Most people think of fitness as the ability to run fast, lift weights and leap tall buildings in a single bound (OK, maybe not the last one). One overlooked aspect of fitness, however, is the kind that pertains to your everyday activities: functional fitness.
Functional fitness refers to the muscles you might need to go through normal activities; bending over to pick up a newspaper, lifting groceries out of your car, holding a baby over your head, etc. are all examples of functional fitness.
Classes are springing up all over the country to help promote functional fitness and many of them are adopting very simple, light weight techniques to increase participants’ muscular strength and flexibility. Most of these classes use yoga balls to perform core exercises, an area often overlooked in trips to the gym. They also incorporate resistance bands to strengthen arms and legs, providing a total body workout in an hour or less, three to four times per week.
Participants report increased stamina, balance, strength and flexibility. The good news is that you don’t have to drive to a gym or recreation center to improve your functional fitness; it’s something that can be done every day in the home or on the move. Exercise bands provide a portable gym-in-a-bag that you can take with you anywhere. Improving functional fitness is invaluable. Be sure to take a few minutes each day to make sure your functional fitness is up to par.