Functional Fitness-It's About Training For Life, Not For Life Events!
Those reading this blog have, at some point, prepared for something in their lives. Whether it be for a test in school by going over notes your professor gave you; preparing to make the perfect meal by getting the ingredients needed to make it; preparing yourself for an interview for a job by going over possible questions the interviewer may ask, or even setting a fitness goal by writing out the steps to take in order to "win" that goal. Whether it's some of these I've named, or none at all; at some point we used the action of preparation for something in our lives.
What happens when the test is finished? What happens when the meal is created and your family ate it? What happens when the interview is over, and you have been offered the job? What happens when you accomplished your fitness goal? More than likely we go back to our normal lives and comfort zones until the next task comes up. Am I right? Let's put this in terms of fitness. We may have a goal that we want to achieve for an event (i.e. summer vacation, wedding, fitness competition, lose weight to fit into that shirt, or dress); once that goal, or that time frame has passed sometimes; not all the time, but sometimes we will gain the weight, lose the muscle mass, lose the flexibility, and go back to our terrible diet habits, because we didn't set another goal. What if, you started exercising, and eating right for your life? What do I mean? I mean your focus is to exercise to improve your everyday living. Everyday living such as: reaching for something on the top shelf of your kitchen cabinet; bending down to pick something up; reaching for that book on the bookcase; standing for long periods of time at work, and many other things. All of these movements are considered "functional". Functional fitness is when our bodies are trained to move for our everyday activities. Please don't misinterpret what I'm trying to say. Goals and functional fitness should go hand-in-hand. Goals can be as short term or long term as you make them, but consider functional fitness as something you would do in order to benefit your everyday activities. In other words, functional fitness is not about training for a competition or to look a certain way necessarily, but to be the best you can be in your everyday activities. On the Mayo Clinic's website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/functional-fitness/art-20047680 it says that functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. These movements include:
1. Squat: Bending to pick up a child, and item, etc.
2. Push: Pushing something out of the way like a couch, a box, etc.
3. Pull: Pulling something near you
4. Moving in different range and planes of motion (twisting, backwards, forwards, etc)
5. Movements that help with balance and coordination
I feel that using functional fitness will help you with your normal day-to-day activities, and will help you stay focused if you are: still trying to fine tune your goal(s); accomplishing your goal(s), or working on creating your goal(s). Functional fitness will allow you to perform your everyday activities more efficiently and with more energy. In summary, create goals short term and long term. At the same time incorporate functional fitness, so you can crush your day-to-day activities.