Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spinning and Yoga

I know that today is 'Fat Tuesday' and everyone wants to over-indulge in things before they give them up, but I'm posting about two of my favorite things that I will never give up, spinning/biking and yoga. I found these great lists of benefits of the two on some websites and I had to share :)

Ten Benefits of Spinning Exercises

By Wendy Dawn on www.coloradoadventure.com
Ten Reasons Mount a Spinning Bike: Burn, Burn, Burn Calories
I wasn't fond of spinning when I started because it was hard on my lazy legs. However, as I began to get accustomed to the work out and saw the pounds begin to melt away faster than they had when I worked out on any other cardio equipment I was hooked.
A good thirty minute workout on a Spinning Cycle can burn as much as 500 calories. Even at challenging levels other cardio equipment couldn't burn that many calories in such a short time. I usually do a workout that is 50 minutes to an hour long. Longer workouts burn from 800 to 1,000 calories.
Ten Reasons to Mount a Spinning Bike: Cardiovascular Health
Spinning is primarily an anaerobic exercise, pulling energy from your reserves and building up your muscular endurance over an extended period of time. However, there are also aerobic benefits of Spinning. Planned Spinning programs include both endurance and cardiovascular training during the workout. At several points you may be required to break your steady pace and speed up to increase your heart rate.
Heart health is an obvious benefit, as is lung capacity. As you work harder during your Spinning workout you will learn to work on controlled breathing, as well. This may help you with anxiety and help lower your heart rate when you get into a situation where physical exertion begins to take your breath away.
Ten Reasons to Mount a Spinning Bike: Progress at Your Own Pace
Whether following a live instructor or video, the amount of resistance you apply, as you gain strength and endurance is up to you. Each spinning bike has a resistance control knob within easy reach of the handle bars. It works something like switching gears.
While instructors recommend an RPM, as you work toward increasing your RPM and maintaining a steady pace you can't fall behind the rest of the class. You don't feel out of place for not knowing an aerobic or step routine. No one really knows what level at which you are working, so you are free to progress at your own pace.
I was glad of that when I began spinning and ran the entire class with little to no resistance. I'm glad I can progress at my own pace now, because some days I want to add more resistance and work out harder.
Ten Reasons to Mount a Spinning Bike: Time Flies
Have you ever walked or ran on a treadmill for an hour only to discover you burned around 400 calories? Did you enjoy the time on the treadmill? The treadmills at the gym where I am a member have a personal television mounted to help you pass the time. I still find it irritating to walk or run in place for thirty minutes to an hour. For me, the television makes it worse. It slows me down andannoys me to work out with the T.V. on. Time, when I'm on the treadmill, creeps by very slowly.
On the spinning bike, the challenge is constantly changing. As I work through each level I tend to lose track of time. There are training videos that take you along with a group of riders through Las Vegas or Colorado. The scenery is beautiful and also helps distract me as time passes. When I'm in a more contemplative move, I can close my eyes on the bike and think.
Ten Reasons to Mount a Spinning Bike: Low Impact
I have several friends who avoid the treadmill, elliptical, and stair stepper because of the traumatic impact on their knees or feet. Spinning keeps the pressure off of your knees and feet. You are able to work out hard on a Spinning bike without hurting your knees and feet. It is also a good workout for those who cannot use the treadmill or elliptical because of arthritis. I have friends who are able to join a Spinning workout who simply cannot stand the pain of high impact cardiovascular workouts.
Ten Reasons to Mount a Spinning Bike: Shapely Legs
It will not take long for your efforts on a spinning bike to show up as weight loss, but there is another great benefit to Spinning. Spinning uses large muscle groups in your legs. It does not take long before your thighs, hamstrings, and calves begin to take shape. Three spinning workouts a week will make a difference in the shapely appearance of your leg.
Ten Reasons to Mount a Spinning Bike: Lower Your Body's Workout Breaking Point
As you learn to work harder on the spinning bike you will begin to find that the breaking point, at which you begin to feel the workout, will become lower the harder you work. For me, the benefit is that once I reach a breaking point and work through it, I get the natural endorphin kick that most athletes enjoy.
The great thing about working your body into this kind of shape is that you feel better without the use of drugs. You feel better throughout the day following a workout and you have more energy. You are simply training your body to work more efficiently.
Ten Reasons to Mount a Spinning Bike: Get an Ab workout while You Spin
Spinning instructors never give up when it comes to talking about technique and posture. Correct posture is important to working the right muscle groups. In addition to the major leg muscles worked during a Spinning routine, the abdominal muscles get a workout, as well.
As you spin, unlike racing a bike on the road, you get an upper body rhythm going that helps you keep your leg rhythm. The movement from a slightly bent position and side to side works both the central abdominal muscles and those along the side of your abdomens.
You may not see immediate results of your abdominal work, but over time you will feel your entire body begin to tone up, including your abs.
Ten Reasons to Mount a Spinning Bike: Ride Together
Regardless of your fitness level riding Spinning bikes keeps everyone together. This goes beyond sitting in the same spinning class, but each individual works equally as hard at their own level. It is amazing how you can feed off of the energy of other riders when you begin to fatigue and start thinking you might want to quit.
Riding together also gives you the opportunity to encourage others. You can inspire those who have not yet reached your level of fitness, while those stronger than you inspire you. Working together, everyone who spins can reach their goals.
Ten Reasons to Mount a Spinning Bike: Mental Strength
I've found Spinning does two things for me mentally. First, the warm up and cool down are great ways to relax. Before and after putting my body through a strenuous Spinning workout I can close my eyes, work just a little, and allow the physical exertion to become a catharsis for releasing pent-up emotions.
Spinning also builds mental strength. When you spin, there are good days and bad. The important thing is that you carry through with your regular Spinning routine. Push through difficult times. Push up hill climbs and push through endurance training.
Self discipline of the mind gained in spinning can be applied to all areas of life. I have found it most beneficial in areas of self-control and confidence. Spinning helps develop a positive, "can do" attitude.
Trainers recommend Spinning no more than three days a week. In addition to Spinning, strength training is recommended so that Spinning does not burn away muscle, but burns the fat you want to get rid of.

From www.healthyoga.com:

Top 10 Benefits of Yoga

The benefits of yoga are extensive. Not only does yoga affect the physical aspect of the body, it addresses the mind and spirit as well. Daily exercises are a great way to help relieve the stress of your day and can bring a sense of well-being to your life. Here are the top ten benefits of yoga.

1. Stress Relief

Yoga can help reduce the effects of stress on your body. One of the benefits of yoga is that it encourages relaxation and can lower the amount of cortisol in your body.

2. Pain Relief

Daily exercises of yoga can help ease the aches and pains of the body. Many people with very serious diseases have reported less pain after these daily exercises, such as asanas or meditation.

3. Better Breathing

You will learn to take deeper, slower breaths with daily exercises of yoga. It will help to increase your lung function and set off the body's relaxation response. This can be one of the most powerful benefits of yoga.

4. Flexibility

You will notice your level of flexibility will increase, which will help with your range of motion. Sometimes in the yoga daily exercises, people cannot even touch their toes. The benefits of yoga will include lengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body to help you become more flexible.

5. Increased Strength

Yoga poses use all the muscles in your body and help you increase your strength level from head to toe. The benefits of yoga and daily exercises will help you strengthen your muscles close to the bones, which increase the support of your skeletal system as well.

6. Weight Management

You will see the benefits of yoga begin to affect your scale. Daily exercises are always recommended, but yoga helps reduce the level of cortisol in your body. This aids in weight loss and fat burning.

7. Improved Circulation

Yoga will help improve your body's circulation. In turn, with daily exercises, you will see the benefits of yoga with lowered blood pressure and pulse rates.

8. Cardiovascular Conditioning

Even the most gentle style of yoga will help to lower your resting heart reate and increase your overall endurance. This is one of the important benefits of yoga to help improve the amount of oxygen taken in during the daily exercises.

9. Focus on the Present

You can have greater coordination, memory skills, reaction times, and improved concentration skills by utilizing yoga for daily exercises. These benefits of yoga will extend far out of the yoga center.

10. Inner Peace

What more could you want. This is one of the primary reasons that people do daily exercises of yoga. This is one of the most important benefits of yoga and is also one of the more easy ones to attain.

The benefits of yoga are very far reaching indeed. There is no one other exercise avenue you can take that will address all of these issues in one simple session. For those of you that think yoga is too easy, I encourage you to try one class. You may find it is just what you are looking for.