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What is Functional Fitness and Why is it Important?

When was the last time you strained an arm muscle while carrying a toddler or threw out your back while lifting heavy furniture? These scenarios are all too common, whether you exercise regularly or not. So, what causes this? Your body is not accustomed to routine activities such as bending, twisting, loading, pushing, squatting, and hauling, which can result in injury, joint pain, and other problems. Here’s where functional fitness comes in handy.

This type of training is less concerned with aesthetic goals and more concerned with making measurable improvements to our daily lives. So, if you're ready to take your health to the next level, let's look at what functional fitness is all about and how combining it with vegan protein powder can improve your health.

Why is Functional Training so Important?

Functional fitness is the latest trend to sweep the health and wellness world and for good reasons. It prepares the body for real-life movements and activities by using fun and exciting equipment with forms that mimic your daily movements. This helps your body deal with the same encounters with ease, even on days when you tend to lack bodily strength.

This type of training ensures multiple muscles work together to assist in moving, pulling, and pushing. Even if you lift 100 kg during a deadlift or do your bicep curls with 40 kg dumbbells, functional training will prepare you to train better and also keep those muscles functioning better as you age, thereby letting you perform everyday tasks with considerable ease. Functional fitness can also help you combat lethargy and keep your body moving.

What are the Benefits of Functional Training?

i) Improves flexibility, stability, and balance

Many people believe that fitness is defined by how strong you are or how much weight you can lift. But it's easy to forget that fitness also refers to how well you can perform everyday tasks that require you to be flexible and execute them with utter stability. This is where functional training saves the day! With continued functional exercises, your body’s ability to move is strengthened and your core gets stronger making you more stable. With the task of making use of multiple muscles to perform an exercise, your posture along with your balance improves and your back pain reduces.

Moreover, it doesn’t just come with these benefits for the present, but also for the future. Even studies have shown functional training to be an effective exercise strategy for improving physical functioning in older adults.

ii) Reduces the risk of injury

How many times have you suffered from knee pain while walking up a few flights of stairs? Since functional fitness focuses on involving all muscles in the body, rather than isolating specific muscle groups, it reduces the risk of injury caused by performing everyday tasks. Since the practice is regenerative and restores the body, it falls somewhere between physical therapy and personal training.

Knee and ankle injuries are most frequent among both players and non-athletes due to the inability to change direction rapidly. Your injury-prone areas will be able to handle the high-impact motions required in a game and daily duties if you train with proper technique, use your own body as stabilization, and incorporate joint strengthening exercises into your workouts.

iii) Increases strength

When you keep up your protein intake with a high-protein diet or supplementation of vegan protein powder, vanilla protein powder, or chocolate protein powder, depending on your preferences, you will eventually build substantial strength and muscle mass. Once you start performing functional training exercises with weights, you can expect your muscle mass to grow eventually, provided you’re eating right. The more muscle mass you have, the more you will also need a healthy protein powder. The benefits of protein don’t just include gaining muscle mass; a good quality vegan protein powder will also ensure that you recover quickly after your workouts. Make sure you look out for an anti-inflammatory substance in your vegan protein powder, like blue spirulina or moringa.

iv) Improves physique:

You may have noticed that many athletes and dancers have fantastic bodies. This is because they are performing actions that engage the full body. Multiple muscle groups are used simultaneously during functional training, which may contribute to the development of a leaner body.

How can One Incorporate Functional Fitness into Their Daily Routine?

Functional training exercises use an approach that helps you develop your coordination, flexibility, and balance with practice. These are the movements that are often overlooked in regular weight training or other gym workouts. To add to it, the concept of functional movement sounds too simple to be true, yet none of us do these movements even though they lie at the core of our balance, functionality, mobility, and coordination.

With a few easy steps, you can have this training included in your workout routine. Read on:

i) Identify the movements or activities you want to get better at. It could be anything ranging from lifting groceries easily to improving your agility for certain sports that you enjoy playing.

ii) Use a variety of equipment to make sure the training targets different muscle groups and improves your overall functionality. You can try resistance bands, kettlebells, or even just bodyweight exercises.

iii) Get a trainer or tutor to work with you on a proper form or technique. To get the most out of your functional training, it’s important to get the form right, as this will not only aid in maximizing your progress but also assist you in avoiding injury.

iv) Remember that progress is incremental and takes time. Start with exercises that are at par with your current fitness level and gradually increase the intensity and difficulty level of your functional movement. Trying to overload yourself too soon can lead to joint or muscle injuries.

v) Make sure you’re eating right. Functional training can give you better results if you maintain your intake of protein. But the benefits of protein are not limited to only gymgoers. Having your daily intake of protein can also help boost metabolism, help you feel full longer, and it’s even good for your bones. You can opt for a chocolate protein powder, vanilla protein powder, or even an unflavoured protein powder to amp up that protein intake after every workout.

What are Some Common Functional Exercises?

These are are few common functional training exercises that target more than one muscle or muscle group at a time.

  • Walking Lunges
  • Push Ups
  • Jumping jacks
  • Bodyweight squats
  • Movements with balance on one leg
  • Stepping, jumping, or lunging on an uplifted surface
  • Body Squats
  • Jump Squats
  • Lateral bounds

You may follow these in the comfort of your home without any need for external equipment.

Wrapping Up

Functional training can improve your daily life by strengthening your muscles and joints with holistic exercises. It can be done with weights and other equipment very safely under the right guidance. And although the focus remains on your performance, it is still important to have adequate protein by opting for the available sources on the market like vegan protein powder. So go ahead and begin your functional training today; your future self will thank you!

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8450457/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2021.738878/full

https://journals.lww.com/jgpt/fulltext/2021/01000/high_intensity_functional_training_shows_promise.3.aspx

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