We applaud you if you’re working toward some aesthetic- or performance-based goals with all the effort you’re putting in here at PNW Fitness. But we hope you realize just how much your overall quality of life stands to benefit from busting your butt in the gym with some functional fitness!
The science is clear (and you may intuitively sense it, too): exercise makes life better. And aside from looking good and being strong, you’ll improve your health and overall enjoyment by exercising regularly—especially if you add in functional fitness.
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Before we talk about some of our fave functional fitness moves, though, let’s do a quick rundown on some of the awesome benefits you’re getting from your hard work.
5 Ways Exercise Makes Your Everyday Life Better
1. You’ll sleep better.
Sleep is an essential part of a healthy body and mind, and working out regularly helps you fall asleep, stay asleep, and get more quality sleep in general.
2. You’ll be less likely to get sick or develop health problems.
Few things will help you save on healthcare costs like a lifetime of regular physical activity. This is especially important as you age since older adults are at an increased risk for everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease to diabetes to falls—and your likelihood of developing any of these illnesses decreases with exercise. Flex those biceps and that immune system!
3. Exercise can slow the aging process.
Studies show that older people who have exercised regularly throughout their lives have cellular, tissue, and organ health that more closely resembles people much younger than them.
4. You’ll live longer.
By slowing down the aging process and avoiding chronic health conditions, you minimize your risk of dying prematurely.
5. You’ll have more strength, energy, and vitality to perform chores and enjoy leisure activity with loved ones.
Whether it’s running around the playground with your grandkids, going for a hike with your dog, or simply unloading the groceries from your car, the activities you need and want to do in your daily life will be easier, more efficient, and enjoyable if you have a strong body to do them with!
3 Functional Fitness Moves To Add to Your Life-Affirming Workout Routine
Any exercise is better than no exercise, and we encourage people to focus on the stuff they love. Exercise should be enjoyable after all, and we promise that if you consistently follow a safe and moderately challenging routine, you will get the lifetime benefits of working out!
But when it comes to improving your health and engagement in daily life, especially as you get older, functional fitness moves really stand out. What do we mean by “functional fitness”? Think compound movements that challenge multiple muscle groups and joints at the same time—as well as neurological skills like balance and coordination.
In other words, functional fitness mimics movement from everyday life—standing up, lifting things over your head, picking things up off the floor, etc. And while the variations are endless, we recommend adding these basic functional moves into your weekly routine to get the maximal benefit of exercise-for-life:
1. The Squat. Try it with a barbell, a wall ball, a pair of dumbbells, a Smith machine, or just your bodyweight.
2. The Overhead Press. Grab a pair of dumbbells and try this in standing, sitting on a bench, sitting on a stability ball, or even while coming out of a squat (a “thruster”).
3. The Deadlift. Your form is critical for safety on this, so if you’re not sure how to deadlift a barbell or a pair of heavy kettlebells, ask for a knowledgeable set of eyes to watch you.
Need some help learning these moves or mixing it up with new variations? Talk to one of our personal trainers today!