Physical trainings have been progressing through the years, coming up with a variety of programs that differ on their focus and goals. One example very suitable to the elderly is what they call functional fitness training. What is it and what is its core purpose?
Functional Fitness and the Basics
Most gym routines prove to be effective in making one’s body toned and even beach ready. While these are great results, it is also important to train the muscles how to coordinate and work effectively on tasks required in everyday life. With that comes the ultimate goal of functional fitness – to build a body that is able to execute actual life activities at ease, apart from the mere lifting and operating of particular gym machines.
Since other trainings work through strengthening certain muscles in exclusion of others, functional fitness does the opposite. It integrates the muscles with one another because real-life situations demand such. For instance, lifting groceries does not only require well-built and strong arm muscles; it also needs strength from the back and from the legs. Once you isolate the muscle groups and let one carry the weight of the task alone, you set yourself up for potential injuries.
Benefits of Functional Fitness
Functional fitness improves the quality of life. Because you are trained to do normal life activities, then you can expect yourself to do them well over time. Run around with your pet or plant something in your garden. You can do it efficiently despite the old age. You can even do better in accomplishing mundane tasks like climbing the stairs, or loading the groceries into the tall cabinet in the kitchen. If trips to the restroom used to challenge you, this training will also benefit you – because what is functional fitness for if not to be applied in daily living, right?
This training also targets the person’s balance. Some people, especially the elderly, are prone to falling or tripping. This, along with other possible harm, is avoided because the body is taught to exercise balance. Consequently, it also helps enhance mobility and stability. Thus, what others may have viewed as an old and frail body, can still deliver improvement in everyday activities – it just needs the right fitness routine.
All things considered, there are countless reasons as to why functional fitness is very suitable to the older adults. However, the empowerment and vitality one can gain upon being able to easily accomplish normal tasks again is the paramount explanation why you should go for it.
Written by The Village Of Bedford Walk, a senior living community in Columbia, MO.