Your busy life demands a lot out of you. From your career to your social life, isn’t your body worth being in the best shape it possibly can be?
Your toddler, despite tipping the scale at 35lbs, is begging you to lift him up and take him to bed. You oblige – although a bit reluctantly – and as you take him upstairs, you back spasms as you fall to the floor. In your early thirties, is this even supposed to happen? The reality is, that when we don’t strengthen our body through a functional fitness program, it often can and does – whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s or beyond. Use functional fitness so that your muscles, joints and overall bodily fitness won’t take a nosedive during those lifestyle tasks you can’t always avoid.
The Functional Fitness Starting Point
Functional fitness? What’s that? If you’re wondering what kind of fitness program functional fitness entails, consider it as a specialized way to strengthen muscles groups you need most during heavy lifting at work, or core training that will improve your energy level and overall quality of life. Typical weight lifting, for example, will only target one muscle group such as the biceps. Use functional fitness to target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. The payoff? Less injury for your busy life!
Whether you’re a senior citizen needing to improve your stamina, a young athlete needing to build up strength from a recent injury or someone looking for a weight loss program that will improve your overall health and energy level, functional fitness offers various programs – from weight lifting to aquatic training – to improve every area of your life. Two very effective training exercises include:
Bicep curl while climbing stairs. Stairs are everywhere in your life – at home, at work, or just during the random fluke that the bookstore you frequent has their elevator out of commission and the only option is to climb an unexpected staircase to reach the second floor. So, how will you be as fit as you need to be so that your back doesn’t go out in the process? By knocking two birds out with one stone! Practice climbing stairs while engaging in 5-8 lb. bicep curls. You’ll save time at the gym by performing these two important strength exercises at once.
Medicine ball with diagonal reach. Just reaching down to pick something off the ground the wrong way can result in a muscle spasm, so try a good stretch to increase your muscle’s strength. Stand up straight and hold a medicine ball with both hands so it remains in front of your chest. Now, lift it diagonally to the right while lifting your left leg to the side and slowly back down again. Repeat this exercise 8-15 times.
Your shoulder, biceps, triceps, and hip flexors need strengthening on a regular basis. You owe them this! So stay true to your body, and make sure you go through life lifting, lunging and carrying whatever load you need to with ease, and most importantly, free of pain.