Thursday, February 12, 2015

Functional Fitness - Working Body

The other day I had a discussion with a friend who wanted to know what I was lifting and how many reps I was up to. Typical guy :)  I described that in my time with My Trainer we focus on functional fitness to enhance my ability to do everything I need to do in my daily life. Our workout routines are placing emphasis on balance, working several muscle groups in combination, and requiring activation of smaller stabilizer muscles  (at risk of atrophy in my body :)  )
Top 10 Functional Fitness at SheKnows
There is a good list of these types of exercises in the link below the photo to the right. I'm doing many exercises that combine upper- and lower-body movements, or require lifting and twisting. These moves activate core stabilizer muscles plus back and arm muscles. Over and over and over. Sometimes we do 50 of each move - three times. Right now my goal isn't just to gain strength, but also to improve flexibility, range of motion, joint alignment and balance. This helps my ability to function more smoothly and easily in my daily life! 

Source: The Journal on Active Aging • March April 2002
Still confused by what I mean - take a look at the table.  With poor physical parameters listed in the first column, activities and functions such as stair climbing and worse yet stair climbing while carrying heavy objects can be limited or difficult. And daily living goals in the third column can be highly restricted or reduced - or cause a great deal of stress. In fact, I would also pile up items to take up or down steps just so that I wouldn't have to do it very often.  Concerns regarding ones functional fitness seem to be more common in discussions with elderly and obese individuals who have constrained physical abilities and/or fatigue easily. I might fit into both those categories. Layer on top of that recovery from injuries - and I can definitely benefit from attention to becoming more functionally fit! 
Today I'm very happy with my weight loss and increase in functional fitness - this includes:
  • Increased muscle strength (I'm no longer wearing my elbow braces or wrist supports!)
  • Much higher aerobic endurance (I'm doing at leave 1-1.5 hours of cardio each day!)
  • Much better balance (but a long way to go!)
  • Reduced joint pain - chronic pain in my hip and ankle are greatly reduced.
Very Happy! And I'm in week 7 of 2015 - that means 45 more weeks of Making Fit Happen!

Yeah, today is going to be awesome. Time to get up from this chair and get moving :)

Teresa Marie

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