April 5, 2011

FUNctional Fitness

So, in order to get to my 9 credits required to be full time at graduate school, I had to enroll in “Functional Fitness” this quarter; a 1 credit class offered through the Exercise Science department at school. I say had to because there was no other option for me that worked with my schedule and I was reluctant to take the class because I remember sitting at lunch in our cafeteria last year watching the class spring up hills in the mud for two hours. Now, that is me.

Its not that I’m afraid of physical fitness; of course I believe strongly in the benefits! I actually teach a fitness class of my own for a couple hours on Mondays currently at a private gym. However, I am a very nurturing and supportive instructor. I check in, “how are you doing?” “are you ok?” “work at your own level!”. Lets just say my first experience with functional fitness was not like that today….

My class consists of doing lunges across a field that is so muddy you sink to your ankles with each step. We spring UP hills and come back down to do plank on our elbows in the mud. We do sit-ups and push-ups on concrete. All the while, our teacher and 3 teaching assistants are LAUGHING at us all and yelling at us to “work harder!” “keep your belly tight!” “take bigger steps”. Not exactly what I’m used to.

I do not believe this is how fitness should be. Fitness should be joyful and fun. It is of course uncomfortable at times when you are pushing your limits, but I do think that it should be a fun experience. I found an article through WebMD about the benefits of functional fitness. The basic notion is utilizing real-life physical movements instead of isolating muscle groups (ie bicep curls) in order to make your body work as a unit. You don’t use any weight besides your own body and you also work on some balancing and stabilizing techniques. Worthwhile? Of course. Difficult? Definitely.

I did make it through my first class, but some did not. There were at least 2 classmates who left vomiting. My strategy was to basically turn my brain off, ignore the discomfort and “just do it”.

I encourage you to be physically active, enjoy yourself, and do make it a pillar in your life. There are many ways to achieve this and for now this is mine, mud and all.

No comments:

Post a Comment