Finding Fitness: Functional Fitness

In the fitness community, a trend that has reached the surface is Functional Fitness. Basically, Functional Fitness is the term used for a type of fitness regime that focuses on making participants’ daily life more productive. Ashley Borden, a celebrity trainer, stated on Rodale Wellness.com that it “focuses on exercises that mimic everyday life movement patterns that includes squatting, reaching, rotating and lifting.”

Our daily lives involve exerting a lot of energy, and when you don’t have the time or finances to go to the gym or a group exercise, something like functional fitness might be the next best thing. Not only does this style enhance and help daily activities, it also encourages those who don’t consider themselves athletic to improve their health and wellness. Most of these exercises have striking similarities to strength and conditioning classes which would be a perfect alternative if working out alone isn’t your thing. Here are some daily activities that can be improved and supported by functional fitness:

Sitting: squats, lunges, core exercises

College students spend countless hours in the day sitting down taking notes and writing essays on computers and notebooks. All of these hours sitting can cause many problems in the lower back and legs. By doing activities that focus on this area a few times a week like dumbbell squats and walking lunges, can vastly improve the strain that is put on student’s back and legs.

Lifting: arms, shoulders

Carrying around textbooks, groceries or other things can cause injury and muscle strains if the body isn’t properly prepared to withstand the weight of these activities. Deadlifts, push-ups, kettlebell swings and similar exercises can improve upper body strength and take the strain off the upper body.

Walking: legs

It might seem like a simple activity that all children learn from a young age but if you walk too much or improperly, you can easily sprain an ankle or cause overworked muscles. By walking short distances or jogging you can improve your stamina. Another simple way to move your joints is to add a daily stretch to your morning routine. This can decrease the likelihood of injury and further complications like arthritis and knee or other joint issues.

Neck strain: stretches, posture

Students are guilty of slouching and staring into their phone or computer. This seemingly harmless activity can lead to numerous neck and spine problems for most students. This can be improved by light stretches in the neck and trying to keep your head level when walking or even trying to improve slouching with the old “book method” of placing a book on your head and walking. This, of course, can be an extreme, so even sitting far into a seat and using the chair as a guide for your spine is a simple trick to improve pain and injury in the neck area.

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