While you may have just started hearing the term “functional fitness’ this is not a newly created fitness regimen. Functional fitness refers to training, meaning exercising to improve balance, strength, and endurance, to help make our everyday tasks easier. From lifting furniture to lifting your toddler, everyday activities do cause injury when your body is not properly trained. This type of fitness regimen focuses on preventing injury and keeping you feeling great daily, rather than focusing on losing weight for the New Year or that upcoming wedding.
This approach is becoming a trend in the fitness world, but it has always been the foundation of pain management and physical therapy.
Simple exercises that improve your balance can keep you stable while running the subway steps or carrying your infant. Range of motion exercises can keep you from feeling stiff or achy, especially after long periods of being still or performing a strenuous activity.
Functional strength exercises focus on strengthening muscle groups that support your back and joints. This prevents injury from accidents like falls or trips as well as overuse injuries. For example, strengthening core and back muscles can help prevent back pain from long days sitting at your desk. Strengthening your quads and other leg muscles can prevent knee injuries and postpone osteoarthritis, which is extremely common in individuals of all activity levels and lifestyles.
Finally, exercising to increase your cardiovascular health and endurance is simply the best thing you can do for your overall health. Besides having more energy in your everyday life, you can reduce the risk of almost any disease, including heart disease and cancer, by sticking to a regular exercise routine.