You may be thinking, “Is functional fitness an actual thing, or just the latest workout trend?” You’ve got a good reason to ask. These days, it seems like there is a new hot exercise plan to hit the gym every week, and some go while others stick around. So which ones are worth your time? If you’re a busy bee with family responsibilities and work deadlines, functional fitness is the one for you. Keep reading to learn all about it!Business mom with baby.

Your Career Depends on a Strong Body and Mind

Whether you’re a nurse, flight attendant, accountant or doctor, your body is the vehicle in which you count, lift, and carry yourself from promotion to promotion; task to task. What would happen if, in the middle of performing surgery, your back spasmed? How would you do someone’s taxes if you suffered a neck injury?

If you’re not in shape, your career might just come to a standstill.

Functional fitness is workout on your muscles—sometimes multiple muscle groups at once—in a way that benefits and strengthens your ability to move and lift anything in your personal and professional life successfully. So, even if you are lifting weights in the weight room three times a week, you’re not teaching your body to work together (which could cause an accident lifting your toddler at home.) Functional fitness is about teaching your muscle groups to work in harmony in order to minimize injury.

Learn How to Balance Your Own Weight

Bicep MuscleSure, you can bench press your weight like nobody’s business, but can you balance on one leg? Chances are, you cannot. The goal of functional fitness is teaching your body’s various muscle groups to work together, instead of working by themselves. To improve your body’s strength, start off simply. Remember, functional fitness is a whole different way of training your body to become stronger, so go easy at the beginning (even if you currently work out 5 times a week.)

Start off practicing a one legged squat. With one leg bent, slowly lower yourself down to the ground. If you need help balancing, place a chair in front of you for support. Once you can come down successfully, practice picking up a three or five pound free weight.

When you focus on functional fitness, you’ll begin to achieve real health for your real life. Minimize injury as you gain balance, flexibility and agility to boost wellness in your life.