Fitness doesn’t always have to mean putting on your running shoes and heading to the gym. There are plenty of activities in our daily lives that require strength, flexibility or stamina. Many of us participate in functional fitness regularly—that is, fitness that can keep our energy levels up and help us complete our daily tasks more efficiently.
Functional fitness refers to the small activities that help make regular chores—like climbing stairs, carrying groceries or picking up heavier objects—easier and more manageable. It also helps prepare your body to stay active in the long run. Functional fitness training can help maintain levels of strength or stamina, reducing the risk of falls or injuries.
Critical Elements of Functional Fitness
Have you ever done a simple task, like bending down to pick up laundry on the floor, and suddenly tweaked your neck or back? Regular functional fitness can help avoid these inconvenient aches and pains. As with any good sports regimen, different exercises and intensities are best to help improve your mobility. There are three crucial components to this training.
- Build Your Strength: This is a key element to your physical and mental health. Good strength is critical in several daily tasks, like carrying heavy loads of groceries or moving furniture around the room. Functional fitness training helps build strength, tones muscles and even can help prevent osteoporosis by maintaining and building bone density.
- Improve Your Balance: Proper functional fitness can help strengthen your core muscles. Poor balance can lead to trips, falls and further injuries.
- Increase Your Coordination: Life is unpredictable, and you may need to react quickly, like your furry friend knocking a glass off the table. You can improve your coordination and move faster and more efficiently with functional fitness training.
When you incorporate functional fitness training into your everyday life, you set yourself up for success in the future. You’ll be able to gain the stamina you need to accomplish larger tasks, and you are less likely to injure yourself when doing small, mundane chores.
Functional Fitness Activities
There are plenty of different exercises to help improve your functional fitness levels. Each activity focuses on one core element to help you build overall strength and endurance. For optimal results, vary these activities to include a blend of leg training, chest and back training and overall core strength.
- Simple Squats: This activity can help you get up from a chair or kneel to pick something up. Stand up with your hands on your hips and slowly sink down, bending at the knee.
- Deadlifts: This activity is the ultimate move to help teach you how to pick heavy objects up off the ground and put them back down. Prime examples are picking up a pot plant, an animal or young child. Moving a heavy couch from one part of the room to another. etc. Deadlifts use just about all the muscles in your legs, as well as your core and some upper body.
- Standing or Walking Lunges: Walking or gardening will come easier with regular lunges. Place one leg in front of you, lower yourself until your knee almost touches the ground, and lift yourself back up to a standing position.
- Box Step-Ups: Stairs will become much easier with this exercise. You can use a sturdy box or stairs. Improve your leg strength and core muscles as you alternate your legs with each step.
- Walk Like a Farmer: The farmer’s walk can help with that grocery haul to the front door. This straightforward activity requires weights, walking and form. Pick up the weights, keep a straight posture, and take small steps. Your legs, arms and even core muscles will thank you.
This list scratches the surface of the endless possibilities for functional fitness training. The extensive list can include many other activities like push-ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks, arm circles and more.
One of the most appealing aspects of functional fitness is that many activities don’t require special equipment, and most can be done at home. These small and simple tasks will leave you feeling happier and healthier.
Train With the Experts
You don’t need a gym for functional fitness, but it helps. A trainer will help you correct your form, slowly add weights and teach you variations of an exercise. Most importantly, they celebrate your success! Each small step of your fitness journey is a leap for the fitness experts. At MoveWell Fitness & Health, we take pride in your accomplishments. We also understand the hassles of a busy schedule and offer personalised online training. Reach out to us today to schedule a training appointment. Together, we will craft a plan for success to improve your overall health and well-being.