The other day when I attempted to open a particularly stubborn bottle of nail polish, I found that I simply could not get the job done. So, I decided to stop wasting my energy on a task so simple and just hand it to the hubby. He took one look at me and said, “please don’t tell me those things are for nothin’.”
The “things” he was referencing were the muscles in my arms and the thought I immediately had was, he’s right! All the weights I lift and exercises I do and I can’t open a friggin’ bottle of nail polish—what gives?!?
Well, I found my answer this morning while browsing the web; a task like that would be labeled a “functional” activity. Or basically an action that includes movements and muscle groups you wouldn’t normally target in your fitness routine.
So how does one begin to incorporate more functional exercises into their regimen to ensure they aren’t short-changing themselves?
You first start by thinking about common actions you take on a regular/semi-regular basis, and then determine what you can do to closely replicate that in your routine.
“Functional fitness exercises can be done at home or at the gym.
Health and fitness facilities may offer classes that include functional fitness components like boot camp classes, while personal trainers will utilize tools like free weights, fitness balls, steps or kettle bells in functional fitness workouts.
Think about when you pick up a box in your garage and lift it to store it on a shelf above shoulder level. An example of a functional exercise that would address this type of physical challenge might be a squat, while holding dumbbells in each hand, and moving directly into an overhead press. This type of real life movement is not generally achieved using cardio or weight machines.”
I swear, I learn something new about this old body of mine every day.