Are Spin Classes Good For Weight Loss?
The true benefits of a spin class isn’t weight loss.
Spin classes are the latest fitness fad nowadays. With almost every gym hosting its own spin class, there is a lot of curiosity as to what they are. Spin classes are nothing but small groups of people being coached on exercise bike routines by a trainer. The routines are developed so that the optimum calorie burn is obtained and the members gain the most out of each class.
The training routines may vary from standard long duration flat, standard speed sessions to those simulating hilly terrain with huge variations in intensity. While they definitely sound good, we need to see whether they actually help with weight loss. Given below are the results of our analysis.
1. Spin Classes Help Improve Cardiovascular Health:
The fact that longer durations of repetitive motion repeated day after day strengthens the cardiovascular system is well known. This is because your muscles need nutrients and energy to function. The requirement for energy becomes very high when muscles are in a state of constant contraction. This utilization of energy is what promotes weight loss.
When you perform a spin class routine, you invariably end up cycling for anywhere between 30-45 minutes at varying intensities. Your cardiovascular system would be working at full capacity for this duration, which enables it to improve every day. When the cardiovascular system improves, it improves circulation to the contracted muscles, which results in more energy being made available for that exercise. This enables you to push harder and burns more calories in turn. Effectively, your body actively burns more calories when you indulge in a spin class.
What’s more, the HIIT routines incorporated in the classes ensure that you keep burning calories even several hours after your session has ended.
2. Spin Classes Help Build Muscle:
Most spin classes employ the concept of Tabata or HIIT, which involves a few minutes of explosive intensity followed by a brief amount of rest. It is similar to riding a hilly terrain where you require immense power to reach the top, then come down the slope easily and much faster.
This methodology has been known to trigger the fast twitch fibers which are responsible for muscle growth and density, compared to the slow twitch fibers which are triggered during long durations of continuous activity. It has a result similar to that of lifting weights since it mimics the same concept of contraction and relaxation.
As we know, muscle burns more energy per pound than fat. This means that if you replace one pound of fat in your body with one pound of muscle, you would burn up a higher amount of calories even while resting.
3. Spin Class Improves Your Basal Metabolic Rate:
Spin class, especially when it includes HIIT, results in an increased basal metabolic rate. Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is the number of calories the body burns while in a resting state. The higher the BMR, the greater the amount of energy burned and the greater the weight loss.
Spin class inclusive of HIIT results in effects similar to that of weight lifting- the muscles are damaged and need to be healed with nutrients and energy. This results increase in muscle density and size which further requires more energy to maintain. Effectively, the energy requirement of the body goes up.
If the intake of food is maintained, then it results in significant weight loss.
4. Spinning Is A Low-Impact Exercise:
The major benefit with spin class is that spinning is a low-impact exercise. This means that it does not hurt the joints, of the knees and hips. Due to this, chances of injuries are significantly reduced. This means that you can perform this exercise for longer and without any fear of hurting yourself if you exert yourself too much.
Longer durations of workout and less downtime due to injuries means that you work out longer and continuously which is great for weight loss.
5. Spin Classes Affect Mental Health:
Mostly, when it comes to physical exercise, the mental aspect is highly underrated and even ignored. However, mental conditioning is highly necessary to not only continue with the exercise, but a healthy mind results in a healthy body as well.
Spin classes are a group affair- which means that you are a part of a pack, and this appeals to the natural instinct of humans to compete. This results in an increased release of adrenaline and testosterone compared to other solitary exercises. When this happens, the body performs better, burns more calories and become stronger- all essential components for losing weight.
Apart from this, the group activity helps people relax. This releases hormones called endorphins which are also called happiness hormones. These hormones relieve both mental and physical stress which is detrimental to weight loss.
They also prevent retention of water, which reduces bloating, reduces weight and gives a slimmer appearance.
6. Spin Classes Improve Digestion:
Spin classes are known to be physically taxing. As with any other exercise, this causes the body to try and improve its own efficiency and this includes improved absorption of nutrients from the food we ingest.
When the body starts ingesting nutrients in a better way, the urges to overeat are reduced, which results in a lesser intake of empty calories and increased weight loss.
Apart from this, the cycling motion of the lower body stimulates the peristaltic movement of the intestines which helps to move the food faster through the intestine. This results in lesser build up of stale organic matter in the intestines and clears them up, further improving the absorption capacity, which improves the nutrient profile of the blood. This, in turn, reduces water retention and increases fat burning since several enzymes responsible for this are activated by nutrients in the food.
All these minor gains build up and result in significant reduction in weight.
Overall, spin classes are a great way to burn weight. They are also effective, fun, healthy and improve your mental health by reducing stress levels as well. If taken up in the right spirit, spin classes can be extremely enriching and useful.