With the summer months approaching, you may be thinking it’s time to dust off those running shoes or break out your bicycle as a way to start getting in shape again.
But don’t begin exercising without a plan because that’s the quickest path to an injury, says Colleen Palomaa, director of fitness at VIDA Fitness.
Exercises like running or biking can quickly lead to repetitive use injuries, so she recommends incorporating strength training into any exercise regimen.
“One of the most common ways I see people become injured is from deciding to run a 5K or a marathon without much preparation. When taking on any new activity, incorporating cross-training and working with a personal trainer can help you do this successfully and safely,” said Palomaa.
She further explained, “If you’re not training in all planes of motion, then you grow strong in specialized ways and the surrounding muscles are weaker. You can create imbalances that way. For instance, if you’re just running or biking, you’re not strengthening muscles that support side-to-side movements, leaving you prone to injury.”
To combat the imbalance, Palomaa recommends doing other workouts that use other muscles. Cross-training classes such as HIIT (high-intensity interval training) are ideal, but so are Pilates and yoga. Palomaa also highly recommends VIDA’s personal training.
“VIDA has focused on assembling the best team of personal trainers. Think of personal trainers as a coach. Any athlete wouldn’t dream of working out without a coach – and some sports even have multiple coaches. That’s why we invest so much in providing the best personal trainers. We want to give our members the best foundation for a healthy life,” said Aaron Moore, director of operations for VIDA Fitness.
Palomaa acknowledged that some people believe they have to get in shape before coming to the gym and working with a personal trainer. “We know people who believe they have to be in top shape to work with a trainer, or even to take a fitness class, and that’s just not the case. We at VIDA are here to work with them no matter where they are starting from. We can help people learn how to do a squat properly. Our fitness classes provide communal motivation to keep moving. We want to help people accomplish their fitness, nutrition, and overall health goals,” she said.