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.
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.
"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."
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
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.