Spinning is a type of aerobic exercise, done by cycling indoors on a stationary "spinning" bicycle. Most gyms offer this type of indoor cycling either on its own, or as a class, and they are extremely popular. Most classes are structured similarly in each gym.
In a spinning class, an instructor will sit on a stationary bicycle in the front of the room, facing a room full of people each on their own stationary bicycle. Often, the lights are turned fairly low in the room, and there will frequently be loud music playing to help motivate the exercisers. The class will begin with a warm-up period, followed by a 30 to 45-minute class, and a cool-down period.
During the actual class, the instructor will call out visualizations for the students. For example, he or she might state that they are traveling up a hill, and they should stand up on their bicycles and push themselves harder. The purpose of the instructor is to motivate the students to increase their activity level and to vary their pace on the bicycle, thereby increasing their heart rate and receiving the most aerobic benefits. Students of all abilities and fitness levels may participate in this type of exercise class.
While spinning, the students are able to set the resistance levels on their bicycles themselves. This is beneficial if a student finds that pedaling at a certain level is becoming too challenging. It also allows students to slack off if they are not naturally inclined to push their athletic ability to its limits. Using a stationary bicycle in a class is an excellent way to burn calories in an activity that does not require a great deal of coordination.
Spinning is a great addition to a varied workout routine. This type of indoor cycling class should not be one's only source of exercise, however, because it works a fairly limited number of muscle groups, and can lead to muscle imbalances. It is important to do other aerobic activities such as brisk walking, jogging, or swimming, along with strength activities such as weight lifting to ensure that the whole body is being exercised.
Apart from an exercise bike, the only gear necessary is a water bottle, comfortable, hard-soled sneakers, a towel for wiping sweat, and exercise clothing that fits well. One of the benefits is that a helmet is not necessary. It may be a good idea to try an indoor cycling class before signing up for a package deal. If it is not a good fit, or one has sufficient self-motivation, it is possible to get the same workout independently on a stationary bicycle at the gym or by riding outside.