Spin Those Pounds Away
Determination, pedal power can help you lose that holiday bulge.
I walk into spin class at the Fitness Factory in Seven Fields determined to lose the five pounds I have gained over the holidays.
This year will be different, I tell myself. This year the apple pies a la mode, Santa cookies, cakes, probably some more Santa cookies, and a few dozen bottles of wine will not make themselves permanent fixtures on my caboose. Oh, no. This year I will find that magical combination of diet and exercise to make the holiday pounds disappear. For good. I have the eye of the tiger. Holiday pounds, watch out.
I decide to try spinning first because my I've-just-had-a-baby-yet-my-body-is-suspiciously-perfect sister-in-law spins regularly. It is my hope that her perfect body has more to do with spinning and less to do with phenomenal genetics.
Since I haven't been in a gym since high school, I am pleasantly surprised by the lack of leotards circa Jane Fonda. I am also surprised at the age of everyone in the class: Most everyone is above the age of 50.
I do not have long to ponder my youth, however, because class begins, and I need all of my concentration.
I never realized you could do so many things on a bicycle: You can pedal while sitting, sprint, climb while standing, climb while sitting, climb while half-standing (my personal favorite), all while moving in four, eight or 12 counts to a techno song by Katy Perry, Lady Gaga or Madonna. Halfway through the workout I can hear my legs weeping for mercy, but I pedal on thinking only of the pie a la mode still hitchhiking on my thighs.
When the flurry of pedaling ends, and I can breathe again, my instructor, Fred Sarkin, asks me if I will return. Full of positive endorphins post-workout, I respond that I will.
I ask Fred, who has been teaching spin classes for 13 years, why spinning is a good option to lose the pounds.
"It is a wonderful cardio and good for muscle building," he says.
Fred goes on to tell me that spinning is a great workout option because it is easy on the joints, which is why he gave up running many years ago and started spinning.
"When you get older your body can no longer take the pounding that it once could, which is why spinning is such a great option for older as well as younger people," he says.
Fred tells me that many people do not try spinning because there is a misconception that it is only for those in extremely good physical shape. Spinning, however, is great for all fitness levels, he says.
"Most people are spinning their best by their second or third class," Fred says.
I realize I am living proof that spinning is not just for the exercise elite. If I, a reformed couch potato, can spin, anyone can.
As I walk out of the gym, I pass a full-length mirror and am positive I look a holiday pound thinner, perhaps two.