Spin City! Indoor cycling, practically addicting, here’s to your better health
Jun 26, 2017 10:01PM
Round and round, sweat beading on your forehead, the beat of music, tucked away from crazy drivers, all while burning hundreds of calories and enjoying an hour with your buddies.
Sounds perfect, right?
It’s no wonder that so many of us are in spin or indoor cycling classes―they’re practically addicting, reducing stress, your waistline and the impact of running on knees and ankles. A quick internet search shows gobs of places to get your spin on, either at a gym or specialty studio, a dozen or so just in Fort Myers, untold numbers in private sessions for groups or communities.
Located off of McGregor Boulevard, for example, Cycle Station in Fort Myers opened a couple of years ago as SpinCrazy, is today considered a top Southwest Florida destination for folks wanting to put the pedal to the metal. “Each ride is so exciting and the amount of energy from the music and the passion that my riders bring to class is amazing,” explains Jennifer Jensen, Cycle Station owner. “It makes all of the hard work so worth it.
“We are always one ride away from being in a better mood.”
Jensen’s classes typically last 45 minutes, so no excuses about time restrictions. And the best part is not having to worry about showing poorly next to a more seasoned rider pedaling so fast you’d think a lion was eyeing him as lunch. “We always say we are your guide, but it’s your ride,” Jensen says.
And if you’re looking for something that resembles more of a dance party on wheels, Cycle Station has exactly that. “We play everything!” explains Jensen. “Each time we teach a class we know how important music is. Music really can make or break a ride, unfortunately. We try to throw in a little bit of everything.”
Southwest Florida has dozens of gyms offering indoor cycling sessions/instruction. Erin Cantwell teaches at Around the Clock Fitness in Fort Myers and has been spinning for almost a decade, for instance. “Spin has been such a motivation in my workout routine,” Cantwell explains. “It challenges me to be better and improves my cardio and endurance. I push myself to work harder while I push my students in class.”
Cantwell’s typical classes are about an hour, with warmups, sprints, climbs, intervals, jumps and a cool down. But she’s not just an instructor, more like a DJ, using the right mix of music to motivate. “The perfect playlist has to have a variety of songs and styles to keep everyone interested and challenged,” she says.
For triathletes and avid outdoor bike-riders such as Bill Valenti, spin class provides a good compromise and an even better workout, without the sun and other risks. “Sixty minutes in class passes quickly and it’s a quality workout,” he says. “Biking the same amount on the road takes a lot of prep, travel time, clean up and, of course, the dangers of being in traffic.”
Valenti started spinning in 2012. At first it was just a way to squeeze in some extra miles, but he was quickly hooked. “Camaraderie,” he says, “tends to be strong in class. We all experience the fun, effort and energy together. We get and give a lot of encouragement to one another.”
Valenti says not only has spinning helped him as a triathlete, it’s also allowing him to reconnect with himself. “I believe spin is a great stress outlet―I know I’ve walked in and out of class a completely different person.”
Written by Nick Ciletti, a freelancer and frequent contributor to TOTI Media. He lives in Phoenix and works at the local ABC affiliate as a reporter and anchor.
Benefits of Indoor Cycling
- Continuous cardiovascular activity can help lower the risk of coronary artery disease, lowers blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol, helps lower overall resting heart rate.
- Lowered stress endorphins can create euphoria, enhance the body’s immune response.
- Strengthens muscles, tendons and ligaments, increases workout and every-day endurance, limits sun damage and the cost of an expensive road bike.
- Major calorie burner.
- Fun with friends, no traffic risks.