Layne Scoggins, Certified Personal Trainer

Are you using a fitness app or video to train? Heed these words.

Remember these people? Suzanne Somers, Jane Fonda, Susan Powter, Richard Simmons, and perhaps a hundred others. Who are they? Well, way back in the late 80s, they made exercise videos. Yep, you bought a VHS tape and put on your best leotard and bounced around your living room sweating to the oldies.

Now things have changed. Or have they? Not really, except the VHS tape has been replaced by your smart phone. There are hundreds if not thousands of fitness apps and videos at your fingertips. Some are really good, done by qualified trainers. Others not so much. I see at least three people every day using some kind of app or video to help inspire them to work hard and reach their goals. I think that’s great!

Just a word of caution. The exercises on the screen may not be right for you, given your health history and beginning exercise routine. Also, you may not be doing the movements correctly. Case in point…years ago during a swim lesson, my coach kept telling me my left arm was entering the water flat. I said, “No it’s not my fingers are.” We argued till he pulled out his phone and videoed me to prove he was right. He was. But I thought what I was doing was right until someone’s careful eye corrected me.

Of course, not everyone wants or can afford a personal trainer. An app or YouTube video is a low-cost way to go. However, you really should consider having a qualified trainer take a look at your app or video and make sure the exercises are right for you.