Everyday Functional Fitness

Fitness is, of course, a hugely important part of our lives. Keeping mobile and able to do the physical tasks that you request of your body is a must for everyone. However, home and work expectations can sometimes leave us with little opportunity to devote to such an important need.

For the time-poor amongst us, it’s surprisingly easy how simple exercise can be incorporated into your daily routine and, conversely, how exercise is important in supporting your daily routine in return.

For the vast majority ‘functional fitness’ may sound a little obvious – but it is often a highly underused method of staying in shape for the jobs you face every day. For example, while doing housework and looking after the little ones are unlikely to be put on the list of official Olympic sports any time soon, this is still the most significant physical activity that many people will face. For example, being able to jog 5km in under 30 minutes is handy if you have to run for the bus but gives no guarantee that you won’t put your back out trying to lift a toddler from their car seat.

Easy ways to introduce everyday exercise into your routine include making the most of the physical activities that you do on a regular basis. Instead of taking your car to the local shop, why not walk and enjoy the fresh air or how about getting off the bus a couple of stops earlier than normal to stretch your legs. While the idea of bench pressing 50kg above your head may sound a little ambitious, carrying two shopping bags home from the supermarket can give your arms a little bit more activity than they are used to.

So, how can everyday tasks help to support your active lifestyle? Perhaps the most obvious example is going up and down the stairs- in fact, this type of exercise can be seen all the time in both gym equipment ‘stepper’ machines and of course, step-aerobics classes. Opting to use the stairs instead of the lift is a great way to get your heart and muscles working a little harder.  It may not seem as intense as a complete workout but its health benefits are obvious. As your overall level of fitness and flexibility increases, you’ll quickly discover that your energy levels increase – leaving you with more in the tank for everyday activities, as well as exercise.