to be in Liverpool and can get to rise, I cannot recommend it highly enough. My favourite 2 classes are a new 'tabata and tone' on tuesdays at 6pm with Richie Swan, and wednesday 6pm -'disco spin' with Harriet Igglesdon.
Ps, Thank you to Rise Cycling Studio (@risecyclling) for the permission to use some pics. This is not an advertising post, I just really love going there and feel it has helped my recovery so much.