What Is Functional Fitness?
Functional fitness is geared toward the 'active ager' who wants to stay active, safe, and independent as they age. A combination of movement patterns and exercises geared to preserve joints, train muscles, optimize mobility, and minimize aches and pains, will be implemented to help with engaging in everyday activities.
What Are The Benefits of Functional Fitness?
By focusing on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, it will become easier and safer to participate in daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work, or in sports. For example, a squat is a functional exercise because it trains the muscles used when you rise up and down from a chair, pick up low objects, climb stairs, carry groceries, and play with your grandkids. By training your muscles to work the way they do in everyday tasks, you prepare your body to perform well in a variety of common situations, which can:
- Reduce the risk of falls or injury
- Improve balance (i.e. to stand in the shower)
- Increase strength (i.e. to open jars and containers)
- Improve mobility (posture, balance, coordination, flexibility, and agility)
- Improve muscular endurance (i.e. to walk further and complete other tasks of daily living)
- Minimize or manage the risks of osteoporosis
- Benefits for people with Parkinson's or Stroke damage
- Make everyday activities easier and less uncomfortable
- Improve your quality of life
- Enhance energy and reduce stress
- Help you engage in the fun of life!
These can be trained at any age!
Where Can Functional Fitness Take Place?
The short answer is "just about anywhere"
- At home
- At work
- At the gym
- On vacation
- Or outdoors
What Equipment Will You Need?
Exercise tools used can vary and may include, but are not limited to: fitness balls, weights, bands, your own body weight, or objects in your environment or surroundings.
What Can You Expect?
A highly individualized approach to program development that is geared toward your needs and goals for improvement determined by a simple four step process:
1. Start with an assessment. To begin your journey, a comprehensive musculoskeletal clinical assessment will be completed, which includes a complete health history and movement analysis, to address concerns and goals.
2. Build a plan. The results of your assessment will be used to construct an approach, using one or a combination of movement modalities. This process will not only address the specifics of your concerns, it will act as a tool to correct poor movement patterns that have developed through response to pain or changed movement patterns with muscular relationships, that contributed to your concerns in the first place. By implementing evidence-based principles, an approach and program will be developed and tailored to your individual needs.
3. Get started. Exercise and movement prescription recommendations are built in a progressive way to retrain your brain to re-connect with healthy movement, body awareness and lifestyle demands that matter most to you. You'll start with small, focused exercises to stimulate the nervous system and re-connect you to your body. Then when you are ready, exercises will be included that are more functional and demanding over time. A variety of equipment, techniques and activities, specific to your individual injury or condition and stage of recovery, are employed to assist you with returning to work, play, recreation and daily life.
4. Move to Independence. The goal is always to achieve long-term solutions that you can eventually execute independently. By looking at your body as a whole, you will move toward a long lasting fix that is supported by strength and proper movement. Thus, you will be empowered with the tools and education necessary to improve function, quality of life and independence.