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Could Spin Class Land You In Urgent Care?

A somewhat rare disorder known as rhabdomyolysis is being observed in increasing numbers across the country, and overly intense workouts are to blame. Could taking a spin class send you to urgent care? Find out more about how you can guard against rhabdomyolysis in today’s blog.

Too Much Of A Good Thing

If exercise is good for you, more of it must be even better… right? Well, generally speaking, yes: but the human body can only handle so much. In the Urgent 9 blog, we’ve covered the rise and fall of various diet and exercise trends in the past, partly due to the potential dangers of these fad programs.


Spin class is an example of an activity that is definitely good for you, but many spin classes — and other intense cardio/full-body workout “boot camps” — need to be gradually worked up to. Someone who is not used to physical activity at an extremely intense, high level, can experience complications if they dive right into the deep end of exertion.


Doctors across the country are seeing a rise in instances of rhabdomyolysis, an affliction usually only seen in military trainees and other individuals with exhausting training regimens. In most all new cases, high-level spin classes and similarly intense workouts are to blame. Rhabdomyolysis is a serious condition, and needs to be treated by an urgent care center as soon as the patient begins experiencing symptoms.


What Is Rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis literally means “muscle breakdown.” It’s a condition that involves extreme levels of muscle soreness, inability to bend joints such as your knees, nausea, and dark brown urine. Essentially, in cases of rhabdomyolysis, you go beyond normal muscle tissue breakdown that might occur in regular levels of exercise, and disintegrate the muscle tissue to the point that it begins to release myoglobin into the bloodstream. This has a poisonous effect on your kidneys (hence the discolored urine and nausea), and if left untreated can essentially shut the kidneys down entirely, requiring dialysis.


Although activities such as P90x and CrossFit have caused reported cases of rhabdomyolysis, it’s spin class that has found itself in the crosshairs of doctors. The nature of a 45-60 minute spin class is extremely hard on the muscles of the legs, and class members may be pushed by the instructor or environment to keep spinning through high levels of pain and fatigue. When combined with a person who does not usually exercise and suddenly signs up for their first spin class, this is basically a perfect recipe for rhabdomyolysis.


Considering taking a spin class soon? Make sure you pay attention to what your body is telling you, and don’t overdo it your first few times. Exercise is critical for keeping the body healthy, but you should always consult with your physician and be sure to ramp up your fitness regimen appropriately instead of trying to go 110% your first time on the bike.

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