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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Functional Training for Longevity

GettyImages-1149242178Functional training is an excellent approach for longevity and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and functioning body because it emphasizes movements that mimic activities of daily living, enhance flexibility, and improve overall mobility. In this blog, you will learn about the different functional exercises that can contribute to your longevity, along with their benefits and daily function.

  • Squats: Squats, part of the big three essential power lifts, are an ideal functional movement because they mimic the motion of sitting down and standing up repeatedly on a day-to-day basis. The benefits include strengthening the lower body (quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes) and promoting improvement in ankle and hip mobility.
  • Lunges: Lunges are used primarily to replicate the function of climbing stairs, stepping onto or over something, and catching oneself from falling forward or backward. The benefits include strengthening the legs, hips, and glutes, and improving balance and stability.
  • Deadlifts: Deadlifts, as another part of the big three essential power lifts, are an ideal functional exercise because they simulate picking things up from the ground safely. This exercise targets the posterior chain, including the lower body, glutes, and hamstrings, which are all activated especially when lifting a heavy object.
  • Push-ups: Push-ups are one of the most essential and common movements needed for the ability to lift our body from the ground or external obstacle. This exercise targets muscles of the chest, shoulders, and triceps, thus promoting upper-body function and strengthening.
  • Pull-ups (or lat pulldowns): Pull-ups are another essential and common movement for the ability to lift oneself, like climbing a wall. A good alternative exercise is lat pulldowns, which simulate the same function.

One key piece of advice I would offer is to focus on proper form and start with the most appropriate intensity that is necessary for you and your fitness journey. Consistency is key, and as with any exercise program, it’s advisable to ask questions. Always consult the trainers and Health Fitness Specialists at NIFS. We would love to help you improve your form, give you exercise prescriptions, and make your fitness journey as comfortable as possible.

This blog was written by Deveon Martin, NIFS Health Fitness Specialist. To read more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: functional training exercises functional movement deadlift lunges push-ups squat lifetime activities ADLs pull-ups

Unlock Your Fitness Potential: A Holistic Approach to Health

GettyImages-1198832507Happy New Year! As we embark on a journey to transform our lives through physical fitness, mental well-being, and a balanced lifestyle by exploring the components of a holistic approach to health that will help you achieve your fitness goals and lead a fulfilling life.

Physical Fitness

To kickstart your fitness journey, it's essential to incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. This can include activities such as

    • Cardiovascular exercise: Engage in activities such as running, cycling, or swimming to improve cardiovascular health and boost endurance.
    • Strength training: Building lean muscle not only increases your metabolism but also enhances your overall strength and posture.
    • Flexibility and mobility: Incorporate yoga or stretching exercises to maintain flexibility and prevent injuries.

Remember, consistency is key. Find an activity you enjoy, set achievable goals, and gradually increase the intensity to challenge your body and see progress.


A balanced diet is the cornerstone of any fitness journey. Here are some fundamental tips:

    • Eat whole foods: Opt for natural, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
    • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support bodily functions and keep your energy levels up.
    • Practice portion control: Pay attention to portion sizes to avoid overeating and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues.
    • Try meal planning: Plan your meals to ensure you make healthier choices and avoid relying on unhealthy snacks.

Mental Well-being

A healthy mind is just as crucial as a healthy body. Incorporate these practices into your routine:

    • Mindfulness meditation: Practice mindfulness to reduce stress, improve focus, and boost overall mental well-being.
    • Adequate rest: Ensure you get enough sleep each night to support physical recovery and cognitive function.
    • Stress management: Find effective ways to manage stress, such as yoga, deep breathing, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy.

Community and Support

Surround yourself with a supportive community. Share your fitness journey with friends and family, or join fitness classes or online groups where you can connect with individuals who have similar goals. Having a support system can provide motivation and accountability.

Goal Setting

Set realistic, achievable fitness goals. Break them down into smaller milestones to track your progress and stay motivated.

Consistency and Patience

Rome wasn't built in a day, and similarly, a healthy lifestyle won’t be either. Be patient and stay consistent with your efforts. Celebrate small victories along the way and remember that setbacks are a natural part of the journey.

A holistic approach to health encompasses physical fitness, nutrition, mental well-being, community, goal setting, consistency, and patience. Embrace this approach, and you'll be closer to achieving your fitness goals and cultivating a balanced life. Take that first step today, and unlock your fitness potential for a healthier, happier you. Your NIFS Health Fitness Specialist can help you get started.

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This blog was written by David Sebree, NIFS Health Fitness Specialist. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here