The importance for a healthy lifestyle doesn’t stop at 60. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that exercise partnered with a healthy lifestyle can lead to a longer and happier life. Functional fitness and functional movement have been introduced in the last decade as one of the most beneficial types of movements for seniors.
What does functional fitness entail? Functional fitness exercises train our muscles to help you do everyday activities safely and efficiently. For example, a squat is a functional fitness exercise because it trains the muscles used when you rise up and down from a chair or pick up low objects. By training your muscles to work the way they do in everyday tasks, you prepare your body to perform well in a variety of common situations.
What type of movements can we encourage our seniors to do to incorporate functional fitness into their daily routine? Here’s a handful of easy movements to recommend:
- Multidirectional lunges
- Standing rows
- Climbing stairs
- Sit to stand
- Wall Push-ups
- Rolling Over
- Knee lifts
Is your senior interested in incorporating other exercises into their daily routine? Yoga is a great option! A holistic practice combining physical poses with mindfulness, breathing techniques, and meditation, the combination of these practices promote functional mobility, self-discovery, and help rebalance the nervous system. Along with the benefits of functional fitness, yoga can improve strength, flexibility, and endurance while helping with the following:
- Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Recovery from strokes and surgery
- Prevent falls
- Manage arthritis, pain and inflammation
- Manage diabetes
- Manage digestive issues like IBS
- Improve sleep quality
- Facilitate the grieving process
- Manage depression and anxiety
Peloton, Glo, and Yoga Studio are a handful of my favorite fitness apps with options to cater to functional fitness along with many other exercise options to fit the entire family’s needs.