July 3, 2015

Re-posting "Spinning, Cycling’s Medicine"

I'm re-posting "Spinning, Cycling’s Medicine" from my August 23, 2013 post. I was the speaker last week at a Parkinson's Support Group meeting and talked about Yoga and it's benefits. I also talked about this study being done on spinning for Parkinson's and how I noticed similar benefits with my Multiple Sclerosis. I gave them my website and wanted to re-post to make it easy for them to locate the post as well as share with others.

Happy & Healthy,
Yoga Chuck


Spinning, Cycling’s Medicine:
Spinning on a bike is great medicine whether you’re on the road or a stationary bike. I’m not talking about a spinning class although it is part of the class and yes those classes are good for you. This blog shows amazing benefits for spinning, especially if you have a neurological disorder. Even if you don’t read any further watching this video is a must. Click watch on You Tube when it comes up.

First what is spinning? Spinning is revolutions of the the pedals or cadence. The healthy cadence I’m talking about is with light resistance and high revolutions.

To get the most health benefit from spinning your RPM (revolutions per minute) should be about 90-95 RPM. This is also the the RPM the body is most efficient at. Most cyclists  pedal at a cadence of 75-95 RPM. To calculate your RPMs count one leg revolving each complete circle. So for example count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. Also you can buy a bike computer that shows your cadence for as low as $30. I live by this when riding.

As the above video shows they are on a tandem and being forced into the higher cadence. Obviously this is not an option for most of us, so take your time and start out slow, getting the body used to the riding mechanics and building some endurance with comfort. Over time start working on increasing your cadence, you may never reach 90 RPM but the way I see it 60 RPM is better than 0 RPM. Remember use as little resistance as possible when starting out so you’re able to spin without pushing much resistance (big gear) so the focus is on your RPMs.

When I ride outside or on a spinner the cadence is what I focus on the most, if I’ve got my cadence at 90-95 RPM everything else takes care of itself.

When climbing hills, riding in town or other situations that you need your attention for safety put the cadence on the back burner. Use common sense when to decide if it is safe to be watching your RPM.

The health benefits of spinning: burns fat, strengthens the heart, tones muscles,  increases endurance, works the core, coordination, reduces stress,…

The main benefit of this spinning blog is to shed light on what it can do for you if you have a neurological disorder like Parkinson,  Multiple Sclerosis,.. If you have not watched the video at the top of the blog please do.

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS). When I was at my worst I couldn’t ride bike but when I was able I got back on a trainer and started slow working my way back to spinning. Every time I got off the bike all my physical disabilities were gone for several hours. The dropped leg, electric shock as well as depression were like they never existed.

So what does spinning have to do with Yoga. Well everything has something to do with Yoga but here are a few pointers when riding your bike. Cycling helps improve our posture by the use of stabilizer muscles found in your trunk, hips and shoulders. Improvement by strengthening these muscles helps to enhance our posture. As you can see in the video below that my spine is elongated lengthening forward not rounding and my head is an extension of the spine. Alignment when standing with the hips over the pedals that directs more direct weight to the pedals. Also notice the knees being close to the center line which also lines up the feet, knees, thighs on up into the hips all healthy for the body and cycling is a none impact exercise.

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