How to stay in cycling shape in the winter

December 13, 2017

Tis the time of year when the mountain trails get very wet and frosty, and my likelihood of wiping out increases exponentially. So what is a mountain biking mama to do when she wants to stay in cycling shape but doesn’t want to end up in the ER?

Spinning! Yes, spinning!

Spinning can be a fun (no, really!!) exercise that provides a solid cardio workout no matter what your age or stage of fitness and obviously can be done in any weather conditions.

High tempo music, killer instructors, and different routines keep your workouts fresh and interesting, and for those of you who are a wee bit competitive (like me), it can be a good way to get your “race on” with fellow classmates.

Besides burning off a gajillion calories (so we can eat and drink more this holiday season right?!) what other health benefits can spinning offer?!

The Health Benefits of Spinning

According to Shape Magazine – here are several healthy reasons to incorporate spinning into your fitness routine.

  • Easy on the joints – Spinning is a low impact exercise which doesn’t put too much stress on your joints, making it ideal for people with injuries or older exercisers
  • Cardio workout – Spinning works your heart and your lungs to help you be more fit and reduce risk of health issues
  • Weight Loss (Ka-ching!!!) – You can burn up to 700 calories in one hour of spinning, which will help with weight loss goals
  • Build muscle – If you use resistance to emulate hill climbing in your spinning workout, you’ll help build more muscle and increase your strength
  • Build endurance – Spinning helps you build stamina and endurance, which will assist you with other tasks

Spinning can also help reduce stress and boost the immune system, which at this time of the year is a double bonus!!!

How to Find a Good Spin Studio

If spinning sounds like a workout you want to try, you’ll need to find a spin studio near you. When researching your options, you should try out a few different classes. Instructors are different, and you might like the style of one better than another.

A good instructor will focus on safety and encourage you to go at your own pace (and not make you cry when you are doggin it in class) . They will help you set up your bike if it’s your first visit. They’ll also direct you on when to switch settings for a steeper incline or more resistance as well as whether to stand or sit. However, they should understand that you need to go your own pace.

Part of a spinning routine is the music being played. Select a class that plays music which will get you motivated. While this may seem like a small part of the program, it can actually be a big deal. When the workout gets tough, the music can pull you through.

Spin Studios in Vancouver

If you live in or around Vancouver, you are lucky enough to have several choices for a spinning class.

  • Spin Society – this is a full-service studio which includes a solid cardio workout and strength training with hand weights along with choreography for fun.
  • Cadence Cycling Studio – the original spinning only gym, this studio provides a wide range of music for a tough but fun 50-minute workout.
  • Method Indoor Cycling – this studio features two locations: one in West Vancouver and one in Kitsilano with workouts for everyone from beginners to advanced.
  • Pulse Cycling Studio – you can book online with this studio and the first class is free for you to try out.
  • Cyklus Vancouver – you can link your bike to an account so you can review information and see that you’re getting the desired results.

Check out one of the spinning studios to find the best fit for your needs and experience all that spinning has to offer.

Spinning at Home

Spin studios are great, but there aren’t many that are open 24 hours. What if you want to skip rush hour traffic and get a spin session in after work?

The good news is that some of the best spin bikes are also available for home gyms.

Sunny Health and Fitness has a great track record for affordable bikes with highly rated customer reviews. Keiser has bikes that are used by professional spin studios, with models that include the M3, M3i, and M3 Plus.

Sunny bikes are generally available for under $300. For those with lots of dough to spend, Keiser spin bikes usually cost between $1,800 and $2,000, but you’ll struggle to find a better indoor cycling experience.

Happy winter cycling!



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