At Wellness Center, Spinners can hop on a bike to burn calories

If you are looking to burn calories, then hop on a bicycle - in the gym.

The Blount Memorial Wellness Center at Springbrook recently was recognized as an Official Spinning Center by The Spinning® Program, a program that offers energizing, cycling-inspired rides combining solid training principles, inspirational music and a unique mind/body philosophy.

Participating in a Spinning Program class helps participants burn an average of 600 calories, discover a leaner body, and increase stamina and muscular leg strength. The program, derived from real road cycling, is built from three basic hand positions and five core movements on a Spinning bike, set specifically for each person. Whether a beginner or a skilled athlete, all riders start at the same place and complete a 40-minute ride together.

Classes begin with a warm up, giving the body time to allow the heart rate to slowly increase and prepare for work. From that point, the instructor guides participants on flat roads, hills and jumps. Cadence, or RPM, is monitored on computers by each rider, and is considered an integral part of the Spinning Program. It allows riders to follow the instructor’s cues on cadence and resistance guidelines to maximize their own workout. Having this option helps engage each rider, but also ensures that he or she reaches their personal goals for strength, endurance or interval training.

For example, strength programs move slower as the resistance is high and cadence is lower, and an endurance ride consists of faster legs and a lighter resistance. Interval programs, on the other hand, involve a combination of the two with periods of rest after intense work.

Heart rate monitoring is highly encouraged. Your heart rate is the most important tool to gauge the effort your body expends during exercise, also keeping participants from overexertion. And as with any exercise program, participants should always clear the new class with their physicians prior to participating.

For competitive athletes who are training, the heart rate monitor can be used to program an exact training schedule. At beginner or advanced levels, the heart rate monitor maximizes the rider’s benefits of training time and effort.

The Spinning Program began 15 years ago and currently is the original and most recognized name in indoor cycling, recording more than 1 million people who have participated in the program. Classes welcome participants of all fitness levels, from beginners to skilled athletes.

Simply bring a water bottle and come dressed in work out clothes and athletic shoes with a closed toe. Then, you’ll be ready to climb on a bike and begin pedaling down a road of peak physical fitness.

On Saturday, Aug. 6, the Wellness Center at Springbrook invites community members, as well as its own members, to try a free class at 8:15 a.m. Because there only are a limited number of Spinning bikes, reservations are required. They can be made by calling 865-980-7100.

Additionally, Spinning 101, which is a six-week introduction to spinning class, begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10 and meets weekly on Wednesdays at either 9:30 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. through Sept. 14. The cost for non-members is $60.

Lindsey Bartholomew is a certified spinning instructor at the Blount Memorial Wellness Center at Springbrook.

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