What Spinning Classes Do For Your Body
Spinning became pretty popular during lockdown, we’ve all heard of the cult of Peloton, but spinning classes first rose to popularity way back in the 1990s. Endurance bicycle racer Jonny Goldberg spent ten years designing a workout program that could be done on a stationary bike, and so spinning was born.
Spinning is a low impact cardiovascular workout that doesn’t put too much stress on the joints, which makes it a great way to keep fit when recovering from an injury. There are two key factors at play when spinning, the speed and the resistance, which allows you to go at your own pace and ease yourself in if you’re new to spinning. A common misconception about cycling is that it is a lower body workout, but it also works your entire core, which includes your lower back. This is because muscle control is required to stabilise your body when pedalling.
The main muscles you use on a spinning bike, the glutes and the quadriceps, are some of the largest in the body, so you burn a lot of energy. Associate Professor of kinesiology at Penn State University, Jinger Gottschall, found that high-intensity spinning could even increase the fitness levels of highly advanced athletes, as all her studies have demonstrated an increase in heart and lung capacity.
Spinning doesn’t just torch calories but can improve overall physical health. A study found that one hour of spinning was enough to trigger the release of blood chemicals associated with heart stress or changes. These biomarkers signal that the heart is getting a good workout and are the same signals the body might receive when undergoing prolonged exertion, such as running a marathon. The author of the study Dr. Smita Duttaroy thought that some of biomarker shifts observed during the study could lead to blood vessel repair and renewal. It has also been shown to strengthen the immune system. One study found that when cycling, the thymus (the part of the body that creates immune cells) was producing the same level of cells in older people as in younger adults, which is pretty beneficial considering the thymus typically begins to shrink around the age of 20.
Aside from the physical benefits, there are other added bonuses to cycling on a stationary bike. You don’t have to worry about the weather and it’s a lot safer than cycling on the road, plus you have more control over your workout than you would do when cycling outside.
Next up, read about our exercise motivation hacks here.