Cardio Substitution for a Bad Knee
I have just made my first effort to work on some cardio substitution for my arthritic knee. It’s been just a few days since the doctor x-rayed my right knee and told me that the cartilage had worn down and that it was arthritis. I had hoped that I’d be able to jog eventually, but this doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I wanted to discover something else to do for cardio in the event that continual walking could become too difficult.
I have told my dilemma to several others who promptly told me to take up cycling to take the impact off of my knee. One fellow is a regular rider of the Silver Comet Trail; and he has a $6,000 bicycle, with all the gear, bike rack and biker clothes, helmets, etc. Too much money and too much trouble. If something is too much trouble, then I won’t do it! I had read in Southern Living magazine an article about 3 ladies who get together and take spinning class 2 or 3 times a week. So I decided to try this this for a cardio substitution choice. Since no one I knew had taken a spinning class, I didn’t know what to expect.
My First Spinning Class Experience
My instructor, bless her heart, was a drill sergeant type in persona. It kind of made me chuckle because it seemed a little put on, but I used her “enthusiasm” to get into the class. Anyhow, we got on our stationary bikes, she turned on the music and we started. The music that she played was some of that techno stuff they used to play in clubs, but I found it just fine for the activity.
We did interval training, climbing, sprinting, cruising to lower our heart rate and a nice cool down at the end that included some good stretching. It was definitely a whole body workout. I am proud that I made it all the way through the class without being in pain. However, since my legs are not developed as good as a seasoned cyclist, I opted not to do most of the drills where you stood up while pedaling, because I didn’t know how my knees would react. I discovered that while my body is in pretty decent shape, there are whole different muscles used in cycling in different ways, so I did not want to overdo it. The day after, I definitely felt this workout and realize I need to let a few days pass before I do it again.
Cycling/Spinning and One’s Vulnerable Areas
My only question about spinning is how it affects one’s sensitive areas. I have heard that the biker shorts have padded derrieres, but are the other vulnerable areas protected as well? There must be some way to work around this since there are many cyclists in the world. The day after my spinning class I am here to say: don’t do any prolonged cycling as in a spinning class or outdoors without the proper bike shorts for protection because your sensitive areas will be feeling the repercussions for a few days!
Spinning is Lower Maintenance than Cycling
I like spinning because for me, it is low-maintenance. You just show up with a willingness to work and plenty of water* There is no bike rack or helmet or 30 minute drive to the Silver Comet Trail to ride. The only special equipment needed is cycling shorts. I could regulate the tension/resistance on my bike and I could tighten it up or ease it back depending on where my body was at. It burns far more calories than my walking and uses new muscle groups, I love it! As long as spinning doesn’t “kill” my middle-aged body, this exercise is a keeper.
Any other spinners out there? Any words of advice to those of us who are beginners? Would love to hear your take on spinning!
*I recommend 2 16 oz bottles.