FITNESS COLUMN - Get in a spin if you want to burn calories

Health tips from Xercise4Less' fitness guru, The Colonel
Health tips from Xercise4Less' fitness guru, The Colonel

RACHAEL, 32, from Wigan asks: I love cycling to keep fit but now the evenings are getting darker I don’t feel safe cycling at night. My friend suggested trying spinning/indoor cycling, would you recommend it as an alternative?

The Colonel says: Rachael, cycling at night can be a scary prospect, and now the nights are drawing in the cold weather can be very unwelcoming.

Spinning is indeed an excellent alternative to street cycling and is also a brilliant way to improve overall fitness. As it’s indoors, there are no excuses when it comes to the weather and there’s no need to layer up with waterproof winter clothing, you just need your normal gym kit (and maybe your padded shorts!).

There are other benefits to spinning classes apart from being warm and indoors as well.

With spinning there are no dreaded punctures to repair, no traffic to deal with and you don’t have to worry about planning a route.

However, the main benefit of spinning classes is that you get to train with a group of like-minded people, all working hard and spurring each other on.

Whether you want to simply increase your fitness, lose weight or just have a warm, safe, indoor session then spinning is definitely for you.

Each spinning session is different and ranges from having you work on interval training to having you move up through the gears to ensure you push yourself.

The great thing about spinning is that you can go at your own pace, though the instructors will encourage you to cycle faster and push yourself; you can control the resistance on your bike to make the pedalling as easy or difficult as you want.

Spinning is also great for burning calories; a five-minute session can burn as many as 500 which is a huge amount compared to other types of workout.

It’s also great for building muscle as it works your core, thighs and glutes and I guarantee it’s the most fun you’ll ever have on a bike!