x
Breaking News
More () »

Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

Tips for getting healthy and staying safe in the new year

It’s a great time to hit the gym, but make sure you understand the risks involved with certain workouts.

CUMMING, Ga. — At the beginning of each year, people everywhere set fitness goals, hoping to live a healthier lifestyle. On many occasions, news year’s resolutions involve gym memberships. But, if you’re not careful, a new workout routine can do more harm than good.

“A lot of people need to understand that they have to be patient, and they have to take everything day by day,” Ali Razaak, supervisor at Fitness 1440 in Cumming, said. “They have to be very consistent in the gym. You can't expect to just come in one week and then achieve your goal.”

Like most gyms, Fitness 1440 is seeing an uptick in activity, and workers say it happens every year at this time.

“In January, it definitely gets a lot more busy, especially in the evenings,” Chris White, interim fitness director at the Flowery Branch location, said. “Every piece of equipment will most likely have somebody on it. The same goes for the weights. There will be someone on basically every machine, and every bench is taken.”

He said many of the people are returning members, but some are brand new.

“If you're a first-timer, you can't come in here and go all out on day one. You're more likely to get injured that way,” White said. “You have to find something you can do comfortably and then progress from there. What they're at risk of doing is pulling a muscle or ligament.”

Aside from the pain you’ll experience, getting injured in the gym can also mean a major setback for achieving your goals. And, according to the trainers, you don’t have to be lifting heavy to get hurt. In fact, you don’t have to be lifting at all. Overdoing the cardio exercises can also be detrimental to your health. Jennifer Molloy, a fitness instructor at Fitness 1440 in Cumming, recommended consulting with a doctor before starting any physical activity. Even then, she said, people tend to do too much too soon.

“Sometimes people go breathless, and then they get discouraged because it's painful,” Molloy said. “Take it easy. Go slow. Start with walking, then maybe move up to jogging and then to running and figure out different equipment that will work for you.”

She said listening to tunes can be beneficial, because it keeps you moving.

“Music is a big motivator when it comes to exercise, especially when it comes to cardio,” Molly said. “You're not really going to get a benefit from the cardio unless you work at least 20 minutes. So start with 20 minutes. Then, the next time you come, go 22 minutes, and then 25 minutes. Don't think you need to go to an hour, because it's not going to happen, not for a while.”

Make sure your goals are specific because the equipment you might use to lose weight is oftentimes different than the equipment you’d use to add muscle. However, there are plenty of workouts that incorporate cardio and strength training.

“If you hit the best of both worlds, it's going to be the most optimal for you to achieve your goal with whatever it is, whether it's weight gain or fat loss,” Razaak said. “The main thing is you have to give it time, and you have to be consistent.”

Want more Cumming news? Follow us on Facebook.

RELATED:

Women's self-defense class focuses on campus safety

Record shop goes up in flames weeks before grand re-opening

Local artist profile: Jim Duffy brings artist's touch to canvas - and wood