Achieve Your Fitness Goal With Functional Training Exercises

What’s the Deal with Functional Training?


Whether you’ve heard it referred to as functional training or functional fitness  you might not be familiar with exactly what it is.  Maybe you’re new to the idea of working out, or maybe your workouts up to this point have been based primarily around steady-state cardio (think elliptical or treadmill) or weight-lifting.  If that’s the case, and you’re looking for a way to break up your monotonous workout or give your gym time more bang for its buck, look no further than functional training. 

Functional training is a fitness regimen that focuses around whole-body exercises that are designed to mimic everyday movements.  These are movements that you do to carry out every day activities.

For instance, you may lift up you child from the floor to your chest, you may stoop down to get the clothes in an out of the drier or you may stop suddenly as your dog or cat runs across your movement path. These movements are functional and this is the focus of the work outs.

Purpose Driven Workouts


It’s intended to make you more active and able to keep up with the rigors of an active lifestyle, but even if you aren’t out there playing football or doing construction work, it can still help you build the body you want and make you able to play with your kids or go for a strenuous hike.  It’s a workout with a purpose, and that purpose can be as simple as to make you able to to lead a more active life. 

There’s a reason that functional training buffs are generally fit-looking people.  Functional training often utilizes a concept called higintensity interval training (HIIT).  This training concept involves periods of high-intensity exercise that sharply elevates your heart rate, followed by short periods of active rest that decrease the heart rate. 

This has been shown to burn fat faster, lead to better cardiovascular health, and have longer-lasting daily effects on your metabolism than steady state cardio alone, and it has the added benefit of having these effects in a vastly shorter amount of time.  While functional training may not be designed primarily around HIIT, the exercises involved often have some crossover.  Take the kettle-bell swing, for instance.  This exercise strengthens your lower body and core, but do it for a minute and see how elevated your heart rate gets.  Deadlifts, power cleans, or sled-drags have the same effect. 

However, functional training isn’t only about elevating your heart rate.  It generally involves strength-based exercises that engage multiple joints, instead of single-joint isolation exercises like bicep curls.  Isolation exercises are good (and indeed, necessary) if you’re trying to build strength in specific muscle groups or you’re preparing for some sort of competition, but multi-joint exercises are much better for increasing your overall strength and burning more calories.  Functional training also often involves lower-body and core-specific exercises, since these muscle groups are involved in almost everything you do.  These exercises might include mountain climbers, lateral squats, lunges, or goblet squats.

How To Get Started


Now that you have a basic idea of what functional training can do for you, how do you go about incorporating it into your daily workout routine?  If you’re someone who generally goes to the gym, rides a bike for an hour, and then leaves, incorporating functional fitness may seem daunting at first.  However, it’s important to remember that everyone started somewhere, even the folks at the gym who are doing complex movements with high weights. 

At first, you want to start slow, because it’s critical that you get the exercise movements down before you start to add weight.  Although a body-weight squat may not be challenging, you can always increase the rep count and adding weight can lead to injuries if done improperly.  Don’t let this discourage you; if you’re just starting out, building good habits is much more important than putting up a lot of weight.  It’s important that you enjoy your workout and that you can keep it up over months or years. 

If you’re just starting out, try adding a day of functional training to your existing work out, or if you’re just starting to work out, add a couple of days per week.  These days should be spread out to give your body to recover, and they can be the same workout or a different set of exercises per day.  You can look anywhere online to find sample workouts to try.  You can also incorporate a day or two of cardio (whether it’s HIIT specific or steady-state) to improve your cardiovascular health, as well as a day or two of strength specific training to help build muscle and torch fat.  Varying your workout also keeps it from getting boring; a sure-fire way to stop looking forward to the gym. 

Make It Fun

If you’re looking for a fun way to workout that doesn’t take too long and can help you have a more active lifestyle, look no further than functional training.  It can help you burn fat, build strength and achieve your fitness goals, all while being fun and varied on a daily basis.  Try incorporating functional training into your exercise plan and watch the results!

Why You Should Drink More Water

Drinking waterHere is Why You Should Drink More Water


“Thousands have lived without love. Not one without water,” W. H. Auden. Water is the most valuable resource in the world. It is a vital ingredient for the survival of all living organisms. The planet earth is made up of 71 percent water, so if our planet needs it to survive, you better bet that we do as well.

Water is found in lakes, oceans, glaciers, in the ground as soil, and in the air, we breathe. You can even have a great time playing in the water on a hot day. It would seem that there is nothing that water cannot do. Without water, that cup of coffee that you drink to get up in the morning would not exist.

Even if we didn’t need water for hydration, there are various ways that water contributes to society indirectly. Water contributes to the process of making paper out of wood. It is used for electricity and agriculture, which determines the food that is available to us. The world would not run as efficiently as it does without water.

You can live weeks without food but only days without water.

Besides liquid water, you can find water in fruits, vegetables, even dry foods such as bread and cereal. However, to meet your hydration needs, you still need to drink water.

But what about other fluids, do they offer the same benefits? No. And this is because some fluids such as coffee and alcohol can cause dehydration while others are filled with sugar, that when consumed in large quantities on a regular basis can cause other problems.

The Benefits of Drinking Water


While Instagram and Netflix are life essentials to some, water is much more crucial, if you want to live, that is. About 60 percent of the human adult body consists of water. According to H. H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry, the heart and brain are made of 73 percent water, the lungs are approximately 83 percent water, the skin is 64 percent water, kidneys and muscles are about 70 percent water, and the bones are 31 percent water. If this much of our body consists of water, then you can see how a shortage could cause some unwanted problems.

Drinking an adequate amount of water provides several benefits. The most obvious one is that it quenches your thirst. But there are other important benefits. Without it, you will likely suffer a variety of health problems that will hinder the quality of your day-to-day life. A few benefits of drinking water are:


•    Weight loss – Water before a meal can help you resist the temptation of overeating by giving you a feeling of fullness. Additionally, you will lose weight if you drink it instead of juices and sodas.

•    Prevention of kidney damage – The kidney regulates fluids throughout the body. If you do not consume enough water, you run the risk of developing kidney stones. It’s worth noting that kidney stones are excruciating.

•    Helps to control blood pressure – High blood pressure contributed to nearly half a million deaths in the United States in 2017. Water helps to maintain blood pressure at a healthy level. Water deficiency causes the blood to become thicker, which increases blood pressure.

•    Promotes skin health – Dehydration can lead to the skin becoming more prone to disease as well as premature wrinkling.

•    It lubricates the joints – Dehydration weakens the joints and damages its shock-absorbing capabilities. This will likely lead to severe joint pain.

.   It keeps you cool- Through the process evaporation, the body uses water to cool you down. This is evident by the sweat your body produces when you get hot.


Can you Drink too Much Water


Water is necessary for your body to perform essential bodily functions. However, it is possible to drink too much water and become overhydrated. Overhydration is not a common occurrence, but it is dangerous. Overhydration may lead to water intoxication, which can be lethal. It happens when there is an imbalance of electrolytes like salt in your body. This will likely result in Hyponatremia.

Salt is a necessity for your body, and if it is overly diluted, your life could be endangered. However, overhydration is typically something that happens to endurance athletes, so the average water drinking person need not be overly concerned with it. Just keep it in mind when running your next ultramarathon. Otherwise, you should consider hydration to be your bridge over troubled water.


How Much Water is Enough?


To determine how much water you should drink in a day, you must first consider factors such as your age, weight, height, gender, as well as how active you are. Your body loses water every day from breathing, perspiration, bowel movements, and urination. You need to drink water to replenish your body’s supply. According to the Food and Nutrition Board at the federal Institute of Medicine, an adult male should consume about 3.7 liters of water a day. That’s about 15 8-ounce glasses. The adult woman is a bit less at 2.7 liters a day, which is about 11, 8-ounce glasses.

Another way to calculate how much water you drink is to drink half you body weight in ounces. However if you sweat a lot due to your job or working out, then you should drink an extra cup.

Here is an example.

Lets say you weigh 200lbs, well half of 200lb in ounces is 100 ounces. This equal 12.5 cups of water.

Here is how to calculate the measurements:

1 cup = 8 ounces = 240ml.

Most people typically get about 20 percent of their water intake from food, but the rest must be consumed through liquids. Water being the most hydrating. An excellent way to tell if you are
becoming dehydrated is by the color of your urine. The darker your urine, the more dehydrated you are. Drink until your urine is close to the color of water.

10 Tips for Drinking More Water


1.    Use a Straw

Using a straw when drinking water will make it feel like less of a burden. You will drink a lot more with much less effort. You will likely not even realize how much water you drank until afterward. This can be done in standard glasses throughout the day, or you can get a water bottle with a straw, so you can drink on the go. Try to find one with a handle as well, to make it easier to travel with.

2.    Alarms

If you have trouble remembering to drink water, then setting an alert will be perfect for you. All cellphones have an alarm and a timer on them. Set your timer for an hour at a time. When it goes off, you know that it is time to drink another glass of water.

3.    Get a Good-Looking Water Bottle

Aesthetics are important, especially when you are walking around with something. Getting an aesthetically pleasing water bottle will motivate you to carry it around, possibly to show off to your friends and collogues. It will also catch your attention when sitting on your desk. Whenever you notice it, go ahead and get your drink on. The ounces will add up quickly.

4.    Add Fresh Fruit to Your Water

If you are tired of the taste of plain water, then adding fresh fruit to your water can be an excellent way to keep things fresh. It will add a fruity flavor to your water, and you can even eat the fruit afterward. Fruit provides small amounts of water as well, so they will help you to stay hydrated. Don’t overdo it, or you are just eating a fruit bowl, but a few strawberries in your water can be very beneficial.

5.    Jug Water Bottles

A jug water bottle can be the perfect way to keep you motivated. There are various sizes available, depending on how much water you wish to consume a day. There are even jug water bottles that have time markers on them, to let you know how much water you should have drunk by each time of the day. If you get the correct size, then after you finish the jug, you are finished for the day. This way, you don’t need to worry about how many glasses you have drunk.

6.    Water Tracking App

Smartphones can be used for things other than social media. There are several water tracking apps available that will help you to stay accountable for the water you have consumed that day. If you don’t want to use an app, you can always write it down on paper, but apps are more fun. A similar method you can use is to habit stack. Choose something that you frequently do during the day, such as checking your phone. Every time you do this activity, drink a glass of water.

7.    Zero Calorie Drink Mixes

This tip is similar to adding fresh fruit to your water. Purchase some zero-calorie drink mixes such as propel and mix it into your water bottle. This will give your water some flavor, without distorting its health benefits. However, you must pay close attention to the nutrition facts. Some drink mixes will add sugar and calories to your water.

8.    Sparkling Water

Sparkling  water is a good way to ease into drinking more water. You can alternate between drinking plain water and sparkling water. They also come different flavors and some have minerals.

9.    Drink a Cup of Water as Soon as You Wake Up

Waking up with a glass of water is a great way to get your day started right. It is said that this also helps to wake you up in the morning. When you sleep, you are going several hours without hydrating yourself, so replenishing your body first thing in the morning is vital.

10.   Drink a cup of Water Before and During Meals

As stated before, if you drink a cup of water before a meal, it will reduce the urge to overeat. Additionally, you should try to refrain from consuming any other liquids while you eat. Drink only water during every meal and save the other beverages for in between. This is a good way to get your cup count up. You should also consider trying to drink a glass of water every time you urinate. This is another way to habit stack. Think of it as replenishing your body of water after expelling

Who Shouldn’t Drink More Water

If you have heart or kidney failure or any medical condition that limits your water intake then don’t follow these hacks and ask your health care provider how much water you can drink.

Water or Fluid Loss in The Body

While you are being mindful about increasing your water intake, you should also pay attention to water losses as well. The  fluids you ingest should also come out. In order to maintain adequate fluid levels in your body, you have to replace the losses, especially when it’s a lot.

The three main routes you will lose fluid is by perspiration, defecation or urination. However, if you are sick can lose fluid through vomiting and also through blood loss.

Therefore, if you sweat a lot or have diarrhea then plan on drinking extra water. If you urinate a lot due to alcohol or caffeine or certain medications then you should drink extra water.