Let’s take a look at how functional strength exercises are beneficial for daily activities. It is well known that exercising or getting some physical activity for 30 mins./day is helpful. Losing weight and eating healthy will help you get around better in life. Getting fit and healthy will help you look better, feel better, reduce health problems, and complete your daily activities easier. But exactly how does exercise help my activities of daily living?
How it will help you may depend on your daily activities. Some of you may have a sedentary job. Some of you may be serving platters, standing on your feet, lifting and carrying objects. Some of you may be doing household and childcare chores. Now some things that all of us do are activities of daily living for self-care and household care. Going grocery shopping for food, cleaning our house, completing yard work, lifting laundry, and fixing repairs.
No matter who you are, you will find some benefits from exercising in your daily activities. More specifically functional strength exercises. Now, personally, I like to lift and I like to lift heavy. However, I am not a bodybuilder or competitor, nor do I need to lift like an Olympic trainer to get along in daily life. As a stay at mom of two small children, that cleans, does yard work, and keeps children active, I have found numerous exercises that have helped me perform my daily activities better. Without pain and exhaustion. Obviously keeping healthy and fit and doing cardio helps my endurance with my kids.
Now think about when you bend over to load your dishwasher or get laundry. Think about how many things you pick up off the floor or mopping. Think about how you carry your groceries or laundry baskets or children. Think about cleaning up from your dogs or packing leaves. Do you think many people perform these activities with effective body movements? Strength training helps you train your body to move the right way and build muscular strength to complete these activities.
Again, I don’t need to squat or deadlift my bodyweight. I’m not actually picking up 100 lbs. from the floor, but I do have heavy children. I do carry a lot of things in day. I do a lot of bending and picking up things. Focusing on performing these exercises correctly as immensely helped me with moving properly when I perform my daily activities.
Functional strength exercises have been proven to effectively help a lot of people with activities of daily living, injury prevention, chronic back pain and prevention of muscle loss.
Let’s take a look what some of the common exercises will help with in daily life
-picking up objects
-Think about working with small children
-useful for lifting, pulling, and core stability
-loading a dishwasher
-useful for bending activities
-Think about a laborer or factory worker
-useful for carrying and lifting
-Think about a waitress/waiter, server or even a cashier
INVERTED OR UPRIGHT ROWS
-Useful for pulling and lifting activities
-Helps work biceps and core
ABS & CORE
-stability for good posture
-stability for standing
-strength for performing lifting and carrying exercises
-Think about standing on your feet all day, what is supporting that?
Here are some ideas of good functional exercises for abs and core work:
*Push up to side plank
*Swiss ball rollout
SPLIT SQUATS OR SINGLE LEG DEADLIFTS
-Think about walking stairs, standing or walking on uneven surfaces
-lower body strength
GLUTE BRIDGE OR HAMSTRING CURL
– strengthens hams and hip muscles
-useful for stability and prevention of hip injuries
Not only do functional strength exercises help every person with daily activities, they are also very beneficial for injury prevention, post surgery recovery, and maintaining muscle & bone mass as you age.
If there ever was a purpose to get healthy and fit, this is it. Not everyone wants to get into fitness. Not everyone wants to lose weight.
Everyone will thank themselves when they can perform their daily activities easier with less pain. Even if you are not at a healthy weight and have no intention of doing cardio exercises, you will benefit and likely lessen back problems from performing some strength exercises.
You can use bodyweight, lightweight dumbbells, cable machine, medicine ball, resistance bands, and if you’re extra pumped, barbells! Remember performing exercises for functional purposes is more about doing the exercise correctly and repetitively. Now it surely doesn’t hurt if you really want to build muscle and strength to use heavier weights. Strength training and functional training have proven to have similar benefits.
Complete your routine twice per week.
Aim to work each of your muscle groups. sometimes we tend to forget that these muscles work together. Strengthening muscles in one area will provide support for another.
Remember to stretch, warmup and cool down
Rest Days – while we want to get fit and healthy, overworking your muscles is detrimental to progress.
Get up, gain strength, complete your chores without pain. Enjoy a better LIFE with functional strength exercises!