Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

To Spin or Not to Spin

What is your opinion Spinning? What should I look for in a program or instructor?

Answer (Published 4/11/2003)

Updated 4/01/2005

Spinning is actually one of several brand names for a type of exercise called group indoor cycling, which involves biking to music under the direction of an instructor. Fitness expert Dan Bornstein tells me that group indoor cycling is one of the safest group fitness classes available because each cyclist is in complete control of his or her workout.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Your Whole Body - Foods, herbs and drugs can all interact, sometimes in unexpected ways. Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor takes known interactions into account when developing nutritional supplement recommendations, to help safeguard against adverse effects. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor recommendation today.

Although instructors may urge you to pedal faster, you control your own level of resistance and revolutions per minute (rpms). What's more, Dan says that group indoor cycling is a very effective way to burn calories and lose weight and is also a wonderful cross-training tool for someone accustomed to walking or jogging for exercise. However, he does offer a few cautions for first-timers:

  • Make sure you're set up properly on the bike; your instructor should be able to help.
  • Realize that you're going to be a bit "saddle sore" after the first few classes. This will improve over time. You can get special cushioning cycling shorts to ease the discomfort, but they're expensive, and you may not want to make the investment until you know that you like the classes.
  • Be wary of instructors who don't know you, but push you beyond your limits (this doesn't apply to instructors who know your body and exercise goals).
  • If you don't like the instructor or his or her choice of music, try another class with a different instructor. If after three instructors, you still don't like the classes, find some other type of exercise that you do enjoy.
  • Listen to your body. Slow down and stop pedaling if you're out of breath, feel nauseous or faint.
  • Check with your doctor if you're under 14 or over 40 and haven't exercised before.
  • Make sure that the studio or gym is well equipped for group indoor cycling and that the instructors are certified as group fitness and/or group indoor cycling or Spinning instructors.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here