Functional Training For Everyday Health And Fitness

By Claressa Mees, Manager, Anytime Fitness

When it comes to getting into the routine of consistently working out, there are many challenges we can face — lack of time, lack of motivation, and oftentimes lack of guidance. We are excited to share with you some tips to help you as an individual get to a healthier place in your fitness journey. These two tips are general and may vary for each individual depending on where you are  in your fitness journey.
1. Accountability: The power of accountability is endless. Whether it is a friend, family member, or even a trainer; accountability will get you on the right track to helping you reach your health and fitness goals.
Here are 5 tips to helping you stay accountable:
Schedule out your training sessions ahead of time. Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your weekly workouts. Plan ahead.
Communicate your goals (both long and short term). Tell one or two people who will check up on you and make sure you are still on track to reaching your goals.
Plan your daily meals. Don’t get caught in a crunch where drive-through dinner is the easiest route. If you plan ahead, you can plan to pack a healthy meal on days or evenings when you cannot cook at home.
Write out your goals and put them somewhere you can see them everyday.
Get plugged in. You cannot do this alone. You need a support system, motivation and guidance to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
You don’t want to miss out on all of the benefits getting your health journey started will bring you. So the question that remains is this, why not start today?
2. Functional Training: Functional training is a style of exercise which involves training the body for daily life activities. These exercises equip your body to handle real-life situations.
Most functional exercises contain multi-joint movements. What do I mean by that? I mean that in most functional exercises, you’ll probably use your knees, your hips, and possibly even your shoulder joints. It all comes down to being practical.
Functional training is important because you use various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.
Here are some benefits of functional training:
Increases Strength. Functional exercises increase your strength.  This is because most functional exercises can increase your core strength and stability. The more stable your foundation, the stronger you are.
Most exercises on machines have a great purpose and isolate your muscles. This is excellent for mass building, but if you want to increase your strength, you should build the stability muscles.
By increasing your core strength and surrounding muscles, you can go up on your maximum weight for those isolating exercises.
We rarely encounter isolating movements in our day-to-day life. If I’m shoveling dirt in my flower bed, I’m not just using my biceps and my triceps to move the shovel. I’m using my legs (quads) to push the shovel, my lower back to bend over and lift, and my arms and abs to move the dirt away.
Improves balance and stability. There are plenty of things in life that can throw off your balance or stability. It’s important to emulate these things in the gym so we can prepare ourselves for the outside world. Remember, a truly fit lifestyle is not about how fit we look, it’s about how fit we live. What good is working out if it doesn’t prepare us and strengthen us for every day activities?
A great example of a functional exercise that increases stability is a lunge with a shoulder press. If you ever find yourself reaching for a box above the cabinet or a shelf and then walking backwards after you grab it, you’ll be glad you practiced this exercise.
Reduces risk of injury. Functional exercises can greatly decrease your risk of injury in the outside world. In my time in the fitness industry, I have never seen one person injured by a proper deadlift or a squat. I have, however, seen plenty of people who have been injured picking up a brick, a potted plant, or lifting soil bags and throwing out their back.
These injuries occur to your smaller muscles when you least expect it. A great exercise to equip you for these movements is a Lateral Shuffle Bar Pickup. This will help you train for the simple movement of picking something up and moving it over.
Functional Training is for everyone!