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For decades, fitness and health have been a hot topic and people have spent a lot of money to find the perfect fit for them. We have seen many fads come and go through the years. The top fitness trend of 2019 is not a new trend, but something that has solid footing in the fitness world. For years, the healthful benefits have dominated the messaging we receive about exercise. Over the past few years, the concept of fitness as medicine has been more highly regarded. Experts have encouraged doctors to be more proactive during patient examines by encouraging and discussing exercise routines. Some doctors have gone so far as to review their patients physical activity during visits.

Using fitness as medicine is the perfect pairing to the top fitness trend of 2019, which is functional fitness training. The idea of functional fitness is not new, however, it is now actively being incorporated into regular fitness routines. CrossFit and similar programs have built entire empires around functional fitness and now it is spreading quickly through the fitness world.

Functional fitness is using exercises to improve coordination, strength, balance, and endurance to positively impact daily life activities. It is a way to train your muscles to work together to perform everyday things. The exercises you do mimic everyday movements to better prepare your body to handle the stress properly. A perfect example of this is a squat. You may think the only purpose it serves is to make your butt look better. Squats have another purpose; they are the same movement you perform when sitting down and getting up from a chair. The benefit to working on your squat in the gym, is you teach all of your muscles to work together. You strengthen your core, your back and your thighs to help you safely performs tasks.

It is common to use our large muscles when performing everyday motions. We don’t even think about it; we just let our muscles do the work. This can lead to back and hip problems because we are using all of our muscles. The smaller muscles in the glutes, the hamstrings and even the back are powerful, but often overlooked tools in your body. By engaging all muscle groups you are less likely to injure yourself when doing things around the house like yard work, or even lifting heavy loads of laundry.

The best thing about this top fitness trend of 2019 is it can be done easily at home with body weight movements, or using items like weights and kettle bells. You could also use everyday items you find around your house like full gallon bottles of milk. Functional fitness is for anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a mom with young kids, have been an athlete all your life, or are in your golden years, anyone can do functional fitness. You can use functionally fitness to improve your strength and flexibility. The key is knowing your needs and recognizing that any exercise movement can be modified to meet you wherever you are in your journey.