How to Stay Safe With New Workout Trends

November 11, 2019

Clinical Contributors to this Story

Michael D Dambeck, D.O. contributes to topics such as Orthopedics.

Sagar Parikh, M.D. contributes to topics such as Pain Management.

Stephen G. Silver, M.D. contributes to topics such as Orthopedic Surgery.

If you’re in the market for a new fitness routine, the options can seem endless and confusing. Making the right choice requires you to think about your preferences, fitness goals, ability level and any health conditions.

“Every workout comes with its own benefits and its own set of precautions,” says Stephen G. Silver, M.D., an orthopedist affiliated with Hackensack University Medical Center.

To make sure you and your new workout are compatible, check with your doctor to get the green light. Michael Dambeck, D.O., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Ocean Medical Center, recommends getting professional instruction as you begin your new fitness program.

“While many workouts can be done at home, beginning with a trainer or an instructor-led class not only makes your workout more social and fun, but it also ensures that you are doing the moves correctly and safely,” Dr. Dambeck says. “No exercise program is effective if you end up injured.”

Ready to explore some fitness trends? Here’s a short guide to popular workouts, along with any special precautions.

Love to dance?

If you’re looking for a rounded workout that includes cardio, Zumba might be for you. It’s an interval workout, meaning classes switch between high- and low-intensity dance moves. Because there are jumps, bouncing and other high-impact moves involved, if you are pregnant, experience knee or back pain, or have arthritis, you may need to modify the workout with the help of an instructor.

Looking for more weight training?

CrossFit is a great option. CrossFit is a constantly varied workout that utilizes functional movements at high intensity. Functional movements mimic things you do outside of the gym, such as carrying groceries and climbing stairs. While it can sound like the intensity of CrossFit is only for the extremely fit, a coach can help modify the workout for beginners of any age or ability.

Want more toning or flexibility?

If you’re already incorporating cardio into your routine, a workout such as Pilates might be a great addition. These workouts are low impact and focus on strengthening muscles through specific movements. Because they are low impact, they’re suitable for everyone, and instructors can modify a workout if you are pregnant, recovering from an injury, or have a disability or other health condition.

Looking for an intense full-body blast?

Bootcamps might be your answer. They offer variety and increased intensity. Workouts generally include a mix of aerobic, strength training and speed elements. While safe, bootcamps might be too challenging for people who aren’t already in shape. If you are older than age 40, are pregnant, haven’t exercised for some time or have certain health conditions, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a bootcamp class.

Listen to your body

As always, pay attention to your body’s warning signs to know if you’re pushing

too hard during your workouts. “Red flags include chest pain, lightheadedness, joint pain that doesn’t loosen up or go away after exercising, and shortness of breath that wasn’t there before the activity,” says Sagar Parikh, M.D., Pain Fellowship director at JFK Medical Center and director of the Center for Sports and Spine Medicine at JFK.

Dr. Silver practices in Hackensack. To make an appointment, call 551-996-8830. Dr. Dambeck practices in Sea Girt. To make an appointment, call 732-974-8100. Dr. Parikh practices in Edison. To make an appointment, call 732-321-7757.

Get more expert advice on exercising safely and preventing injury.

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.