Spring is a season of new beginnings - it evokes thoughts of renewal and hope for a better future. As Spinning® Instructors we have a unique opportunity to guide our students toward a more fulfilling life by creating space for them to examine their hopes and dreams. A basic tenant of the Spinning® program is that body follows mind - we can set this process in motion through thoughtful class design.
It is said that from a good beginning all else flows… By taking a few moments to orchestrate the environment our students enter we set the stage for success. We can provide an antidote to daily stress accumulation, increase perception, cognition and athletic performance by:
- adjusting lighting
- choosing music
- room layout
At this point you might be thinking “been there - done that!”, but let’s take a moment and examine each of the above variables in light of burgeoning and continuing research in each area.
Mounting research is shedding light on the effects of blue light (think Fluorescent’s and LED’s) and its ability to suppress melatonin and alter circadian rhythms. That said - let’s adjust lighting for the time of day. Our morning students require a different physiological response than our evening students. AND what about the middle of the day?
Studies have long shown that music can alter anxiety, heart rate variability, respiration, blood pressure, cortisol, and salivary IgA. In general our autonomic responses are synchronized with music. This allows us to powerfully affect our students’ physiological responses in class through our music selection. That’s right - we have the ultimate power! Our challenge is to integrate the physiological influences of music with the science of training and program design in order to produce optimum outcomes. I’d like to hear your experiences.
We often give cursory thought to our room layout - we might want to think again! The theory of Proxemics provides new food for thought. Proxemics is the theory of using measurable distance and space to make people feel comfortable or more relaxed while interacting with them. The theory provides a great template for placing students, bikes and ourselves in the perfect spot. Who knew?
I do know that every moment is an opportunity for a new beginning. I also know that by packing our tool bags full of knowledge and by sharing our experiences, we are able to assist our students with becoming more healthy, happy and fit than they ever dreamed possible. Let’s get started!
”Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe