Fears about trying spin class are the same – with or without Parkinson’s. What if I fall off the bike? What if I can’t keep up? What if I don’t know how to operate and adjust the bike? I am definitely not the spandex wearing type so won’t I stick out like a sore thumb?
In short, you won’t, who cares, instructors are there to help and neither are most people – just wear something you can move in.
Our spin instructors are keeping a keen eye on spinners to ensure they are properly strapped in their bikes. We encourage you to pace yourself (you’re not racing the Tour De France!) and to stay hydrated throughout. Finally, we work with each participant to make sure they understand how to make adjustments to their spin bike.
As for spandex, which can be tricky to slip into, you can always opt for mountain biking shorts, also made from breathable fabrics but with elastic waist bands that are forgiving when mobility is limited.
There is a laundry list of benefits to taking a spin class and they include:
- Improve overall motor function and slow the progression of Parkinson’s symptoms.
- Reduce tremors – recent research has indicated this is possible if you raise your heart rate to 75% of its maximum. You may, or may not, need to pedal 80 rpm to get there
- Reduce instances of slow movement, aka bradykinesia
- Reduce stiffness
- Improve aerobic capacity – Your heart, blood vessels and lungs all get a workout
- Improve mood
- Improve posture – It seems counterintuitive but you will be more attuned to when you don’t have correct posture and you will also be strengthening the lower back muscles – all helping your posture!
- Improve coordination – we tend to become less well balanced with age and combined with Parkinson’s, improved balance and coordination = less falls
- Improve cognitive function
- Decrease stress and anxiety levels – According to Arthur Kramer, a researcher at the University of Illinois, cycling actually forces you to regulate your breathing and breathe deeper to expel any lingering CO2 – both key methods used to alleviate stress in non-riders, so you’re practicing proven clinical techniques.”
- Stronger leg muscles
- Low impact – easier on joints in your hips and knees
While Colorado residents enjoy nearly 300 days of sunshine, it doesn’t mean you need to be outside to ride your bike. In fact, there are disadvantages of outdoor cycling which include:
- Poorly maintained streets
- Lack of bike lanes
- Tension between bikers and drivers
- Slick, icy roads in the winter months
- Lack of control over your environment and drivers
Spin class is a way to garner the benefits of cycling, in a comfortable and supportive environment, while being guided by a knowledgeable spin instructor. We’re excited to begin offering spin classes for people with Parkinson’s this month! (January)
The only real way to know if a spin class is something you enjoy is to try one out. Make a spin class reservation beginning Tuesday, January 3rd. Our spin instructor, Bethany, is a certified personal trainer and has led classes for over 15 years.
We’ll let you in on a not so well kept secret about spin instructors. Many choose motivational music that can magically make those legs of yours spin! What about spinning’s connections to exercises you enjoyed previously? If you are someone who chased a runner’s high, there is a high likelihood you will find that same boost in a spin class – without the high impact on your knees and joints. Many former runners or walkers can be found on the seat of spin bike.
Even if you’ve never sat on a spin bike, this class was designed with you and your needs in mind. So leave those misgivings in the rear view mirror and join us!