Are you functionally fit?

  • Category: Blogs
  • Posted On:
Are you functionally fit?

Do you consider yourself to be fit? How about functionally fit?

Functional fitness, also known as functional training or functional movement, is a type of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. Functional exercises—such as walking, pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, and lunging—can help with everyday activities like carrying groceries, mowing the lawn, or walking up stairs.

According to the Mayo Clinic, functional fitness uses multiple joints and muscles at once to train the whole body. Using upper and lower body muscles working together also emphasizes core stability.

Functional fitness exercises can be done at home or the gym. Gyms may offer classes or incorporate functional fitness into boot camps or other types of classes. Exercise equipment, such as fitness balls, kettlebells, and weights, can be used in functional fitness workouts. However, functional fitness is not about heavy lifting. It is about making everyday activities easier, reducing the risk of injury, and improving quality of life.

The National Institutes of Health recommends functional fitness exercises that support four fitness goals for seniors: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Many exercises and activities can address all four goals combined.

Simple functional exercises that use only body weight include: chair squats, wall push-ups, single-leg stands, and lunges. The number of repetitions and times repeated (sets) can vary based on an individual’s age and fitness level.

The goal of functional exercise is to move and be active. As fitness level increases, resistance can be added using weights, resistance tubing, or performing movements in the water.

Functional fitness can reduce the need for assisted mobility devices. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, frequent exercise can help relieve arthritis pain and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.