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The Winterville Center

Community and Culture in Winterville, Georgia

Can Functional Fitness Help Me?

Do you want to live a longer, more satisfying life? You may want to consider practicing a functional fitness program to improve your ability to do daily activities while extending your life and improving your general enjoyment of life.

 

What is functional fitness?

 

Many daily activities depend on the movement of our bodies. Functional fitness encourages the development of commonly used muscles to help us perform the things we do in life. 

 

Functional fitness practices like free weight workouts, yoga, or even walking not only can help us build muscle to get better at other fitness activities, but can improve how we do laundry, rake leaves, or play with our children. 

 

What benefits can come from functional fitness?

 

Building and maintaining strength can not only help us do ordinary daily tasks, but also protect us from injuries due to sudden movements. Developing key muscles can insulate your joints from damage and long-term wear. If you practice a sport or other physical activity, functional fitness moves may help your performance and improve stability and stamina.

 

But functional fitness activities may have benefits even beyond daily activities and sports to longevity and better mental health overall. Some scientists believe muscle power can contribute to a longer life and reduced deaths due to cardiovascular disease and cancer (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190412085247.htm). Other studies have indicated that those who use integrative practices like tai chi lived longer (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tai-chi-life/tai-chi-tied-to-longer-life-idUSBRE96H0PW20130718).

 

What types of exercises help functional fitness?

 

Many exercises that use your body weight or free weights, such as multi-directional lunges or dumbbell rows, can help with functional fitness. Exercises on a fitness machine may be less effective. 

 

Integrative practices such as yoga, pilates, martial arts, or tai chi may also help develop functional fitness because of their whole-body approach. These practices also often emphasize flexibility, stamina, and coordination, which can have additional functional benefits. 

Try a functional fitness class this week

The Winterville Center offers several affordable classes that can help improve your functional fitness, such as SilverSneakers Balance, Aikido, and Pilates. We plan to add a yoga class soon. Those with SilverSneakers memberships can take any SilverSneakers class at the Winterville Center for free.

 

Please consult your physician before trying any new fitness practice. 

 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/functional-fitness/art-20047680

 

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/working-out-for-real-life-functions


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