Putting Functional back into Fitness

***Functional Fitness

functional (adjective):   designed to be practical and useful, rather than attractive. 

Can we please get back to this concept??

I ran with my Nancy this morning. Pleasant and perfect as always. Why..? Because it was just a run with some real dialogue and thought. We didn’t try to hop alligators or run with eggs in our mouths. We didn’t wear weighted vests and carry 35# dumb bells in each hand. We didn’t run a 2 min/km pace. We didn’t run in the latest shoes or haul a canoe on our shoulders while reciting our national anthem backwards. In Hungarian. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but to my knowledge neither of us can speak Hungarian. We didn’t summon the gods so that we could play Frogger with lightning bolts and guess what else… we didn’t video or photograph our casual, functional run to post on social media… Why not? Because it’s BORING. No one wants to see that…

Enter…  up the ante → ‘to increase the costs, risks or considerations involved in taking an action or reaching a conclusion’.

It seems to me we’ve gotten far away from the concept of functional fitness. Too far away. To each their own – of course. And there IS value to challenging yourself.. no argument from me there.

My issue and concern is that seeing people balancing on medicine balls or kettle bells or dumb bells while sometimes hoisting large amounts of weight overhead may actually turn people OFF of fitness. Looking at a workout and seeing ‘100’s’ of ANY motion would be enough to potentially deter the person desperate to get in shape but intimidated by the movement or the volume – both in these cases unwise and NOT functional.

You do not have to do pushups on balls. You do not have to stand on one leg with a barbell overhead and squat. You do not have to do 300 sit ups or run a mile in 5 minutes – wearing a vest. You do not have to twist like a pretzel or be able to fold in half backward. You do not have to balance upside down on one hand or even learn to handstand walk.  It’s for personal challenges and it’s for show. It is not required for general functional fitness. At all.

As a culture of ego and speed of sound ‘likes’ (plus you can just buy some if you’re not getting enough), I understand that people will continue to try something more, something unique just to see how far they can push the envelope and to show others it can be done. I’m not entirely opposed to that as I too like to push the envelope. Scars to prove it, baby!

However.. when it comes to functional fitness – that isn’t it.

As an aging female passionate about movement, I would love to see everyone doing some form of movement for as long as they possibly can.

Getting started in fitness is tough enough. Maintaining fitness can be equally tough.. Keeping up with the fitness trends…? Don’t bother.

Keep it simple, folks.

Fitness is personal and it’s for life. Enjoy YOUR fitness.






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