I love to run. It’s a love that started when I tried competitive running in junior high. And it is something I have continued with now into my 50’s. Running gives me a sense of freedom. It’s supportive not only in my physical health but my mental health as well. Running isn’t anything fancy and it’s something I’m able to do no matter where I am. My body, however, doesn’t always like to run. A seemingly great work out or run can turn into a mystery ache or pain the next day. I know this isn’t anything uncommon. This happens as we age. Which is why I want to talk about the concept of being functionally fit.
Recently I had one of those “mystery pain” kind of days. I ran a comfortable three miles and followed it up with a Power Hour training session. I had wondered if that was too much, and sure enough, that mystery pain became tendinitis in my knee. A pain that would last for several weeks. I really couldn’t pinpoint a reason this occurred other than overdoing things. In typical health and wellness fashion, I utilized some stretching, yoga, massage therapy and personal training rehab. And before long, I got things back in working order.
We All Age…
With age, self care has become the apparent key to continued activity for me. I have had chronic hip pain for years. But the only way I’ve been able to manage it is with working out, stretching, cupping with an acupuncturist, and yoga. Ironically enough, doing nothing at all, actually, only makes my hip ache more! Activity, stretching, yoga all make it feel better. Not to mention, keeps everything functionally fit.
On a recent vacation on the West Coast, I saw a lot of gyms advertising functional fitness. This training style is becoming quite popular and is transforming the techniques of many trainers. What’s the point of having huge biceps or abs if you can’t do everyday physical tasks without pain. I’m talking running up the T-stairs or running after the bus when your late for work. Or lifting and chasing after your kids all day. Being functional fit means that the goal of your work out is to prepare your body so it can perform daily activities without pain, injury or discomfort.
This is a concept that really hits home as I have continued running in my 50’s. True I have marathons as goals to train for, but in theory I’m training for life rather than an event. I want to be able to not just run, but also walk for long periods of time, bend over, lift things, and climb stairs with ease. For me, functionally fit means being able to continue to do all the things that I enjoy. Maybe I won’t do things quite as fast or as long, but I’ll still be able to do them.
The Old Man Series
In my Old Man Series, I’ll talk about various modes of self care and recovery. And how that can impact our daily routines and ability to be functionally fit so we can chase the grand kids, our furry friends or just go on a hike. Our massage therapist, Claudia, will also offer her perspective each month as part of the series. Just because we age doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep living the way we want to!
In the meantime, check out our PFP Pass. This pass is perfect for those ready to become functionally fit!