Why do I keep hearing the word “functional” in health fields?
The new buzz word in healthcare these days is “functional”. You can get functional treatment or functional therapy when recovering from an injury. You can perform functional exercises to improve your ability to do every day activities. You can perform functional training while practicing for a sport.
What does this mean? It means rather than just lying down while receiving treatment, you have the patient move through the painful motion or action. Rather than just sitting on a bench, lifting a weight up, you perform a regular activity (squatting, throwing, jumping, running, etc) while you lift or exercise.
Why? It gets your neuromuscular pathways more involved. If your brain and body are working together, it recovers faster and gets stronger and more adept at your intended skill or movement. It also exercises the “assistant” muscles. You almost never only use one muscle to perform an activity, so why would you isolate each muscle and exercise them one at a time?
Functional is better. Try to consider this when planning your next workout!
Until next time, be healthy, happy and smart!