We should all know by now that exercise promotes a long and healthy life, but it can be a difficult choice when deciding which exercise routine is best for you. Walking, yoga, swimming, tai chi, cycling, pilates – the options are endless! But some of these exercises might be better for some than others, especially for seniors who may be limited as to what exercises they can perform.
For those with limited mobility or for those who are just starting a new exercise routine, a new fitness trend among seniors could be the answer: functional fitness.
What is Functional Fitness?
A recent CNN article outlined the benefits of functional fitness for seniors. So what exactly is functional fitness? Functional fitness is great for seniors because it mimics the activities that you perform on a daily basis, such as lifting and carrying grocery bags from your car to your home and even putting those same groceries away on shelves or in cabinets.
Although it may not seem like it, these mindless activities require strength, balance, flexibility and stability, and more often than not, daily tasks require a combination of these skills. Functional fitness is one of the few exercises that recognizes this fact as it focuses on multi-joint activity.
Since functional fitness focuses on basic fitness activities seniors do on a daily basis, it promotes seniors’ independence along with relieving arthritis pain, reducing one’s risk of falling and lowering one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. We all lose muscle, balance and bone strength as we age – these are just signs of the natural wear and tear on the body, but functional fitness is a great option to help everyone regain their strength, regardless of age.
Functional Fitness Exercises
Interested in starting a functional fitness exercise routine? Classes focusing on functional fitness for seniors are increasingly being offered at gyms and community centers, and below are five of the most common functional fitness exercises that you can do at your own pace:
While these functional fitness exercises can help you regain the strength you need to perform common daily tasks, it is just as important to keep building up your strength with these fitness tips to combat muscle loss as you age.