You’re thinking of joining a gym and you may be wondering what classes they have to offer. Perhaps you’re interested in martial arts or aerobics? A sign catches your eyes. Did you know spinning classes are a great way to get your heart pumping?

Maybe you’ve never heard of spinning before and that’s why you’re intrigued. Begun in 1987, spinning is non-impact and appropriate for people of all fitness levels and ages. It doesn’t matter if it’s been years since you were on a bicycle, this exercise class may be what you’re looking for.

Unlike normal bicycling, spinning is done on stationary bikes indoors. In an attempt to create a ride similar to what you’d experience outdoors, the bike can be adjusted to different resistances. Taking a spinning class will give you a mental work out as well as a physical one.

If you sign up for this type of class, expect it to last at least 40 minutes. You’ll have a certified instructor to lead the class. To simulate a ride outdoors, the instructor may recommend adjusting the resistance on the bike in order to experience the sensation of riding up a hill.

Expect to see people of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels in the class if you decide to take it. Classes are non-competitive and won’t damage your joints. They are good for older participants or those who aren’t as physically fit as others. An average class will burn about 500 calories but, depending upon your weight, it may be more.

As with any exercise program, it’s a good idea to have a check-up before beginning. The doctor will be able to ascertain if you have any health issues to be concerned about and whether this is the activity for you.

Positive effects of spinning include working large muscle groups; classes will improve muscle tone, particularly in the legs. It increases lung capacity and endurance. Within two or so weeks you should notice a difference in how you look and feel.

Be sure to do the warm-up and cool-down exercises. Jumping on a spinning bike without warming up is an injury waiting to happen. Take care to avoid repetitive-use injuries to the back, hips and knees by strengthening the inner thighs, buttocks muscles, and hamstrings. Having the bike at the proper height will also help you prevent injuries.

If you’re seriously interested in learning more about spinning classes, talk with the staff at the gym. They’ll be able to provide the information you need. After you’ve had a chance to look into spinning classes, you’ll see they’re a great way to get your heart pumping.