mobility series part ii: being functional.


In part one of this series, one of my definitions of being mobile referred to be physically able to move about and carry out day-to-day tasks. From a young age, we start learning how to move our bodyweight around. Be it a baby learning to walk, an adolescent learning to play a sport or an adult having to perform more complex tasks like household chores, we are all learning to move our bodyweight around in space.

we all need to be able to move about as we get older.

As we grow older, it is known that our physical state and capabilities begin deteriorating. We start to lose our ability to react, we lose muscle mass, we lose stamina/endurance. All these are all potential risks of getting ourselves injured. However, everyone seems to feel that this is all part of nature's process of aging.

Well. It's time for you to find out something surprising (not so surprising if you already know this but act surprised). Exercise actually helps us maintain and actually slow down the aging process. By maintaining muscle mass, we maintain strength and through consistent training, we reduce the effect of aging on our physical abilities. For sure, we eventually will cease to function but why sit back and let it happen when we can do something about it and slow down its occurrence?

So you may ask where all these fit in terms of mobility and learning to move our bodies around? Simple. A baby gains strength in his or her legs to enable him/her to start walking. So if a baby requires strength to start walking, as we age, we need to maintain strength to enable us to move our own bodies around. Don't you want to be able to still go to your favourite restaurant/coffeeshop for dinner? Don't you still want to be able to travel and see the world when you retire?

With that, how do we go about doing this? Do we need a gym? Do we need to start lifting heavy weights? Well, you do not need to do that. You always start simple. Start with moving your own bodyweight. Do things like jogging, walking, cycling. Start with exercises like push-ups, chin-ups, squats and burpees (my favourite). By moving your own bodyweight, you train yourself to handle bringing yourself around. It is also functional because everday movements such as walking, picking up your child all require you to move your bodyweight around and work the muscles accordingly to these tasks.

one of the master competitors in the Crossfit Games. weightlifting + bodyweight exercises.

From there, once you build a foundation, then think about increasing strength. That's where additional equipment comes in. Added resistance enhances strength gains during resistance training. That's where you consider getting some new toys to entertain yourself during workouts. If you are interested, I have many options in mind to recommend.

One of the essential equipment needed to have in any gym: free weights, especially bumper plates.

You lay the foundation by building your strength with bodyweight movements. Then you work on developing the temple, your body, to allow it to then become the temple of strength.

Stay strong and keep moving, The Training Geek.