Fitness has everything to do with your length of life and quality of life, but it’s not just about avoiding heart attacks and being able to jog on a beautiful beach. There are practical, functional tasks that, if you can’t perform them, mean both your length of life and quality of life are on an active decline and your dignity is likely taking some hits along the way as well.
For example, many people who must sacrifice their independence and be cared for in a retirement facility have to make the transition because of one simple functional fitness problem. They can no longer get up off the toilet by themselves. If they sit down they no longer have the functional fitness to get back to their feet and have to call for help.
The following is a basic questionnaire to determine if you have functional fitness:
- If you were to fall in a completely open space with no access to people, furniture, or other structures, would you be able to get back to your feet with zero assistance?
- With your hands slightly raised (hands up, this is a stick-up!), are you able to sit on a toilet seat and rise to your feet with zero assistance?
- If you need to go to the bathroom or have a build up of gas are you able to hold in your bodily fluids and gas until an appropriate time to relieve yourself?
- If the building you were in caught fire, are you able to make a reasonably quick exit to safety?
These basic functions, when maintained, take a great deal of stress and fear out of basic falls, going to the bathroom, normal digestive issues when in social settings, and unexpected emergencies. When not maintained, really bad things can happen.
If you determine that you currently do not have the independent ability to rise from a fall, sit and rise from a toilet seat, exit a building quickly, or identify that you are experiencing incontinence or flatulence, this is something to be aware of, not afraid of. Simple immediate action to increase your fitness can help to improve the situation relatively quickly.
Want help with improving your functional fitness? I’m here to lend a hand! Tired of incontinence and flatulence? I can put together a program that will tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Want to stand tall, navigate an icy sidewalk confidently, and know that if you still slip you can get back up again? I can put together a program that will build your balance, strength, and coordination so winter weather, wet floors, and trips over your own feet (hey, everyone does it eventually) don’t leave you trapped on the ground. To learn more about fitness coaching and program options click here.
When functional fitness is in place a lot of possibilities open up to you. It lays out the foundation for continuing to experience greater and greater fitness rather than finding yourself on a slow decline. Take it seriously. Live long, live strong!