The F Word: Is Your Workout Fictional or Functional?

Good, wholesome, healthy movement doesn’t really require evidence- based, scientific studies with mice to prove anything, does it?

Good, wholesome, healthy movement is really what we’re capable of at our very base.

We’ve just forgotten it because some really big things like sitting, snacking and conveniencing ourselves have gotten in the way.


Yep, but true.

So when I’m reading an article in the Washington Post  recently I’m wondering how many people are getting jived about this pretty “big stuff called Functional Fitness”.

The term functional fitness – it’s been around for years.

Its origins go back to rehabilitation.

Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists used this as the idea of becoming functionally independent so patients could return to normal, every day movement once therapy ended.

Makes complete sense.

Because we’ve swerved away from the ability to perform activities of daily living easily and without injury, the term functional fitness can serve to get you stoked about yourself again.

​But don’t get Fictional about Functional fitness.

Think of this:
How do you use your body daily?

Well, maybe a better serving question would be:
How would you LIKE to be able to use your body daily?

Because every day you’re using your body all over the place, every way, all the time. It’s when you stop, slow down, or dislike doing it that you create a conundrum for yourself.

And this is not about exercise, this is about movement.

You, moving being.

Functional movement is how you’re able to ambulate (that’s the technical, chalky term) through life.

Okay, this seems like a good time to insert this, so let me:

Do you want to ambulate by car, complete with sirens and speed or by a really sound movement program that can serve you always and forever?

I’ve been working with folks in the studio for the last 16 years to help them build a solid and robust movement program that slides right into regular life.

A robust movement program isn’t boring!

It actually can be quite fun and very rewarding, especially when you’re able to link that twisty, turny, weighted movement with your unfolding real life.

Integrated movement is about connecting pieces and parts of you to pieces and parts of your life in motion.

Remember, all movement comes from a base of these five:

  1. Push
  2. Pull
  3. Bend
  4. Reach
  5. and Twist.

You’re likely bend, reach, twist and even pull while retrieving Fido’s squeaky clown toy behind the trashcan.

That’s functional. That’s life showing up for you loud and clear and you responding with good, wholesome, healthy movement.

The fictional style is repeating isolating exercises in the gym believing that it serves a well-rounded functional approach.

Bicep curls and overhead presses are great, as long as you’re including lots of every-which-way-but-tight-and-boring integrating movement.

Fictional is believing that because you “look good” and “look (and maybe are) strong” that you are functionally sound and lithe.

Fictional is strutting your stuff but not being able to bend down to tie your shoe.

Fictional is believing what matters most is what people see, the top layer of you.

Stop it.

Functional is foundational.

And foundational is moving, living, being from the inside-out.

When you’re working from a solid and strong foundation, you’ll operate as a very functional human being. The attention that you pay to yourself isn’t first about how you look, but rather about how you move, how you feel, how you really are inside that system of muscles, ligaments, tendons and tissue that allow you to move about.

THAT is empowering in and of itself.

Living a good life means moving the way you want when you want.

If you can be strong, functional and as close to pain-free as you can, you’ve got the workings for doing all that you want to do.

Think about movement which supports your well-being and thus being well in the world can be quite a moving experience.

Everything else will take care of itself.

So which “F” word are you?

And… which “F” word might serve you better?

To a Great Week Ahead!

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