Functional Fitness Benefits at Retirement Community
August 14, 2018
In the fitness field there are often trends that become incredibly popular for a period of time and then inevitably phase out so that the next latest and greatest thing can come along and replace it. The days of P90x, Tai Bo, and Step aerobics have come and gone, but there is one trend that continues to stay and that is the term “functional fitness”.
Functional fitness is a term that is used to describe any exercise that has a practical everyday purpose. For example, how many times a day do we squat down to pick something up off the floor, or lift something above our head to place it on a shelf. Functional exercises such as a squat or shoulder press mimic those tasks described above. On the other hand how many times a day do you actually have to do a chin-up. Nothing against doing chin-ups, they are a great exercise, but it’s not something that we have to do in our daily lives.
At Brightmore of South Charlotte, we have built most of our fitness classes on the foundation of using functional exercises. We believe that it is very important for our seniors to perform functional exercises so that they can build and maintain the muscles that they use most in their day to day tasks. We utilize a variety of shoulder, lower body and core strength exercises to build the foundation of our senior’s strength routine. Our other focus is to make sure that we try to use the joints in every type of flexion, extension, and circumduction as possible. This allows our residents to strengthen and maintain the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that surround that particular joint.
By applying functional fitness exercises to our senior’s exercise routines, we believe that this will help them to maintain their level of function and independence. By practicing and then applying these exercises to their everyday life their confidence and ability to complete every day task also increases. If you are looking to add some more purposeful exercises to your routine, try thinking about what tasks you have trouble with at home. Then mimic those particular movements in your workout. This should make harder tasks become much easier and improve your everyday function.