Functional fitness training is ideal for better balance

You are probably asking yourself, what is functional fitness and how does that differ from any other type of fitness program?

Functional fitness by definition is: movements and programs that lead to greater enhancement in performance or human function.

If you compare functional movements with traditional weight training, you’ll find that they are entirely different and functional fitness can and will enhance your everyday activities because in functional fitness training we do things that simulate daily tasks.

Traditional weight training really just isolates certain muscles and works them in one plane of motion—not real life scenarios. Yes, you get stronger in that particular muscle that you are working, but for all practical purposes, that doesn’t do you much good in the real world.

All day long with your regular activities of daily living you are required to bend, reach, lift and put things up high and away from your body, yes? So, you need to train in that way so that you strengthen those muscles that are responsible for those duties.

When you join a functional fitness program, you will practice getting out of a chair without pushing yourself up with your arms. You will be able to get up and down off the floor. We’ll use some weighted balls and walk a straight line—heel to toe to test your balance.

Yes, challenging your balance is a very important component of functional fitness because your balance starts waning at about the age of 35 and if it’s not challenged, it is lost.

I’ve written lots of articles about balance and how important it is to us on a daily basis. Some people lose their sense of balance and then tend to hide in their houses because they are uncertain about going out and engaging in the world. They become reclusive. It’s very sad.

All of this can be reversed, but no one has ever told them about that and then depression sets in and a horrible downward spiral begins.

Bonnie Murphy is the owner of Bfit & Well and Fit Body Boot Camp in Anchorage, located at 3934 Spenard Rd. Call her at 907-229-7652.