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I Move, So I can Move: Functional Movement

Functional Movement is expected to be a big trend in 2023. Functional Movements are defined as real-world movements. In other words, can you sit, squat, bend, lunge, push, pull, etc? It is expected that there will be a trend of adding in exercises that encourage this real-world movement with the hope that if we move, we will continue to be able to move for years to come.

I love being outside!! I could be outside every single day and not get tired of it. My theory is that I'm Generation X and they just kicked kids outside in the morning and let us come back in for meals, baths, and bedtime which made the outdoors feel like home! I also like to hike. I like to hike because of all of nature that I experience, but a part of hiking on a regular basis is so that as I age I will still be able to. Sort of a use it or lose it kind of thing!

Functional exercise VS typically strength training: Typical strength training tends to focus on a muscle or muscle group vs Functional Exercise often involves more of your body and more muscle groups.

What are some Functional Exercises?

  • Pushups - Don't worry, you can start slow like using a kitchen counter or even a wall.

  • Walking Lunges - Walking lunges are a great thing to add to your work day. Lunge down the hallway and get your coworkers to join you.

  • Squats and Jump Squats - When doing squats start slow, go as low as you can, and back up. You might try using a stool or chair and practice sitting and rising without using your hands. A jump squat is more advanced. Jump up and land in a squat and repeat.

  • Lateral Lunge - Standing tall step out to the side and bend that leg into a lunge. If you can't go very far, that's OK, you will over time. Don't forget to do both sides.

  • Plank - Planks can be done on your toes and hands, knees and hands, or like the pushups on another surface like a kitchen counter, or bench.

  • Good Mornings - This is basically a hip hinge. Plant your feet firmly and place your arms behind your ears or on your hips and bow while poking your rear end back. Then reverse the process. Move slowly. As you improve try adding exercise bands or dumbells into the exercise.

  • Jumping Jacks -If you have challenges try moving one leg to the side at a time, then add in a little bounce.

  • Burpees - Basically these are the devil! But if it is your thing it's a great functional exercise. Ok, Devil is a little. harsh, can you tell I don't love these?? But!! I do them!

  • Other important activities include taking the extra time to walk more, use the stairs, and practice getting up and down from the floor. Just keep moving.

These movements use muscles that allow us to do everyday things like climb stairs, pick up a child, pick up a heavy box, pick up things we drop, get in and out of bed and the shower, open and pull a heavy door and allow us to use muscles to do the fun things we want to do like hiking, frisbee, boating, and more. Move today so you can move tomorrow! We aim to make our healthspan match our lifespan as closely as possible.


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