Healthbeat: reaching optimal fitness goals safely


EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Working out is something many of us associate with a gym, but more of us are using space in the home to exercise.

We certainly have seen that shift during the pandemic but going it alone could increase risk of injury.

For some, it’s a treadmill but for others it could be elliptical bikes, weights or resistance bands. Whatever it is, you want to make sure you’re doing it safely while reaching your optimal fitness health goals.

From Peloton, to high intensity interval training, to hot yoga, at-home exercise options seem endless to many of us.

“But once they start doing exercise and they jump into exercises that they’re not familiar with certainly the likelihood of injury increases so it’s certainly a concern,” Biomechanics/Injury Expert Dr. Rami Hashish, PhD, DPT said.

What’s especially concerning to this biomechanics/injury expert is called HIIT, or high intensity interval training. It requires short bursts of intense exercise followed by lower intensity activity.

“To prevent injury, we kind of consider this 10 percent rule so to speak. In other words, you don’t want to increase the amount of load that you do by 10 percent for any given week so that you don’t expose yourself to this type of injury,” Dr. Hashish said.

The same goes for many other fad exercises.

“They’re essentially too much, too fast, too soon. They push the individual a little too much too early which obviously can expose them to injuries,” Dr. Hashish

So what can help you achieve your optimal fitness health goals safely? Dr. Rami says for starters, aerobics.

“Anything that gets our heart rate going so that we can certainly supply oxygen to our blood and to our tissue. Typically the goal is about 150 minutes of what’s considered moderate activity, moderate cardiovascular activity a week,” Dr. Hashish said.

Think faster-paced walking or running, biking and swimming.

“Swimming is a great one, for instance, for individuals who have maybe a little bit of pain in the knees,” Dr. Hashish said.

And don’t overlook general core training even if a washboard stomach is out of reach.

“A core doesn’t mean just having six-pack abs by any means. It really means developing the muscles that stabilize our body, right. So, our lower back muscles, obviously our abdominal muscles including our hips,” Dr. Hashish said.

Dr. Hashish says a lot of injuries are the result of weakness in the hips. Resistance training two or three times a week to ensure your muscles stay strong.

Keep in mind, consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine and listen to your body.

For more helpful, at-home exercise tips, visit

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