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How to Make Your Workout Fit Your Life

By Sandy Schroeder

Functional workouts may be something that most of us should consider. WellandGood.com interprets functional workouts as ones that help the body do everything better in our daily life.

Whatever you are doing, toting kids or groceries, climbing stairs, or sitting in front of a computer, your exercise routine should make it work better for you.

Exercises using compound movements work several muscle groups, along with the brain, simultaneously, instead of exercising one muscle at a time. In the process, they help us improve our balance and overall body awareness.

How Functional Fitness Works

You can work out anywhere.

  • All you need is your own body
  • No equipment is needed
  • You use body weight as resistance
  • Training will emphasize your core

When we sit, the knees are usually level with the hips. The glutes are not engaged and the hip flexor muscles often become tight, leading to back pain and reduced mobility. Therefore, it's important to strengthen your glutes if you sit all day. Try these exercises:

Squats - Stand with feet about 12 inches apart. Bend knees and move hips back and down into a squat. Lower hips level with knees. Push into heels to stand back up.

Bridge hip thruster - Lie on your mat with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Push into the feet and lift the hips into a bridge. Lower the hips back to the mat.

Work the Upper Body

Build upper body and core to tote groceries and kids. When you pick up loads, use good squat form with a neutral spine. Try these strength builders.

Squats with weight - Stand with feet about 12 inches apart. Hold a dumbbell at your chest. Bend knees and move hips back into a lowered squat. Push into heels to rise back up.

Walking weights - Hold weights in each hand with arms at sides. Walk quickly without moving the weights.

Increase leg strength to walk and climb stairs - Do specific exercises to increase leg endurance.

High knees - Lift up your right knee as high as you can and raise the opposite arm. Switch to the left knee before the right foot lands.

Lunge and walk - Stand with feet 12 inches apart. Step forward with the right foot into a lunge. Lift your left foot off the ground and move your left foot forward into a lunge. 

If these work for you, keep looking for more exercises that strengthen your muscles and increase your flexibility for your daily tasks. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Zionsville, Ind.

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