Did you know that only one out of every four American adults gets the recommended amount of physical activity? Getting enough exercise is important to help you reduce your risk of disease, improve your physical and mental health, and maintain your weight.
When you perform functional fitness exercises, it can also help you train your body to best be able to perform the everyday movements and activities you are tasked with. This can help you reduce injury and feel way better.
Are you interested in functional fitness for weight loss and its other benefits?
Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
What Is Functional Fitness?
Functional fitness exercises help to train your muscles in order to make it safer and easier for you to perform everyday tasks. They help to strengthen your muscles in a way that prepares them for common movements that you might do when you’re at home, playing sports, or at home.
These exercises use a variety of muscles in the upper and lower body simultaneously. Emphasizing core stability, these are exercises that can be done at the gym or at home. You can even find functional fitness classes at home and online.
This approach of working several muscle groups at once is in contrast to strength training that is focused on body building. In this approach, one muscle group is focused on at one time. While this can help bodybuilders achieve the look they are going for, it doesn’t provide nearly as many overall benefits as a functional fitness plan.
Getting physical exercise is essential to a healthy body and mind. With functional fitness, the workout is designed to prevent injury when you are performing normal daily tasks like carrying groceries, putting something up on a shelf, and playing games with your kids.
What Are Examples of Functional Fitness Exercises?
Activities like yoga and tai chi consist of comprehensive physical movements that can help build functional fitness. By combining flexibility and resistance training, practices like these can help improve your ability to perform everyday activities efficiently and safely.
Tai chi has a number of benefits, including:
- Increased stamina and energy
- Decreased anxiety, stress, and depression
- Improved aerobic capacity
- Improved mood
- Improved balance, flexibility, and agility
- Improved muscle definition and strength
There is also some evidence that tai chi can help with joint pain, enhance sleep quality, help lower blood pressure, and improve one’s overall wellbeing.
Yoga has also been studied for its potential physical and mental health benefits, which include:
- Improving strength, flexibility, and balance
- Easing arthritis symptoms
- Improving sleep
- Helping reduce stress
- Reducing pain
- Improving respiration, vitality, and energy
- Reducing weight
- Protecting you from injury
- Improving athletic performance
- Increasing muscle tone and strength
Yoga and tai chi aren’t the only ways to engage in functional fitness, though. Other examples of movements that use multiple muscles and joints include:
- Standing rows
- Multidirectional lunges
- Sled pull
When you are going about your daily life, rarely are you only calling upon one muscle at a time. When you perform functional fitness exercises regularly, it can help ensure that your body is prepared for the activities of the day.
1. Functional Fitness Helps With Weight Loss
Functional fitness classes can help you lose weight while also looking after your long-term fitness and wellbeing. Instead of being stressful to your body the way that other forms of exercise can be, functional fitness helps you use your body most effectively and reduce injury. When your body can move more comfortably it means that it’s also more likely to burn more calories.
When your body isn’t working properly it isn’t as efficient at burning calories. With functional fitness, you are supporting the overall health of the body in a way that promotes weight loss.
2. It Improves Posture
There are countless benefits to maintaining good posture. Bad posture can have a number of different causes, including:
- Muscle guarding and injury
- Muscle Weakness and tension
- Daily compensation habits
- Using computers and phones with poor posture
- Genetics and heredity
- Shoes and the weight distribution of your feet
Many people have postural problems these days either due to one or a combination of these factors. However, improving your posture is important to avoiding injury and overall health. Some of the benefits of improving your posture include:
- Reducing lower back pain
- Reducing tension headaches
- Boosting your energy
- Reducing neck and shoulder tension
- Reduces wear of the joint surfaces
- Increasing lung capacity
- Improving digestion and circulation
- Reducing TMJ pain
- Improving scapular and core strength
- Improving exercise and athletic form
- Boosts self-confidence
Because functional fitness is focused on training the body to help muscles work together rather than focusing on one muscle at a time, it helps to ensure that all of your muscles are performing as they should in a balanced way. This means that your posture can be improved, as your muscles are training for optimum performance rather than using some more than others in a compensatory way. Your balance is also improved with functional fitness exercises.
3. It Provides Stress Relief and Boost Mood
When people think about exercising, they usually focus on the physical benefits. It has been established for a long time that regular exercise can help to both fight disease and improve physical condition. However, people might not think about how vital exercise is for maintaining mental fitness as well.
Studies have found that regularly engaging in exercise is very effective at:
- Improving alertness and concentration
- Reducing fatigue
- Enhancing overall cognitive function
- Relieving stress
Your whole body is impacted when you are stressed. Similarly, when you’re experiencing physical pain or discomfort, it can lead to stress.
When you exercise, your body produces endorphins. These are chemicals in your brain that help to reduce pain, improve your ability to sleep, and reduce the amount of stress you experience. If you’ve ever felt the “runner’s high” some people experience after a good, hard workout, then you know what we’re talking about.
The production of endorphins has a lot of benefits, including helping to reduce anxiety and stress, alleviating depression, boosting self-esteem, and even reducing your weight. Endorphins can be naturally boosted in a number of different ways, including exercising, creating art or music, eating dark chocolate, meditating, and more. Interestingly, there is also research to show that more endorphins are produced when you participate in group classes rather than working out alone.
Researchers have found that regularly participating in aerobic activity can help to:
- Improve sleep
- Elevate and stabilize mood
- Decrease tension levels overall
- Improve self-esteem
Functional fitness is a combination of aerobic, anaerobic, muscular endurance, agility, power training, and strength training. Each of these different types of exercises provides its own benefits, and through functional training you can tap into many of their advantages.
4. Functional Fitness Is Great For Flexibility
If you’re taking functional fitness weight loss classes, you’ll experience other benefits than just shedding some pounds. It can also help you be more flexible, which has a number of awesome benefits. These include:
- Improving your balance and posture
- Reducing pain
- Reducing injury
- Improving mindset
- Improving physical performance
- Improving strength
No one wants to walk around stiff and feeling limited in their movement. When you regularly practice functional exercises, your flexibility and overall wellbeing can benefit.
5. It Helps Increase Endurance
When you perform endurance activities, it can help keep your lungs, heart, and circulatory system healthy. It also leads to better fitness overall and reduces the risk of a number of conditions and diseases.
Starting off exercising can always be a bit challenging if you feel like you get tired out quickly. However, with regular exercise, you can feel proud over time about how your endurance is building up and leaving you capable of getting more out of each workout. One of the great things about functional fitness is that you can start where you are, for example starting with bodyweight exercises before moving on using resistance bands or weights.
6. It Increases Your Range of Motion
Your body is a system, not a bunch of unrelated parts that have nothing to do with one another. When your muscles aren’t able to stretch to their full potential, it can lead you to get injured easier, lead to poor posture, and reduce your ability to relax physically. Functional Fitness can help you improve your range of motion, which in turn leads to better flexibility, better posture, and improved overall wellbeing.
7. Functional Fitness Enriches Athletic Performance
Functional fitness isn’t a system just for non-athletes. These types of exercises can also help to boost your athletic performance, whether you are a competitive mountain biker or a casual tennis player.
Athletes can use functional training along with their main practice as a complementary preparation. Through this type of exercise, they can boost their performance and reduce the risk of injury.
8. It Helps Your Muscles Recover After Injury
Getting injured when you’ve been on an exercise streak can be incredibly disheartening. Your body has to rest and recover in order to help you get back on track, which can be frustrating and leave you worrying about losing the gains you’ve made so far.
If you’ve been injured, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about what kind of exercises you can safely do. There’s a good chance some of the options they’ll give you will be functional training exercises that are appropriate for your situation.
9. It’s a Holistic Approach
As mentioned previously, other types of exercise can be pretty lopsided. If you are only lifting weights, you are probably not experiencing the optimum potential in terms of flexibility, range of motion, and endurance. If you are only doing static stretches, you probably aren’t building strength in the way you’d like.
With functional fitness exercises, your body is treated as the interconnected system that it is. This provides impressive overall benefits both in your athletic performance and your experience of daily life.
10. It Can Improve Your Daily Life
When you’re moving around doing your typical daily tasks, the last thing you want is to feel achy, stiff, weak, or stressed out. When you participate in functional fitness classes or exercises you are working to improve the overall function of your body. This means that you are working to boost muscle endurance and strength and developing body and muscle stability.
Many people find that their daily activities feel much easier when they start doing functional exercises. This is because the training focuses on movements that people actually make in their daily lives rather than hyper-focusing on one muscle group like in bodybuilding.
Your quality of life can also be improved because of the way that functional fitness can reduce stress. When your stress levels are lower, your mood is boosted and your attitude more positive.
Are You Ready to Get Moving?
While many functional training exercises can be done at home, it isn’t always easy to motivate yourself to take the time to do them. One great way to make sure that you are preparing your body for your daily life is to sign up for group classes.
At Results Fitness, we know that everyone is different. That’s why we offer more than 120 group classes every single week. Working out with others can make exercising a lot more fun and can also increase the likelihood that you will stick with your weight loss plan.
Group classes are also a great way to meet other people and stay motivated. That being said, others might prefer the one-on-one attention of a personal trainer. Either way, Results Fitness is here to help you meet your fitness goals!
Is it time for you to begin your membership? If so, join today!