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What is Functional Fitness?

Functional fitness training can help you maintain or increase strength, coordination, flexibility, and balance, allowing for greater comfort and ease of movement throughout your daily activities.

From the Mayo Clinic: "Functional fitness exercises are designed to train and develop your muscles to make it easier and safer to perform everyday activities, such as carrying groceries or playing a game of basketball with your kids...Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports."

Benefits of regular exercise (including functional training) for older adults include:

  • helps prevent falls that can lead to debilitating fractures and loss of independence

  • lowers your risks for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome (a complex problem that blends three or more of the following factors: high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, a large waistline, and difficulty regulating blood sugar)

  • promotes cardiovascular health by improving your balance of blood lipids (HDL, LDL, and triglycerides), which in turn helps prevent plaque buildup; helping arteries stay resilient despite aging; bumping up the number of blood vessels feeding the heart; reducing inflammation; and discouraging the formation of blood clots that can block coronary arteries

  • lessens the likelihood of getting colon cancer and breast cancer

  • eases depression

  • boosts mental sharpness

Emerging evidence suggests that regular exercise may:

  • improve functional abilities in older adults—that is, being able to walk up stairs or through a store as you do your shopping, he groceries, rise from a chair without help, and perform a multitude of activities that permit independence or bring joy to your life

  • boost bone density (provided the exercises are weight-bearing, meaning they work against gravity)

  • lower the risk for hip fractures

  • promote better sleep

  • lower the risk for Alzheimer’s disease

  • lower the risks for lung cancer and endometrial cancer.

Source: Better Balance: Easy exercises to improve stability and prevent falls. (Harvard Special Health Report). (n.d.). United States: Harvard Health Publications Group.

"Functional training has been great for me. I can take the 10 pound bag of sugar off the shelf in the grocery store and carry it to my car. Thanks, Kristin!"

"Working with Kristin: The key to a balanced life!"

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