The idea of Functional Fitness has been around for awhile. I’m not 100% sure of its origins, but it is based around the idea that going to the gym and lifting weights doesn’t necessarily make you strong enough to do every day tasks. Say that you can bench press 300 pounds but you can’t move a couch across the room – you are really strong, but lack functional fitness. Your 300 pound bench is meaningless in real life. Your fitness lacks a daily function.
Crossfit is a huge proponent of Functional Fitness. I’m not sure what flipping tires has to do with daily function, but really we don’t do that very often. Much of our workouts improve or focus on our core strength which can have a huge impact on our daily functioning. We are also constantly working on improving overall strength in areas that are weakened by our sedentary lifestyle and office/seated working styles.
But my thought today is about more than being functionally fit. It is about using our fitness, but more specifically our daily training as a part of daily life. What does that idea mean to you? To me this could look like a few different things:
1. Stretching or doing yoga poses while standing in line. You might get some funny looks, but why not reclaim some of that time?
2. Changing daily activities like sitting at your desk, to improve fitness. Get a treadmill desk, standing desk, or balance ball chair.
3. Using your training to complete a task. Ride your bike to work, the store, etc. Or even literally run errands.
This cam to my mind recently as I literally ran some errands. Based on the schedule I couldn’t get a morning run in, but I was dropping the car off the get serviced. It was going to be a good 2 hour service, so I decided to run the 5 miles home. I rode my bike back to pick up the car later. I’ve done this before with the bike, but I needed to get a run in that day so I swapped it around. Running to work can be hard as you’ll most likely need a shower even in cooler weather while biking is a little more forgiving in that area!
I’ve been using a balance ball chair for over a year now. Two things I have to remember are to keep it inflated and to make sure I’m sitting properly in it. Mine has a little bit of a back so it is easy to slouch which negates some of the benefits. Having it fully inflated makes it harder to slouch!
I have a friend who often would stretch while waiting in line. Of course some people gave him funny looks, but really who cares. Most of the people you will never see again. Some stretches are super easy to do and don’t require you to expand your personal bubble too far!
How can you integrate your fitness regime more into your daily life?