Weigh fitness risks to keep workouts safe

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Weigh fitness risks to keep workouts safe

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By Briana Hayes
Staff Writer

There are so many different forms of exercise out there. So how do you know which kind is the best for your fitness goals and which kind is just not good for you at all?

A very popular form of cardio exercise is spinning. Spinning is an indoor cycling workout that uses stationary cycles set at various speed and resistance levels.

Spinning can be great for burning calories and keeping your muscles, specifically those in your legs, toned and strong.

However, although spinning is a cardio workout, it is not the most efficient way to lose weight. There is one component of spinning that diminishes the exercise’s effectiveness in weight loss: when your weight is supported by the bike. When you remove your body weight from the equation, weight loss becomes a lot harder to achieve.

This problem is the same for machines like the elliptical and arc trainer. These machines are also very good choices for those who require low weight-bearing exercises due to stress fractures, poor knees, or other conditions.

Depending on what your goal is for cardio, this should alter your decision on what kind of cardio you should perform.

Another fad that has swept swiftly across the nation is CrossFit. CrossFit is defined as varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity, according to CrossFit.com.

CrossFit was founded in 2000 and since then has provided its cult-like following with a “Workout of the Day” each day consisting of various exercises ranging from cardio to resistance training.

CrossFit is controversial due to the fact that poor form is sometimes utilized throughout the duration of an exercise regime. While the philosophy of CrossFit is commendable, the actual practice is questionable in some cases. In addition, the certification of the coaches is also less regulated than in other fitness situations.

Home videos are another fitness fad. These may be dangerous as well, because although an individual can explain proper form, the person exercising does not have someone in front of them correcting their technique.

There is always a danger of improper form or technique causing injury if not corrected.

There are several videos posted by personal trainers such as P90X and Insanity. While both of these have led to incredible results, one has to be careful to stay safe.

Yoga is another incredibly popular fitness fad. Yoga encompasses the very important and often forgotten about component of fitness: flexibility.

Flexibility allows the range of motion at each joint to increase and in turn can decrease the incidence of injuries.

However, when yoga poses are performed incorrectly, the incidence of injury increases dramatically. Different yoga positions impact the body in different ways, and if an individual does not know how to properly execute a move, they can end up hurting themselves.

Yoga positions are often posted on social media even if poor form was used, if only because it “looks cool.”

Many of these exercises are beneficial and have proven results. However, because there are so many kinds of fitness fads, some may work better for you than others.

Ultimately, it is important to weigh potential risks and benefits to ensure that a new fitness regimen will not be more harmful than healthy.

Making personal fitness a priority should not come at the expense of physical wellbeing.