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Fuel Your Ride

energy bar ingredients

 Happy National Nutrition Month®!

 

That’s right – March is National Nutrition Month®, and even though March is almost over, it’s gotten us thinking about the importance of properly powering your body and your ride at Spynergy.

 

If you ride with us, or you’re thinking about taking your first class, you’re already taking care of your fitness and fun needs.  But what about a third important F: fuel?

 

What is the ideal way to fuel your ride, and your day?

 

“The best thing to do is to keep your tank just above half-full all day long,” says new Spynergy rider and dietician/personal chef Jessica Krane, M.S., R.D.  “Our bodies are more efficient than we realize, and in order to protect us, our metabolisms will slow down to conserve energy if we don’t eat often enough.”

 

Sounds good to us! 

 

Just like Spinning®’s awesome after-burn effect, Jessica explains that “if we keep our blood sugars steady and consistent, our bodies will start to burn at a steady and consistent rate as well.  This means eating mini-meals every 2 – 3 hours.”

 

In an ideal world, Jessica recommends staying away from what many busy people rely on: processed, packaged foods, including energy bars.  An ideal replacement is to make your own energy bar, and we’ve included Jessica’s delicious recipe below.

 

If you need the convenience of a store-bought bar, Jessica recommends organic bars that don’t promise “to change your life and body in one serving.”  For a burst of extra energy, our bodies run best on complex carbohydrates and protein.  So any bar that says “muscle mania” or “power protein” is probably not what you need. A balanced energy bar like Lara Bar or Kind bars are two of Jessica’s favorites: pure and basic, not to mention pretty delicious. 

 

Jessica's Spynergy Energy BarsJessica’s Spynergy Energy Bar

 

Ingredients:

 

1 cup Rolled Oats

½ cup 100% unprocessed wheat bran

¼ cup Pecans (or nut of your choice)

1 Tb Chia Seeds

2 Tbs Flax Seeds

4 – 6 pitted dates

2 egg whites

¼ cup honey

Strawberry (or other fruit) jam or compote

 

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 375º.

 

Put first six ingredients in a Vitamix or electric mixer. Blend until ground. Remove and put in a mixing bowl. Add egg whites and honey, mix well with wooden spoon and spoon into 8 x 8 baking dish pretreated with a non-stick cooking spray (Jessica likes Spectrum, available at Whole Foods).  Press mixture into dish, and spread fruit jam or compote on top (you can also keep them plain or experiment with other toppings).

 

Bake 20-25 minutes or until a bit crispy on the edges.  Let cool and harden and cut into bars.

 

Additional options:

 

  • Add all natural peanut, almond or cashew butter to the bar for an extra boost of protein and energy.
  • Add fruit, dried fruit, additional nuts or seeds to mixture before baking.

 

With significant experience in nutrition, health counseling and cooking, Jessica Krane, M.S., R.D., regularly contributes nutrition related topics to fitness and health magazines, websites and books.  As a dietitian, Jessica counsels patients on a range of health issues, including sports nutrition, obesity, weight loss, weight management, eating disorders, pre and post-natal nutrition, diabetes and coronary heart disease.  You can reach Jessica at jessicakrane@gmail.com, and can read more about her work at www.cookingwithauntjess.com.

 

Spynergy has provided indoor cycling classes to Wellesley, Needham, Natick, Weston, Wayland, Chestnut Hill, and other Boston area residents since 2005.  Join us for great music, great instructors, and a super community of riders having fun!

 


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The Importance of Play

guiness

 

“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”

                                                                    – Oscar Wilde

Last week, Bill brought a bit of St. Patrick’s Day fun to Spynergy, throwing a little party with Guinness as a post-class reward.  Fun is part of our mantra here at Spynergy, and if you’ve been to a class, you know how that fun feels.  But what you might not know is how psychologically and physically important it is to have fun – to play – as an adult.

 

As George Bernard Shaw said, “we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Studies have shown that laughter and play help relieve physical pain, bring us happiness shovelin other areas of our lives, and increases immunity. Laughter reduces our levels of stress hormones (cortisol, epinephrine, dopamine and others) and increases hormones that boost health, like endorphins. Playing creates a stronger immune system, enhancing overall effectiveness of T cells by increasing our number of antibody-producing cells.

 

On days when you’re thinking that you’re just too busy at work to take time out for a Spin® class, think about this: research has shown that playing and having fun make you more creative, and increase your productivity. In fact, when adults play, the areas of the brain that increase mental clarity and memory light up.

 

In his Ted Talk on the importance of play for adults, Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, explains that having fun is not just enjoyable, it’s essential.  “Nothing lights up the brain like play,” he says, going on to discuss play’s role in intelligence, social and emotional development, creativity and longevity.

 

There aren’t a lot of Spin® studios where you’ll laugh (while working harder than you thought possible) during an indoor cycling class, have your instructor pouring pints of Guinness after class, or whose Facebook page will showcase a photo of a shovel to make you laugh (so that you won’t cry) at the end of an endless winter. Join us at Spynergy this week, and light up your creative brain, improve your memory and immunity, and…have FUN!

 

Spynergy has provided indoor cycling classes to the communities of Wellesley, Needham, Natick, Wayland, Weston, Chestnut Hill and the greater Boston area since 2005.  Come ride with us for a great workout, great music and lots of fun!


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St. Paddy's Playlist, a Spynergy special top o' the morning

For the 9th consecutive year....Spynergy featured a special "Guiness-fueled" spin class.  Irish music, soda bread, beer....6:00 am.  Which of these does not seem right?  (On Saint Patricks Day).  For those of you who attended....THANKS, you rock.  For those of you that missed it....good move. Here's the Playlist:

 

 


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Trying an Indoor Cycling Class at Spynergy

Spynergy_Interior_2a

 

What You Don’t Have to Worry About

 

Trying a new workout, especially in a class environment, can be a little intimidating.  If you’re thinking about trying Spinning® we hope that you’ll join us at Spynergy for a low-stress, low-key but high-impact (and by impact, we don’t mean the kind that’s hard on your knees) workout that’s fun.

 

 

 

Here are some things you don’t have to worry about at Spynergy:

 

1)      Taking “someone else’s” bike.  We do have regulars who join us a lot at Spynergy, and we hope you’ll become one of them!  But people don’t claim “spots” or take certain bikes.  Last week, we watched two experienced riders quietly help someone who was in class for her first time – giving her tips about the class, helping her check in and showing her where the water, towels and bathrooms were.

 

2)      Wearing the “right” outfit.  While you’ll want to be comfortable (wear what you’d wear for any workout) there is no unspoken dress code and you don’t have to wear special cycling shoes.  When you’ve been riding for a bit, you may decide to invest in cycling-specific shoes (which can clip in to the bike’s pedals, making things more efficient and giving you great foot support) or shorts/pants (with padding for added comfort) but those things are optional, not required.

 

3)      What to bring.  Bring yourself, your sneakers and a water bottle.  We have a water cooler where you can fill your bottle, and we provide small towels for you to use during class. Leave your Smartphone and the stress of your day behind.

 

4)      How to set up your bike.  We hope you’ll join us for a Free Intro/Learn the Basics class (you can sign up online here).  But no matter which class you choose, you can arrive a little early and let the instructor know that you’re new – he or she will get you set up on your bike.  You can also check out a helpful Intro-to-Spin® video on our website.

 

5)      Whether it’ll be too hard (or too easy) for you.  One of the greatest things about a ride at Spynergy is that you are in charge of your workout. No one is going to walk around looking at your resistance or checking up on you.  You control the resistance and can work at your own level.  Our instructors will motivate you to give it all you’ve got, but the motivation will be positive and fun.  No matter what your fitness level is, we bet you’ll find that the class will fly by.

 

6)      That you’ll look like you don’t know what you’re doing.  Unlike dance-based classes in mirrored studios, at Spynergy, once the ride gets underway, we dim the lights.  Chances are good you won’t see other riders, and they won’t see you. 

 

“I was pretty nervous about going to my first class,” says a rider who has now taken dozens of classes over several years at Spynergy.  “But I was the only one in the Free Intro class, and the instructor was so nice. And I loved that the lights were out in my first “real” class – no one knew I was new! Everyone was friendly, and now I can’t believe that I was ever nervous – Spynergy is where I escape stress!”

 

Spynergy has provided indoor cycling classes for Wellesley, Newton, Needham, Boston, Chestnut Hill, Weston, Natick and Metro West residents since 2005.  Spynergy provides our riders with a great cardio workout, great fitness and great fun! 

 


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Indoor Cycling to Lose the Winter Weight

Katie 3_Spynergy_Portraits_161Happy March! Spring is right around the corner (we hope) and if you’re like most people, you may have gained a few pounds this winter.

 

"Although seasonal weight gain varies from person to person, there have been surveys that show an average of a five to seven pound gain in weight in winter," says Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center and associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

 

Riding at Spynergy is a fun, safe and effective way to leave winter pounds behind.

 

Indoor Cycling Can Shred Winter Pounds

 

Estimates vary, but you can expect to burn between 450 and 650 calories during an indoor cycling class, and as many as 850 calories depending on how much you weigh and how hard you’re working. Unlike many workouts, classes at Spynergy keep you motivated and working intensely for 50 minutes. They also use principles of high intensity interval training to maximize calorie burn (and cardio stamina improvement) and to insure that your body will keep burning calories for hours after you get off the bike.

 

However, it’s important to combine healthy eating with a Spin® workout – as the saying goes, great abs aren’t made in the gym, they’re made in the kitchen. Check back for an upcoming blog post on choosing healthy snacks to fuel your workout, and be sure that you’re drinking a lot of water.

 

Another great benefit of a Spynergy class is that you will drink a lot of water – you’ll need to, and you’ll want to! Drinking water before your class will likely speed the rate at which you burn calories: one German study found that both men and women who drank 17 ounces of water before their workout increased their metabolic rates by 30%. But don’t just fill your water bottle before class – fill it after class, too, and keep drinking.

 

A class at Spynergy will also reduce stress and elevate your mood – both of which will make you less likely to reach for a cookie (or five). And finally, the type of exercise you do in an indoor cycling class has been shown to increase your levels of satiety hormones, which counteract ghrelin. Ghrelin is an appetite hormone that stimulates hunger, and vigorous exercise, especially when performed consistently, will fight the effects of ghrelin, decreasing hunger and helping you to eat less.

 

For more information from this post, you can visit:

 

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/the-appetite-workout/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

 

Spynergy has provided indoor cycling classes for Wellesley, Newton, Needham, Boston, Chestnut Hill, Weston, Natick and Metro West since 2005. Spynergy provides a great cardio workout, great fitness and great fun!


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Music That Makes You Move

 

Music ImageRide on and rock on?

 

Recent studies have proven what most of us already knew: music can completely change a workout. Music motivates us, and can help us work harder, for longer. It can make a workout fly by (or drag on forever). Everyone knows that music sets a mood – can you imagine Jaws with a happy, lilting tune? Or a tense scene in Homeland set to Pharrell Williams’ Happy?

 

A basic principle, called entrainment or synchronization, means that music has helped humans work harder for thousands of years. “You go all the way back to rowers on the Roman Galleys,” says Carl Foster, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin. “The guy is sitting there beating on his drum and he drives the basic rhythm of the rowing. Part of that is coordination – you want the rowers to row together – but part of it is that people will naturally follow a tempo. It’s just something about the way our brains work….you want to pedal a cycle at the rate of the dominant beat of the music.”

 

So what is the ideal beat, and how do you find music that will help you work harder, longer?

 

Leave that to the instructors at Spynergy.

 

We understand how important the right music is. Spynergy instructors also understand the three primary things about music that researchers have found can influence performance:

 

1) Human’s tendency to move in time with music;

 

2) That music can increase our desire to move rather than sit still; and

 

3) Music’s ability to distract exercisers from discomfort or fatigue.

 

“Music is like a legal drug for athletes,” says Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D., of London’s Brunel University School of Sport and Education. “It can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent.”

 

There are websites that can help you find music that will match your cadence depending on the activity you are engaged in – finding songs that have a BPM (beats per minute) that matches your stride or speed (www.songbpm.com is one). Or, you can come ride with us at Spynergy – where someone else has done all that math and work for you!  View playlists / play music directly from our blog!

 

Check out previous blog posts and Spynergy's Facebook page for playlists, and links to videos we've played in class. We promise to provide music that will keep you motivated, working hard, and having fun.

 

Spynergy has provided indoor cycling classes for Wellesley, Newton, Needham, Boston, Chestnut Hill, Weston, Natick and Metro West since 2005. Spynergy provides a great cardio workout, great fitness and great fun!


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