When most people begin an exercise routine, the primary goal is often weight loss. Getting rid of excess weight can benefit the body in numerous ways. Another goal that can benefit the body as well but is often overlooked is improving functional capacity.
Working out to improve functional capacity, put simply, is when one strives to exercise in a way that will improve their ability to perform their activities of daily living. These activities of daily living vary from person to person and from age group to age group, but the goal is the same: To work out in the most efficient way so that the results transfer directly to how you live your life. As fitness evolves, this goal is becoming more and more commonplace, especially in retirement home fitness centers and corporate health and wellness.
Why Traditional Workouts Can Be Ineffective
While playing basketball during my free time in college, I learned the hard way that what may appear to be an effective workout may not necessarily be so. I had no problem running three or four miles at a time on a treadmill and thought that would help improve my on-court stamina. Once I began to better understand exercise science, though, I soon realized that even though I ran around the same mileage in a game, it was a very different demand in-game than what I was training for on a treadmill.
This same problem I ran into years ago can still be seen at any gym across America at any time. We often train our bodies in a way in which they don’t function in real life, simply because we haven’t questioned “common practice.” And as a result, our bodies aren’t functioning at their highest capacity.