When I was in my mid 20’s I was on a quest to lose weight through exercise. I worked at a local gym and had my own trainer. When you walk in the gym, what’s the first thing you probably notice?
Treadmills! A ton of them!
You would see all sizes and shapes pounding on those suckers. Some would walk at a steady pace with the incline up so far they would need to hold on to the handles with such a tight grip that their hands would turn a different shade – yes, there’s one in every gym. Others were the diehard runners. They would run for dear life to nowhere then jump off the treadmill while the belt was still going to take a break (and look at their phone).
I knew that I HAD to learn how to run and, after I ran my first 5k with my trainer, I was hooked on running! It gave me those endorphins, and I was in the “running zone” after mile 2 or 3. I ran other races after that and actually ran a half marathon when I was 30. During the trainings, I had constant knee pain, spasms and IT band injuries. I would be on the treadmill for sometimes 2 hours – can we say boring?! I thought that I needed to run, and not walk, whenever I was on the treadmill or outdoors.
I also took my first Spin class when I started working at the gym. I enjoyed the group exercise and people time - time I didn’t have while running by myself or on the treadmill watching whatever show was on the TV screen in front of me.
Cycling classes can turn a lot of people off. You picture a crazy bike riding professional with padded shorts, dark room, loud music. People drenched in sweat, and the instructor yelling crazy cues.
Yeah, I wouldn’t want to attend that class either!
But once you get over the fear and try a class, it’s actually pretty fun! Awesome music, a motivating instructor, and an AMAZING workout! The best thing? If you are set up on the bike properly with the right alignment, you can prevent injuries.
Now that I’m older and somewhat wiser, I am turned off when I see treadmills; for me, they are boring as HELL! And if you’re not a professional runner, the average Joe rarely stretches or warms up enough to prevent common runner injuries. We see Jane come out of the locker room and run straight to the treadmill. She puts on her favorite station, her headphones, pushes the “up” button to 6.0 or higher, and is on her way!
Newsflash - you’re shocking your body, you’re more prone to injury, and your overall performance is impacted when it’s not warmed up. In a cycling class, the instructor gives you a warm up and has you stretch before and after class.
I have no problem with running, it’s great for your cardiovascular system and you certainly lose weight (if that’s your goal). I just feel like I am less susceptible to injury on a bike. And cycling class is just fun! You’re told what to do, you sweat, you enjoy the music, and you’re done in 60 minutes or less!
The body is truly amazing – treat it right!
Unique Miller is a certified spin instructor and is hoping to teach her first class very soon! She also plans to do a 40 mile bike ride in September.