Functional exercise is a relatively new way of training that allows your muscles to work in concert with one another so that you can perform your daily exercises without injury to your body. Functional exercises teach your muscles that they need to work together to promote balance and strength in all your body areas.
Here are ten reasons to add functional fitness exercises to your day:
- You will have better balance. In functional exercising, you focus on the balance of your body as it goes through the various exercises. Your legs are engaged with your spine so that you keep your core strength up and will fall less.
- You have a lesser chance of injury. If your muscles have not been trained to work together, you risk injury no matter what you may do in life. When you do functional exercises, all muscles are strengthened together so that no muscle is over-weak and prone to injury when compared to other muscles.
- You can go through daily activities more smoothly. When you practice functional exercise, your entire body is engaged in activities of daily living. This means you can reach for the groceries in the trunk, carry them into your home, maneuver your way around obstacles, and put the groceries away because all of your muscles are equally strong and they know how to work together for everyday activities.
- You don’t have to be an elite athlete for this to work. Elite athletes already know about functional exercise and have strong muscles throughout their body that are trained to work together to achieve an unlimited number of tasks. You too can use functional exercise to strengthen all your muscles to the degree necessary to go through your daily life without having to separately exercise each muscle group. You won’t be as strong as an elite athlete but your body will move in concert with itself to do what needs to be done every day.
- Your core is stabilized. One of the biggest risks you take when you don’t exercise for functional strength is that your core is too weak. You have strong arms and legs but a weak core that is prone to injury. Functional exercising acts to strengthen the core as well as your extremities. This keeps you from injuring your back while reaching for an everyday object that your arms can carry but your back cannot.
- You can do this type of exercise anywhere. While you can take a functional fitness class at a health club, it is something that doesn’t require special equipment. In fact, the fancy equipment at a health club often flies in the face of functional exercise because they strengthen some muscles to the exclusion of others. It is better to stay at home doing lunges and other functional exercises than it is to do latissimus dorsi strengthening at a gym, where the other muscles are not taught to work in concert with those muscles.
- This is an inexpensive form of exercise. You may have to invest in a kettle bell or fitness ball but it is far cheaper to invest in these and use them at home, than it is to have a gym, membership to do weight lifting that you will never do. Take a class in functional fitness and turn that knowledge into inexpensive exercises you can do in the comfort of your living room or den.
- You can protect your joints. Functional exercises tend to be easy on the joints. Through the fluid motions of lunges or the swing of the kettle bell, there are no jarring motions to your joints and you can strengthen your muscles without putting excess pressure on your joints.
- All your muscles can be equally strengthened. Imagine being able to do what you need to do with all of your muscles equally strengthened. You will be strong and less injured if your muscles know how to work together to get you through your day.
You will have a better frame of mind and more confidence. When you can perform your activities of daily living with all the strength and stability of your muscles, your quality of life will be better and you will be less likely to worry about performing the tasks that need to be done as part of your active day with your newfound confidence.