Who Should Do Functional Exercises?

The word “exercise” may conjure up images of circuit training or lifting barbells at the gym. Workouts at the gym definitely constitute exercise, but have you ever thought about all the exercises you do routinely at work or home on a daily basis? Movements, such as getting out of bed, getting dressed, bending down to put your shoes, or getting into your car, all involve the careful coordination of numerous joints and muscles to accomplish specific tasks.

If your body doesn’t cooperate because of pain, injury, lack of strength, or alignment issues, performing simple movements may seem impossible. That’s where functional exercises come in. In this blog, the experienced providers at Chiropractic Health Care Center Of Glendora give you the lowdown on functional exercises and who should do them.

What are functional exercises?

Functional exercises are designed to duplicate the activities people do on a daily basis, from getting dressed, to reaching for something in the refrigerator, to picking up something from the floor. Although they are different tasks, each one engages different movements, such as pushing, pulling, bending, lunging, or squatting.

Each movement requires many joints and muscles to work together to accomplish a task. Functional exercises focus on these key movements to teach the body how to operate safely and efficiently while maintaining proper spinal alignment, otherwise known as retaining a neutral spine.

Who can benefit from functional exercises?

At Chiropractic Health Care Center Of Glendora, we create customized functional exercise plans that can include strength, core, and balance training as well as stretching. The goal is to enhance functionality by teaching the body to move safely and efficiently. Among those who could benefit are the following:

Seniors and those at risk for falls

When it comes to enhancing balance and agility, functional exercises are particularly well-suited for seniors and adults at risk for falls. 

Every year, about 36 million American seniors experience falls that result in more than 300,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures and more than 32,000 deaths. Functional exercises can improve your balance and strengthen your legs and body. Plus, keeping active can improve your mood and outlook on life. Definitely a win-win. 

Chronic pain sufferers

Functional exercises are also great for the estimated 20.4% of all American adults who suffer from chronic pain and the 7.4% of adults who have chronic high-impact pain. Pain is often the telltale sign that something isn’t working correctly. And pain often occurs because of stress or strain on muscles and joints. If you experience chronic pain, such as back pain, arthritis, or sciatica, simple tasks may be difficult.

Adults with musculoskeletal and spinal alignment conditions

Adults who suffer from musculoskeletal issues, such as scoliosis or postural imbalances, may benefit from functional exercises. Since functional exercises work to retrain the body on how to move safely and efficiently, they can act as the ultimate reset button to restore the body’s ability to move the way it was intended.

We also use functional exercises to complement other treatment modalities, such as corrective chiropractic care, Chiropractic BioPhysics (CPB) therapies, and massage therapy, to provide comprehensive care and help get our patients back in the game of life.

To learn more about functional exercises and to see if they can help you or a loved one, book an appointment over the phone with Chiropractic Health Care Center Of Glendora today.

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