There is more to fitness then rippling biceps and chiselled abs. Don’t get us wrong, we love those things too, but for much of the world functional fitness is more practical for everyday life!
What is Functional Fitness?
Functional fitness refers to exercises that improve your daily activity. It is working out with everyday situations in mind. The goal is to make moving about and performing everyday activities easier and more enjoyable.
Functional fitness can improve the lifestyle of just about everyone but becomes increasingly beneficial as we age and lose some of our strength and power. Maintaining functional fitness as you age allows you to live the life you want. Functional fitness is freedom.
The focus is on mimicking everyday actions generally using multiple muscles and joints at the same time. These are referred to as compound exercises. When beginning your functional fitness journey focus on using your body weight and gradually adding more weight and resistance as you build strength and coordination. Combine the following elements to improve your functional fitness:
Balance and Coordination:
Balance and coordination have many practical everyday applications and improving these skills will help you complete everyday tasks. Walking on an uneven surface or bending down to pick something up requires a functional level of balance and coordination.
Single leg balance exercises, lunges, step-ups and agility drills are all effective exercises to improve your balance and coordination in a way that will impact real-life situations.
The goal here is to make everyday tasks like carrying groceries or lifting a suitcase easy and safe. Increasing your strength and the way you lift items will help prevent injury. Strength training is also incredible for maintaining bone and muscle density.
Consider doing integrated movements that encourage your muscles to work together. This will create harmony and ease of movement.
Power might seem like an abstract aspect of functional fitness, but it is remarkably relevant to everyday life. You use power when running to catch a bus or catching yourself from a fall. Power movements are any kind of quick, intense movement. Circuit exercises are great for improving reaction time as you move quickly between exercises.
Range of Motion:
Choose workouts that allow you to move your body in all different directions. This will help you maintain your range of motion. These movements will make your stronger and more flexible. Don’t force movements, focus on easing into a full range of motion.
If it has been some time since you last exercised remember to start out slow. This will help you avoid injury while gradually increasing strength. Every fitness journey is different! Remember that maintaining health and wellness isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Incorporating functional fitness into your workouts can help you achieve total all-around wellness and health. Aim for these workouts to make up one third of your total fitness routine! Pair functional fitness training with cardio and strength training to achieve optimal results. Investing in your health and wellness has an amazing return that will have you reaping the benefits for years to come.
Functional fitness is just one of many fitness goals our clients have. What is your fitness goal?