No one doubts that physical exercise is good for our health. In the last decade, gyms have been gaining more and more popularity, and although the objective of some is to improve the body’s aesthetics, practicing physical exercise is a healthy habit as long as it does not become an addiction. Did you know that there are people who are addicted to running? You can read the article “Runnorexia”: the modern running addiction” to know more.

In sports centres, a new trend has taken hold and its practice has proliferated in recent times: is “spinning”, an indoor cycling method that provides a number of both physical and psychological benefits.

Brief history of spinning

Three days after arriving in the United States from South Africa in 1979, Johnny Goldberg was the victim of a robbery at a hotel in Santa Monica where he was staying. Virtually penniless from the incident, he found himself out of work. Johnny Goldberg, better known as Johnny G today, persuaded gym owners to give him the opportunity to work as a personal trainer, as he had been a personal trainer for years at a gym in Johannesburg. He was lucky! And soon after arriving in the US he was working on what he liked.

When his situation had stabilized, he began to practice cross-country, a specialty of mountain biking , and competed in several events. Goldberg spent hours and hours in his garage training his bike on a roller, but he found this method boring. To motivate himself, he played music to make his workouts more enjoyable and fun. He noticed that his physical condition was improving at the same time that he was having fun and he told his friends, who began to meet in his garage and train together to the music.

But Goldberg found a problem with the roller, so in 1997 he had an exercise bike built similar to the bike he used for racing, which he would call a “sprinter”. This is how this fitness phenomenon was born , which quickly spread all over the West Coast of the United States, and eventually to the rest of the planet.

Aerobic or anaerobic training?

Spinning is an activity that is done in a group and is directed by a monitor. This training program is carried out on static bicycles, which are different from the classic stationary bicycle, as they have an inertia disc that makes it continue moving even if we stop pedalling. This feature helps to make pedaling more natural and not to get our knees stuck when pushing.

It is common to talk about spinning as aerobic work; however, spinning sessions may contain cardiovascular endurance work, speed training and interval work, so anaerobic training is also part of this method .

Spinning hooks, mainly because you sweat and work hard, it is fun and motivating, everyone regulates their resistance according to their physical condition and the movement is quite mechanical and simple, unlike a step or aerobic session.

The benefits of spinning

If you are thinking of getting started in this practice, pay attention to the following lines. Below you can find a list of the 13 benefits of spinning.

1. Low impact for the joints

Spinning is considered a low impact sport, so it is possible to benefit from training without the joints or knees suffering. It is even recommended for people with arthritis, according to a study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

2. Reduces the risk of injury

Unlike, for example, running on the asphalt or crossfiting, low-impact modes are less likely to cause injury. Studies show that these types of activities remain equally beneficial for improving fitness levels, cardiovascular health or improving sleep quality. In addition, being an exercise with a repetitive movement pattern, is safer than other targeted classes such as aerobics .

3. Improve heart health

A good way to make your heart work healthier is to practice spinning. Studies show that helps to improve cardiovascular fitness considerably and also strengthens our vital organ, improves heart rate and lowers blood pressure.

4. Reduce stress

Spinning helps to reduce stress and relieve tension, so is ideal after a hard day’s work . Also, like any form of physical exercise, daily spinning reduces levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress. This sporting practice improves our body’s ability to deal with stress and the negative consequences of this phenomenon.

5. Helps to lose fat

Spinning is an ideal workout to burn calories , because depending on the intensity it is possible to burn up to 700 kcal in one session. Moreover, interval training means that we not only burn calories during the session, but also after exercise.

6. Increases self-esteem

Physical exercise can make you feel good and help you look better , which means that the perception you have of yourself will be positive and, consequently, can increase your self-esteem. According to the First Barometer of Movement in Spain carried out by ‘Rexona, physical exercise makes us feel good physically and allows us to feel more secure and confident. But without becoming obsessed.

7. Produces happiness chemicals

Spinning releases a number of chemicals in our brain, such as endorphins or serotonin . Endorphins are responsible for making us feel energetic and lively after playing sports; and low levels of serotonin are associated with depression and negative moods. Studies show that physical exercise increases the levels of these neurochemicals.

8. Helps you sleep better

Serotonin not only improves mood, but also promotes the production of melatonin , which is the hormone related to sleep. Therefore, physical exercise also helps to sleep better, as revealed in a study by Duke University. Thanks to spinning, we achieve a peaceful sleep and improve the quality and quantity of sleep. However, it is advisable not to practice it shortly before going to sleep.

9. Improves the immune system

Spinning strengthens the immune system and protects against certain types of cancer. One group of researchers found that playing sports increases the number of cells in the body’s immune system , and although the effect is only temporary, regular exercise protects against viruses and bacteria that can cause health complications.

10. Improves resistance

Although sports performance is influenced by many factors, it is clear that endurance plays an important role in sport. Being an interval training, spinning improves both aerobic and anaerobic endurance . Even if you are not an athlete, you will notice this in everyday life, for example when climbing stairs or walking to work, as you will be less tired.

11. Tones up legs, buttocks and abs

In spinning sessions, not only is resistance worked on, but muscle tone is also improved , especially in the core area, the buttocks and legs. When we increase the resistance on the bike, the same effort is made as if we were climbing a hill, which favours the development of the muscles in these areas.

12. Improves interpersonal relationships

Spinning is done in a group, which can be very motivating. Moreover, this is a good opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. As our self-confidence improves and we have more contact with some people, the more we relate. The music from the spinning classes and the fun and active atmosphere encourages social relationships.

13. Strengthens bones and joints

Spinning will not only strengthen some muscles such as the buttocks or the hamstrings, but the bones, tendons and ligaments surrounding these muscles will also be strengthened. This is also positive if you practice other sports , as it reduces the risk of injury.