Functional Fitness Could Be Right For You

What is functional fitness? It is exercises that involve movements you are already doing. In other words, it's training your body to handle real-life situations.

balance and coordination - functional fitness
Image Credit: Archetype Fitness

This type of fitness can help with muscle, mobility, and flexibility. The ultimate benefits are better balance and coordination.

And for good reason, because as we get older, our bodies naturally lose muscle, mobility, and flexibility, which in turn can impair the ability to live life to its fullest.

Simple tasks such as carrying groceries or putting away dishes can become difficult to perform.

The Mayo Clinic, a globally recognized health authority, defines functional fitness as:

"Exercises that train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by stimulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports.

While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability."



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Nadia Ellis has over 14 years in the fitness industry, and she wrote -The Real Benefits of Functional Training -for Street Directory saying that functional training refers to the type of exercises that contribute to better, more efficient and safer performance of real world activities.

Nadia says that the short list of functional training benefits include:

  • Building inner strength
  • Endurance
  • Improve balance
  • Improve range of motion

Functional fitness helps your body with core stability. The core muscles number one job is to protect your spine. They are also vital for proper balance and mobility, as core muscles create a solid base for your body, allowing you to stay upright and stand strong on your two feet.

The More You Know

The core of the body is broadly considered to be the torso.

Core Muscles

Functional movements are highly dependent on this part of the body, and lack of core muscular development can result in a predisposition to injury.

The major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back (not the shoulders), and peripherally include the hips, the shoulders and the neck.

Owner of Functional Training - Ian Middleton says that there are 29 muscles that are involved in functional fitness. These include the muscles from your torso down to your hips. The same muscles that help you play effortlessly with your kids or grandchildren, unload your groceries or enjoy a walk with a friend, and perform just about any simple task that requires the use of any or all of those 29 core muscles.

Examples of some core functional fitness movementsExamples of some core functional fitness movements include:

  • Squatting
  • Lunges
  • Standing Bicep Curls
  • Simple Step-Ups With Weights
  • Body Weight Movements (no weights required)

 

Functional Fitness For Seniors

A Place For Mom writes on their Senior Living Blog that functional fitness helps seniors live life with increased energy and strength by mimicking the activities of daily life. But functional fitness focuses on everyday activities, such as cleaning and putting groceries away.

One Example Of Functional Fitness For Seniors

functional fitness for seniors

The supine bridge is one of the best functional fitness exercises for legs, glutes, back, shoulders, arms as well as core muscles. This exercise will open the chest and you should do it every day to get the best result.

  • Sit on the ground and put the hands under the shoulders.
  • Bend the feet and knees on the floor.
  • Straighten the arms and push the hips to the ceiling with the support of the legs until the torso is flat.
  • Lift the left arm towards the ceiling and rotate the upper body with the help of right arm. Make sure you lift the hips, as well.
  • Now you reduce the left warm to the beginning position and reduce the hips slightly but not touch the ground.
  • You repeat the exercise with the right arm.
  • Repeat each side for 10-15 times.
  • You can hold the hips and arms up for some seconds before reducing.

Click Here For 21 More Examples



Health Benefits Of Functional Fitness

Functional fitness exercises are connected to health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, improve bone health, increase the strength of the lower back, reduce cholesterol, improve lean muscle, and increase endurance as well as energy for seniors.

When the techniques of this type of fitness exercises are properly applied, you can make everyday activities easier, reduce your risk of injury and improve your quality of life.

According to recommendations based on a decades of scientific research, the longer, harder and more often you exercise, the greater the health benefits. The same holds true with functional fitness.

 

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