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Spinning® your way to fitness

Published:Wednesday | March 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM

I am as passionate about spinning (well, almost) as I am about yoga, and I truly believe the combination of indoor cycling and yoga is a perfect way to achieve total mind-body fitness.

The spinning® programme is a cardiovascular workout done on specially designed stationary bikes. As you pedal, a trained instructor takes you through a visualisation of an outdoor cycling workout done to inspiring, uptempo music.

For example, recently, my instructor took us on an imaginary ride from Rose Hall, Montego Bay to Rick's Café in Negril. Using inspiring music and great visuals, she guided us as if we were actually on the roads - beautiful vistas, potholes, goats and all! During the class, you vary your intensity by adjusting your cadence (speed) or your resistance, or both, while riding either in or out of the 'saddle'.

Your coach will encourage you to focus inwardly in an attempt to engage mind, body and breath. Everyone can participate! It is non-weight bearing on the joints, so people with knee or hip issues can benefit. It is important that you find a certified instructor who knows about bike set-up so the seat and handlebars can be adjusted to your frame.

During a spinning® class you can burn serious calories (about 450-600 in 45 minutes) and it offers an amazing cardio workout. Also, with adequate resistance it can help to build leg strength and tone the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus and calves.

What's great about spinning® is the after-burn effect - the calories you burn after exercise. The more intense the spin, the more the body will burn fat 24 hours after. You just can't beat that for weight loss! Of course, if you want to lose weight, you can't rely on exercise alone. Stick to a 1,500-1,800 calorie a day diet and three to five spinning® classes a week and you will see those pounds drop for sure!

You may not be able to finish your first class, and or be able to do all the movements right away, but the great thing is you control the intensity of the workout and keep your heart rate in an appropriate range. There is always room for you to push harder, ride longer, improve form and breathing technique, and as a result, the dropout rate is low. Once you master the techniques, you will be hooked!

This is a reprint of an articlewhich appeared on March 7.