If you’re exercising and improving your fitness, it’s good for your health and can reduce the risk of many diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. However, to create a health-focused workout plan, rather than a plan simply to get those curves and muscles you want, you need to focus on things like injury prevention, movement and longevity. It’s called functional fitness and requires that you work on endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. It will help you as you age and even slow the aging process, too.
Start with focusing more on how you move your muscles, rather than just building muscles.
While bodybuilders have the best possible physique, it doesn’t mean they’re healthiest. If they don’t have flexibility training, they can succumb to injury. Their diet and the fact their heart has to work harder to supply blood to a larger muscle mass, so they’re more prone to heart disease and even high cholesterol and blood pressure. When you focus more on the daily movements you make, rather than on building specific muscle groups, you’ll protect yourself from injury. It’s called functional fitness.
There are six patterns you do everyday.
Most of your daily effort consists of six basic movements. Squatting down, bending at the hip—a hip hinge, lunging forward, pushing, pulling and rotating. Focusing on those movements a few times a week provide the exercise you need to get the figure you want, but also helps provide more functional fitness, so you won’t get injured doing something as simple as picking up a child. Squats, lunges, kettlebell swing, bench press, pull-ups and wood choppers provide those movements.
Building muscle is great, but don’t forget your most important muscle, the heart.
You need to build strength and flexibility, but don’t forget your ticker. Aerobic workouts can help increase your lung capacity and boost your endurance level. Just like working out for functional fitness, you need the respiratory benefits of endurance workouts. It helps improve the heart and breathing, while strengthening muscles and bones. It helps you to reduce body fat, which is healthy if you’re overweight.
- Exercising with a kettlebell is an excellent way to improve functional fitness. The kettlebell is off-center making your core muscles work harder and you’ll move in a multitude of directions when you use it. It tends to mimic the body movements you do daily, but with added weight.
- Building core muscles, including abs, not only help you look great, but also improves your posture. These exercises can help relieve back pain and when they’re strong, reduce the chance of it reappearing.
- Strength training and learning proper lifting technique is important. Learn to lift properly and lift something heavy several times a week. Not only does it prevent injury, it can build your bones and prevent osteoporosis.
- Core stability is important. The stronger your core muscles, the less prone you are to lower-body injuries. Side planks, dead bugs, planks and roll-outs are exercises that can help.
For more information, contact us today at Reggie C Fitness