Category: Health and Fitness

Why You Should Walk More

Walking is a great low-impact exercise. Walking is inexpensive and virtually everyone has the ability to engage in a walking exercise program. With more than one-third of American adults considered to be obese (as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), taking care of your health is now more important than ever before. Obesity has a number of associated health risks including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But why should you walk more? Taking a daily walk can help you to stay in shape and cut your risks for becoming obese or developing obesity-related health conditions. If you are overweight, obese or just have not exercised in awhile, walking is a great way to ease yourself into a regular exercise routine.

Walking when combined with a sensible diet can do wonders for your health. If you still are not convinced why you should walk more, here are five reasons that will make you want to get off your computer and head to the nearest park or treadmill.

Why You Should Walk More:

1. Did you know that engaging in a regular walking program can actually help to aid with the digestive process? Research indicates that a post-meal walk can not only aid in digestion but can also help to control blood sugar levels. Need another reason why you should walk more? Physically moving away from the kitchen or the dining room table eliminates the temptation to fill your plate with seconds or even thirds. Walking away from the table can do wonders for your waistline as well as your overall health.

2. You should walk more for the health of your bones. Walking is not going to add serious bulk to your muscles. Walking will not add bulk to your quads, glutes and hamstrings in the same way that deadlifts or squats will; but walking can still help to build up your strength.

Walking is a strengthening exercise that helps to improve the strength of your legs and core. Walking is also a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness. While walking may not build-up large and bulky muscles, walking strengthens your bones more than going for a swim, biking or using an elliptical machine would.

Look for a walking buddy. You are less likely to skip out on a walk if you have someone counting on you to walk with them. You are going to be much more likely to stick with your evening walks and build strong, healthy bones is someone is counting on you to be there with them.

3. Walking is low-impact and won’t hurt your joints. In most situations, there is no reason to say that you are unable to participate in a walking program as part of a fitness routine. Even if you do engage in vigorous physical activity on a daily basis, you should walk more because sometimes your body
needs a break from the physically demanding activities that you put in through.

Whether you are seasoned athlete, a bodybuilder, someone who has not exercised in years or someone who is recovering from an injury, walking is great for your health. If you are looking to lose weight, aim to walk for 20 minutes per day (this is with a healthy diet). If your diet is not-so-healthy, aim to walk one hour per day.

It’s recommended that we take 10,000 steps daily. To keep track of this, consider wearing a pedometer daily. This will help you to see how many steps you are taking and if you need to make any changes to your walking plan. If you need a little extra motivation to get off of the coach, a pedometer may also do the trick. If you don’t see your steps going up, chances are you are going to get up and do something about that! Prolonged time sitting down is not beneficial when it comes to anyone’s health.

4. Walking is not only great for your body but is great for your mind as well. You should walk more for your mental health! Spending all day seated at your computer screen, checking e-mails and meeting tough deadlines can be extremely stressful. Going for a walk can help to improve your mood. Take a walk on your lunch break to help reduce workplace stress. Stepping outside and walking can help to calm your nerves and help you to enjoy the rest of your day.. Walking is a quick and easy way to clear your head and boost your mood.

5. You should walk more to put an end to any laziness you may be experiencing. Nine times out of 10 there is absolutely no excuse not to take a walk. Even if you don’t feel like it, walking is quick and easy. Walking helps to keep your bones, muscles and joints in working order.

How To Start And Stay Healthy The Right Way

The benefits of a workout are well and clear. Everybody knows that exercise is necessary to stay fit and healthy for all ages. But probably many are still pondering how do I start? What kind of exercise can I do? Can I start walking or jogging an hour a day? How long should I exercise and how many times a week?

Working out to maintain health, to lose weight or to compete in a marathon, whatever your purpose is, there are three components that are necessary for it to be beneficial. These three components are intensity, duration and frequency. Our body will adjust to the strain placed upon it. This eventually leads to fitness. It is only when an exercise is of adequate intensity, duration and frequency, the body will get the message to change its physiology so that it could accommodate and sustain a higher level of activity for a longer duration of time.

A regular exercise will cause the heart muscle to grow thicker so that it can pump more blood to the other muscles and organs. The lungs will expand more efficiently to get more oxygen into the blood which then gets pumped to the other parts of the body. The body will then be considered physically fit when this level has been attained.

Before starting an exercise program, it is best to consult a doctor and get the appropriate advice. This is especially important if you are above 40 and have risk factors for a heart attack.

A good start would be doing light intensity exercises and gradually build the intensity up to an acceptable level as you go along over a period of 10 to 12 weeks.

The idea is don’t rush. It is always prudent to start slow.

We can make little efforts to increase our physical activity every day. Instead of using the lift, use the stairs to go up. Park the car further away and walk to your office. Instead of using the phone, walk around the office to talk to your colleagues. There are numerous other ways that can help burn more calories in our daily activities. Remember any form of exercise is always beneficial. And small things do add up.

One of the easiest and most economical exercise to start with is brisk walk or a light jog. Do this on a regular basis. As you get fitter, you may find yourself exercising at a higher intensity and longer duration for the same amount of effort. You may find yourself comfortable doing the exercises regularly after some time.

Another important consideration is to mix your exercises. Apart from the aerobic component, sessions to increase muscle strength and endurance need to be included in the workout regime. Calisthenics is one of the easiest forms of exercise for this purpose. This technique uses the weight of one’s own body for the required resistance. Examples are push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, pull-ups and etc.

If you have access to facilities in your home or a gym, you can do some light weightlifting. Similarly, build the intensity over a period of time.

There are a few more considerations when doing your exercises:

• Always warm up before exercise and cool down following the completion of your exercise.
• Ensure you are adequately hydrated. Drink one or two glasses of water before you start and three to five glasses within two hours after an exercise, but these are not absolute.
• Wear proper clothes.
• Wear proper, well cushioned footwear to prevent long-term injury to your ankles, knees and back.
• Ensure your safety at all times. When doing outdoor exercises, if possible exercise in small groups and in visible and well-lighted places.

Another important thing is to get adequate rest in between the exercise sessions as this is necessary for recuperation and the adaptation of your body to the exercise. But don’t rest for too long as the body will adapt again to the sedentary pace. Exercise sessions should not be more than four days apart, and fitness levels generally start to fall significantly within 10-14 days of cessation of exercise.

Step Up Your Fitness: Walking Can Be a Great Exercise

Walking is perhaps the easiest of all forms of exercise, and also one of the safest. Unlike running, it is not hard on the knees. It usually doesn’t cause any injuries or unpleasant side effects. Are there any disadvantages? Well, walking is less intense than other fitness methods, and that means it make take longer to have a visible effect on your body. If you’re in a hurry to get in shape, then you may have to take up other exercises as well. But there’s really no reason to give up walking. Even if you are already trying other forms of exercise, walking regularly can’t hurt, and can surely help.

How much should you walk? Doctors recommend that you walk briskly for at least 30 minutes a day–and yes, that is every day. What is a “brisk pace” though? About five to six kilometers per hour. You don’t have to do your daily 30 minutes all in one go, either. You can get much the same results by walking three or four times a day at the proper pace for about ten minutes at a time. With such flexibility, it is very easy to incorporate a daily walk into your regular schedule.

What exactly does walking do for you? Several things; it strengthens your heart and so can help to ward off heart disease; it lowers your blood pressure; it can increase the amount of “good cholesterol” or high density lipoprotein in your blood. According to some doctors, regular walking can cut your risk of getting a heart attack by half.

Walking is also a good way for some people to lose body fat and maintain a “fighting weight.” This is especially true as you get older, when you tend to be more susceptible to weight gain. Walking can increase your metabolic rate for the day and thus help you to avoid putting on the pounds.

That’s not all. Walking has also been shown to prevent or delay the onset of such diseases as arthritis, diabetes, and osteoporosis, and to decrease the risk of suffering a stroke caused by a blood clot. Furthermore, walking is also considered a good treatment for depression. Studies have shown that people on antidepressants who exercised by walking had a lower risk of experiencing a relapse.

If you decide to walk for exercise, buy a good pair of shoes that offers a little space at the front of each shoe, to let your feet spread. Take it slow at first. Always start with some warm up stretches and exercises. Don’t forget to cool down as well. This will help you avoid getting muscle aches. And keep track of your efforts. See if you can walk for longer and farther over time. Seeing your own success will encourage you to keep on walking.

Working Out at Home Versus Working Out at a Gym

Exercise should be an integral part of your life. But, the question that is often asked (especially those who love to analyze issues) is: Is it better to workout at home or to workout at a gym? The simple answer to that question is: Yes. There are pros and cons of working out at home; there are pros and cons of working out at a gym. The bottom line is that you can and should incorporate exercise in your life.

Personally, I like working out at home. When I used to work out at a gym, it would take me about 30-45 minutes to get ready, drive down to the gym, and to get started in my workouts. Currently, it would only take me 30-45 minutes to finish my workouts. I vary my workouts with resistance training (e.g. weights and bands), treadmill workouts, exercise DVDs, etc. There is no shortage on what to do at home. I do not have to worry as much on the way I look (although I do not worry as much on my looks when I work out at a gym). Obviously, there are some times when I have to wait on particular exercise equipments because other people are using them. Then, a major reason why I do not work out in gyms is that there are membership dues that have to be paid. For the cost of the membership, you can purchase all the equipment you need and even keep the equipment. Even if you do not use the gym membership which is common for many people, you still have to pay those annoying membership fees. During the beginning of the year, it is almost impossible to get a good workout because of the huge crowds at the gyms. This is the time of year when resolutions take effect. After a few months (around March), the crowds start to thin out.

But, there are benefits of working out in a gymnasium. There is no shortage of the variety of equipments. You can use treadmills, elliptical cycles, free weights, and other equipments. In addition, most gyms offer step classes, yoga classes, and a multitude of classes that can benefit your physical fitness. A big advantage of using gyms as a workout place is the availability of saunas and swimming pools. Saunas are a great place to detoxify yourself after a workout. When I see many of the gyms now, they look like vacation resorts with areas for kids to play while you workout, outdoor seating areas to enjoy the sun, etc. There are also fitness consultants and trainers who can advise you. But, these consultants and trainers can also be a con against using gyms (that is another issue for another time). Working out at a gym can place emphasis on your fitness goals. Just like going to a workplace to work, you are going to the gym to exercise.

Thus, do not evaluate this issue too much. You will get analysis paralysis. Just do the exercises. Then, work out at home and then work out at a gym. You can decide which is best for you. Personal fitness is about you and your fitness- with emphasis on personal (you).

Walking in Bad Weather

When the weather is cold outside, it is not inviting for most people to go outside and walk for exercise. Usually, it is just about being prepared. In the winter months, try to plan ahead and put together a fitness walking schedule for the next few day based on the weather forecast for the area you plan to walk in.

If you are lucky, you may be able to schedule your walking exercise in between any expected rainy periods. Also, if you have mentally prepared yourself to be walking for fitness on a certain day, you are more likely to get out and complete your task if you are prepared in advance for the weather.

Of course, there is always the option of walking indoors on a treadmill. However, many people tend to get bored very easily walking on the spot and getting nowhere. But it does have its good points such as you can watch TV and stay warm while working out. Another way to avoid the bad weather while trying to walk for fitness is to join a gym and use their treadmills. This will give you some company in the form of the other gym members using treadmills at the same time.

People have also known to walk around large indoor car parks to stay dry while doing their walking workout. If this is done at the right time of day when there are not many cars around, then this is a great way to keep up with your planned walking schedule while staying dry.

Walking to stay fit during unpleasant weather is not all bad. For one thing, it is a lot cooler so you can usually walk faster for longer before you feel too hot. It can also give your workout a new edge, especially if you are walking as hard as you can into a head wind. The extra calories that will be used in this situation will be worth the effort, even of you don not think so at the time!

So if you decide that you are going to do your workout walking in the colder weather, be sure to warm up first by walking slightly slower to begin with before gradually building up speed. And wear the right type of clothing. Layers are usually good but anything which will protect you from the elements without you overheating is usually a good idea.

Special caution is needed in snow and icy conditions. If you are unsure of your walking capabilities or you have recently began walking as s fitness plan, it would be advised to avoid these types of conditions for your own safety.

Working Out During Cold Weather

Cold weather doesn’t create favorable conditions for working out. When it’s snowing or raining you usually don’t feel like getting out of bed or leaving the couch and definitely not for exercising. But due the cold weather you shouldn’t breakaway from your daily fitness routine. Read on to find out how you can exercise even when it’s cold outside.

Outdoor Workouts

There are some people who continue with outdoor exercises even during the winters. And if you happen to be one of them then just follow the tips discussed below.

Dress in layers: You can dress in layers so that you can easily take of the warm clothes whenever you’re feeling hot. You should wear sweat wicking clothes first and then put on the warm layer on that. Always protect your head and ear from the cold weather by wearing caps.

Avoid the wind: Take the paths which are sheltered and are clear from snow and muddy puddles.

Warm up indoors: Do your warm exercises at home before you head off outside. Make yourself warm by wearing clothes directly from the dryer and by putting your hands and feet in warm water.

Working out at the Gym

Working out at the gym is a good option during bad weather. You can do most of the outdoor exercises in the gym. You can walk, run, and jog on the treadmill. You can cycle on the stationary bikes. You don’t have to drag yourself outside in the cold weather when you can comfortably practice the same exercises indoors.
You can also join group fitness classes like step aerobics, kickboxing and spinning. They provide a great workout for the body and are very effective in burning body fat.

Working out at home

There are some exercises which can be done in your bedroom is as affective as using machines and free weights. You can practice the exercises at home without going in the cold weather.

Squats- Place your feet about thirteen to seventeen inches away and keep the back straight with your head facing up. Take the support of a desk or a cabinet. Then squat down where your upper thigh is parallel to the floor and then stand up. This exercise will help you build muscles in the thighs and keep your buttocks toned

Lunges- Stand straight and put one foot forward and the other at the back. Keep your chest up and bring your upper down bending your leg. You should maintain a distance of at least one to two feet between your legs. Don’t bring your knees forward than your toes as you go down and then pull back up comfortably.

Chin-ups- This is a great workout for the upper body. For chin-ups you can use the door frame in your house. Make a firm under hand grip of the frame and then hang yourself stretching the muscles in your arm. Then slowly drag your body up so that your chin reaches the height of the bar. Again lower your body and repeat the process.

Push Up- It helps to build chest, arms and shoulder muscles. Lie on the floor with your face and place your hands near your waist with your palms on the floor. Then push up to make your arms straight lifting your upper body from the floor, then lower it and repeat the process again. If you have doubts about the exercises discussed in this article consult a fitness trainer.

Exercises to Help You Get Up After A Fall

When old people fall, some of them may have trouble getting back up again if they are weak or have been injured. However, sometimes even a younger person may experience difficulty getting upright again after a fall. I was surprised when, not long ago, a friend of mine told me that her daughter fell down and could not get back up until someone came to help her.

Advertisers tell people they should not fall, and to buy their product to help prevent falls. Senior citizens are made to feel petrified about the possibility of a fall since they are warned that they could break a bone or be stranded and not able to get up off the floor. While it is normal to not want to fall, and, as we get older, most of us do not take as many crazy risks as we did in younger days, there are certainly things each of us can do to reduce the chance of injury when we hit the floor and to enable us to get back up again!

Diet and exercise are both key factors here. This article will focus on the exercise factor. Exercise can help prevent falls by making your muscles stronger and more flexible. It can help improve your balance. It can also increase your stamina or endurance, reducing the likelihood that you will trip or lose your balance because of being tired. It is important to do exercise specific to each goal you want to accomplish: strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance.

STRENGTH EXERCISES. It is vital to build strength in your arms, legs, and abdominal area. Use those arms, work with dumbbells, do wall push-ups, and do other things that are weight bearing. Leg muscles can be built by doing squats, and using your legs to get up from a chair. The abdominal muscles can be helped by practicing turning to one side while lying down, doing crunches or sit-ups. Of course, approach your strength building exercises carefully. Do fewer times to start, use lighter weights, increase repetitions or weight slowly to avoid injury. Do the strength-building exercises two or three days a week. If you are doing intense strength-building exercises, your muscles will probably need a day to recover between workouts.

FLEXIBILITY. Stretching exercises will increase flexibility. Lots of things to choose from here. A great place to be creative. Touch your toes from sitting or standing. Move your arms in different directions. Twist your waist. Keep your neck muscles flexible, too. Stretching can be done everyday.

BALANCE. Stand on one foot, hold on to something if you need to, but work towards not holding on to anything. Get up out of a chair without holding on to the chair. Walking helps balance, too. Balance activities can be practiced daily.

ENDURANCE or STAMINA. There are many ways to build endurance and stamina. Walking, of course, is one of the best. Cleaning your house, mowing the lawn, or any exercise that requires exertion for a certain amount of time will increase your ability to keep going. As with all exercise, regardless of what your goals are, build up to it or your body may react in a negative way with aches and pains. If you don’t overdo it and need a day to recover, endurance activities can be done everyday, too.

Physical fitness is important to your health, whether you experience a fall or not. Realize, though, that taking the time to work on fitness now could be a real life saver to you and definitely should help you feel better every day of your life!

Reasons Why Walking Is Easy and Enjoyable

Walking is great for body and soul. It is a necessity for any weight loss program. We recommend walking 15 minutes each morning and 15 minutes before each meal. You will feel less hungry because your blood will absorb more oxygen and the protein and carbs in your next meal will be utilized faster as well. Starting a walking regime is not difficult and has many advantages. Walking is one of the very best exercises and there are loads of reasons why it is easy and enjoyable. Here are 7 reasons:

1.) Walking is Free

Considering that you are in good health without physical disabilities, everyone can go walking. It costs nothing and like skiing and other sports one needs no special equipment. Common sense, of course, dictates good comfortable shoes. You don’t need to spend tons of money going to a gym if you are on a weight loss program. Walking is one of the best and most pleasant ways of losing weight.

2.) Walk at Any Season in Any Weather

One usually thinks of walking as an outdoor exercise but it can also take place indoors. More and more people are getting up early to walk indoors in shopping malls. There are even mall groups that walk together making this a social occasion as well. In really bad weather you can elect to walk in your neighborhood mall. You can do your window shopping at the same time. Walking is a great way to lose weight, stay healthy and enjoy yourself.

3.) Walk With Your Dog

Your dog needs to go out for a walk and so do you. This is the perfect time for both of you to have some pleasant time together. It is the best time of day for your pet. Both of you need the exercise and the together time. Don’t have a dog? Maybe it’s time for you to consider visiting your local animal shelter and adopting a new best friend and walking companion. Or you could “borrow” a dog from a friend or neighbor. They might even want to walk with you. If you don’t want a dog of your own you might consider volunteering at the animal shelter as a dog walker. They are sorely needed and you can get lots of walking while helping out an orphan dog with much-needed exercise and human companionship. If you need to lose weight there is a good probability that Fido needs to drop a pound or two also. Lately there has been much talk about our pets as well as their owners being overweight or even obese. Walk off those extra calories and have a good time doing it.

4.) Walk and Enjoy the Countryside

If you live in the country, great! You already know how lovely it is to walk outdoors and enjoy the scenery, flowers and plants. Breathe deeply and walk quickly with a purpose. Swing your arms and feel free. This is wonderful for your whole body. It’s not really exercise: it’s relaxation while burning calories. Bring your dog along and a couple of friends as well. You can all do with a healthy walk in the great outdoors. Lose weight and have fun doing it.

5.) Walk and Enjoy the City

So you live in the city. You must know many interesting places for walking. Walk to your favorite places. Maybe you just want to just walk up and down your street or around the corner. That’s OK. Remember that you are walking and not strolling. Walk with a purpose so that you feel that you are really moving. Take big steps and swing your arms. Move as much as possible. Feels good. Doesn’t it?

6.) Walk in Your Own Time Frame

When you have a walking program you can set your own time frame and location. You choose where and when you want to walk. You are totally in charge. You own your walking program. When you enjoy your walking program you will be more apt to continue. You can make it as pleasant as you wish. When you keep to your own schedule you will walk off the pounds and have fun as well.

7.) Walking is Friendly

You may walk alone or with your dog, a friend or neighbor. Neighbors may stop and talk with you but don’t let this put a dent in your plan. Invite your neighbor to join you. This has the potential of becoming a regular neighborhood walking group. All some people need is someone else to share a walk. No matter what is your exercise of choice you can’t do better than walking for health and enjoyment. With a regular regime of walking 15 minutes each morning and 15 minutes before each meal you should find that you will burn fat and lose weight. You will feel better, stronger and happier. What can possibly be more important to a weight loss regime than constant exercise and sensible meal plan? When you make walking as part (or even all) of your exercise plan you are on the right track for better health, weight loss and a body that you always wanted.

Losing Body Weight by Working Out Effectively

Most of us out there today fail in our weight loss efforts due to two main reasons. The first is we do not exercise. The second is the fact that we do not set realistic goals when we plan our exercise sessions, the result of which we lose motivation once the goals are not accomplished and subsequently lose heart. And when we lose motivation, it is hard to continue working out or exercising when your heart is not in it. For those who do not workout, it is down to pure laziness or lack of time in their daily schedules. Those who struggle to find time to exercise should try to plan their workout plans during weekends or probably fit in an hour or so after or before work to allow for these workout sessions.

Working out effectively is not difficult, provided you plan your workouts in advance and realistically. In reality, you would probably be able to lose weight through simple exercises that could be incorporated in your everyday activities. For starters, start walking instead of driving everywhere! If the grocery store is a few hundred meters away from your home, why not take a quick walk to the store instead of driving there? You could lose a few calories simply by walking. Apply the same principles at your workplace, instead of taking the elevator up to your office, choose the stairs instead in the morning. You could also practise brisk walking instead of walking leisurely, and this would help burn a little bit more calories.

Another way of losing weight would be to create your own gym at home. Most people are most comfortable in their own homes, thus it is recommended that you allocate some space in your home and get some equipment such as a treadmill and a stationary bicycle to fit into the space, this would help you create your own mini-gym at home where you could exercise at your leisure. Or if you do not like working out at home, head to one of the neighbourhood gyms that are available, you could also do weight exercises there that would assist in your weight loss efforts. Or take up some form of sports. Swimming is a good option, so are outdoor cycling, tennis and basketball. Those who love the outdoors should try hiking, mountaineering, trekking as well as other outdoor-based activities.

What Exactly Is a Functional Exercise?

In this era of fad workouts and gimmicks, sometimes we get caught in the hype, without knowing the reason behind it. People use terms that sound interesting and exciting but when you ask them to elaborate, they’re unable to. It’s the same with a workout routine, I’ve seen trainers guide clients through a routine that I didn’t understand the reason they used the selection and sequence of exercises that they did. Apparently, neither did they. Maybe they saw someone else doing it, maybe that workout was from a new video developed by the next person with washboard abs. Either way, the skills and knowledge required to build a successful and individualized program have been replaced with lack of knowledge and aesthetically appealing physiques. These days, it seems as if there is a lot more confusion and debate to what really defines a great workout.

A common misconception people have is that the workout has to leave them overly sore to be effective. People brag about being so sore that they can barely move for three days, vomiting induced by over exertion and being drenched in sweat during the entire workout. If your muscles got that sore, you probably overworked them and unless you’re producing as much testosterone as a bull, you probably caused more damage to your muscles than good. If you had to vomit, there’s a reason why and you either have to adjust your routine, your lifestyle or both so that this isn’t a common practice. If you are sweating profusely, drink enough water to prevent dehydration. While these factors are used by many as scales to rate how effective their workout was, they’re really detrimental to our physical state. The way to counteract this way of thinking is to exercise functionally.

There’s a large variety of exercises that fall under the umbrella of functional training. The best way to describe it is how you can relate your workouts to your daily activities. Typically, a functional exercise program would contain lateral (frontal plane) and rotational (transverse plane) movements in additional to the traditional sagittal plane exercises. A functional exercise program should increase range of motion, improve posture, increase strength and flexibility, while enhancing performance and improving balance and stability. The emphasis is not to build superficial muscle or lose weight but to produce the most enhanced version of yourself by progressively increasing your natural abilities. It also has to do with the lifestyles of each individual. For those that live a sedentary lifestyle, a program would be designed to reverse the misalignment of the body caused by it.

We may come across things in our day that we don’t expect. If we have to run across the street to catch a bus or climb a fence to elude a stray dog, the better shape we’re in, the easier these tasks will be for us. Climbing a ladder requires cross body (contralateral) coordination. Throwing a ball requires hip rotation, along with a contralateral movement pattern. When we push an object, we are usually stand up, not lying down on our backs. While a bench press may increase your strength so you bench press more weight, it doesn’t do much more than that. If you observe the bodies of fighters, they’re not going to win any bodybuilding competitions but they can most certainly outperform a bodybuilder on all levels. Their bodies are extremely functional. That doesn’t mean you have to train yourself to jump into the octagon, it means that performance and good health should be more of a priority than looks.

Instead of being concerned about the exercise you’re doing and if it is functional, consider ways to make each exercise more functional. If you squat on the assisted machine, using dumbbells or free weights will be a better choice. You will activate more stabilizing muscles and improve your range of motion. If you choose to barbell squat four hundred pounds, you may get stronger at the expense of your joints and range of motion. The emphasis on functional training is to allow our bodies to excel in all areas. With this approach your body will adapt to this style of training and the results will be felt all over. Don’t let your definition of healthy be reflected by the definition of your abs. Be truly healthy by optimizing your body and progressing to accomplish more challenging tasks.