When you are looking at exercise classes for women over 50, think about the idea of functional movement. We do routine tasks daily that require balance and muscle strength that if not executed correctly can cause pain and injury. Please read the article below by TheOptimal.me that better explains the importance of it.
Time to embrace functional movement
Test it out with a 21-day course
Are you looking at online exercise programs and afraid to try because you might hurt yourself? Certainly, researching options for online fitness programs can be frustrating, disappointing and even scary when you are 45, 50 or older.
It can be hard to resonate when all you see are twenty-year-olds pushing through an aggressive HIIT or cardio boxing workout. Is that even safe for mid-lifers and beyond?
While it’s normal to want to look great moving through midlife, our bodies change and so should our expectations. What’s more important is feeling great, and being balanced, flexible, and strong.
As we age, we need our bodies to move effortlessly to get us through our day and do what needs to get done without the risk of pain or injury. The movements associated with those tasks have been part of our DNA since the beginning of time. However, modern day living has dramatically changed our body’s ability to perform them.
Our ability to move is linked to survival
From the moment of conception, our ability to move in ever challenging environments is linked to our survival. Our movement is instinctual, developmental and dynamic. Throughout history, movement has followed the demands of the times.
Hunter-gathers performed complex movements such as running, jumping, balancing, crawling, and climbing in order to survive, while farmers performed repetitive, limited range of motion movements. Then, the industrial revolution inched us closer to sitting for longer.
Fast-forward to today. We have become “thinkers”, more often than not bound to our chairs. Our modern built environments and technology-driven way of life, built for convenience to drive productivity, actively discourages movement.
Our physical demands might have changed, but the fact that the body is designed to move has not.
A body in motion stays in motion
We are at a time where life has little or no movement demands (especially in these unprecedented times). No wonder our functional movement, defined as our ability to move the body in the most skillful and energetically efficient way for whatever the task or action required, is being threatened by our lifestyles.
Even more threatening, our lack of movement comes with dire consequences: obesity, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory conditions and diabetes to name but a few.
Over the past decades, to counter this lack of movement, we have invented ways of moving in unnatural circumstances, using unnatural methods together with man-made equipment, trying to trick ourselves into believing that demanding movement is as good as moving on demand.
To a large degree this has been a failure, especially as we age because often the way we exercise is isolated, working specific body parts. Not the whole body.
Form versus function
Overwhelmingly, we have been motivated to exercise in order to look fit and look good rather than focusing on what we really need; a healthy, functioning body.
Until very recently, the approach to exercise and rehabilitation has focused on “individual parts” of the body, rather than the whole. When we have a joint problem, we’re given exercises for that specific joint. When we train, most programs focus on the individual parts; beautiful biceps; perfect pectorals; upper body training on Monday, legs on Wednesday. This isolated approach to exercise is often linear and static.
Just because modern conveniences have negated our necessity to move and we’ve been led to believe that fitness happens in a gym, requiring expensive equipment, does not mean that our natural need for dynamic, natural, functional, adaptable movements has changed.
For those of us in mid-life, to remain or become strong and healthy in body, mind and brain, our exercise or movement programs should include a focus on functional movement that creates improved mobility, stability and functional capacity.
We need to relearn how to move naturally just like our ancestors did.
Balancing: Your next act
It is important to understand our bodies are made up of hundreds of parts. These individual parts make up the whole. It is this symbiotic relationship between the parts and the whole which needs to function optimally to create harmony and balance in the body.
Our ability to balance is determined by the quality of all our movements and we rely on many systems in the body to achieve, maintain and improve our balance. We need muscular strength, flexibility, mobility and endurance; functionality that decreases with the aging process.
Herein lies the secret of integrated functional movement as a means to mitigate the consequences of aging, the risk of injury, and keep you healthy longer.
Strength training, muscle tone and joint flexibility and stability are integrated into movement patterns that mimic the way we move in real life. Every muscle, joint and tendon in the body is engaged. Integrated functional movement makes moving through the day a smooth, controlled and coordinated act of balance.
At a time when we’re looking at getting back to the basics in so many areas of our lives – eating less processed foods, slow cooking, and finding natural remedies instead of pills to heal us, isn’t it time we started thinking about applying the basics back into our exercise routine?
Opportunity to test drive functional movement course
What is TheOptimal.me
TheOptimal.me is an extensive collection of at-home Integrated (Functional) Movement Routines (IMRs) graded by fitness level and time. Routines work your whole body to improve mobility, stability, strength and balance. You will become more flexible. Stronger. Better.
We invite you to sign up for 30 days FREE and try our 21 Day Course: First Steps to Physical Freedom. It’s an introduction to Integrated Movement Routines (IMRs). IMRs are easy to do. You only need 15 minutes a day. Go to TheOptimal.me, sign up for the Free 30 day trial, and start the course.