New Year’s weight loss shouldn’t be a pain

Crossroads Fitness trainer Jess Cassinari directs Julie Scholes of Glade Park in the proper way to do one-armed rows during a one-on-one class at the gym.

Photo by Gretel Daugherty—Crossroads Fitness trainer Jess Cassinari instructs Julie Scholes of Glade Park on the proper way to do the crunch to toes exercise with a ball during a one-on-one class at the gym.

It’s the time of year to get in shape, get healthy, but some people will drop those first two goals after a workout-related injury dulls their appeal.

New Year’s resolutions can lead to New Year’s pain if people don’t attack a weight-loss goal properly. Dr. David Hansen of Brady Chiropractic Group, 514 28 1/4 Road, said weight loss is one of the top resolutions people make each year, but they don’t always pursue that resolution the right way.

“Most people go from zero to 60,” he said. “Most of the time they start without a trainer or without instruction, and most of the time they try to start where they left off, even if that was 20 years ago.”

Josh McGuire, head of the fitness program at Gold’s Gym, 700 Maldonado Way, said January is the gym’s busiest month of the year because of New Year’s resolutions. It’s also the time he’s most likely to see people under-eat and over-exercise, then end up incredibly sore.

Gold’s and Crossroads Fitness, which has locations at 2768 Compass Drive and 225 N. Fifth St., offer free personal training for new members to teach them proper workout techniques. McGuire said people are sometimes intimidated by the idea of working with a trainer, but they shouldn’t be.

“It teaches you what to do and what to avoid,” he said.

Crossroads Fitness nutrition coach and personal trainer Jess Cassinari said some of the most common injuries she sees among people who don’t take a trainer’s advice are in the knees, shoulders and lower back.

“If you twist the wrong way picking something up, you can hurt your back, and it’s very easy to hurt the shoulders if you don’t warm up,” she said.

To prevent injury, Cassinari suggests using active stretches such as moving side to side or doing jumping jacks as a warmup and using static stretches at the end of a workout to cool down muscles. She also recommends balance exercises to strengthen knee and ankle joints.

Dr. Randy Roman, clinical director at Roman Family Chiropractic, 2584 Patterson Road, recommends people who haven’t worked out in awhile start with a 15-minute walk once a day, then build from there to an attainable goal.

“I’d rather see someone go (to the gym) three times a week for six months than seven times a week for three weeks,” Roman said.

Trying to lift too much weight too soon, jog too many miles, or take workout classes back-to-back may sound like a great idea. But those actions can easily lead to injuries, Roman said. People who push too hard too soon can try to compensate for a lack of strength with improper form and end up working the wrong muscles or hurting themselves.

Dr. Greg Haitz of Rimrock Chiropractic, 1133 Patterson Road, No. 3, recommends circuit training to people who are new to working out. Switching between weight machines that work the upper body and the lower body can burn calories quickly while giving the body a rest. Plus, machines make it easier to maintain proper form than free weights.

Haitz recommends body-core workouts, such as pilates, to build strength around the midsection. For the inflexible, he suggests stretching workouts, such as yoga. Those who want to add cardiovascular training can modify exercise-class moves until they feel more comfortable or build the amount of time and energy they put into a workout to minimize the chance of strains and sprains.

“For most people, it takes at least six weeks to get tendons and ligaments conditioned” to exercise, Haitz said.

While some people suffer injuries that can take months to heal, Hansen said most of the people he sees in his office because of workout-related issues have simply misused their joints or muscles. If someone does make the mistake of overdoing it at the gym, he recommends they rest and elevate the affected area, put ice on it and wrap it when possible.

Roman said telling the difference between pain and the result of a good workout is easy.

“You should feel a dull, aching muscle, not pain in the joints or a shooting jolt of pain,” he said. “If you were doing core workouts and your calves are hurting, something’s not right.”


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