Fitness Trend: Functional Training
Want to get in shape for the spring? Or do you just want to feel better and have more energy?

If your answer is yes to either of these questions you might be interested in learning about the newest trend in fitness... called functional training.

Last year around this time, 56 year old Linda Bagaason had one thing on her wish list... to look and feel better.

She says I wanted to lose the fat and lose the flab. So Linda sat down with Michael Brazael, the Director of Fitness at the California Health and Longevity Institute.

Housed at the Four Seasons Hotel and Spa in Westlake Village, California, Linda would have 16,000 square feet of exercise equipment at her fingertips.

Brazael set up a comprehensive fitness plan for Linda called Functional Training.

Brazael explains that functional training is a departure from traditional resistance training and weigh lifting.

Traditional resistance training general keeps your body in a stationary position and isolates certain muscle groups for strengthening but with no practical application to everyday movements and activities.

Conversely, functional training mimic patterns and movements of everyday life. For example, Linda loves to golf so one of the exercises he designed for her uses a 4 pound medicine ball to simulate a backswing and follow through of a golf club.

Linda says she definitely has more energy and endurance since she began functional training with Brazael. And it's not just about losing weight at the Institute.

It's about life style changes, using a Japanese technique known as "Kai-zen". Kai-zen means taking baby steps, small steps, incremental steps.

The theory is that small change, done consistently, over time makes the biggest impact. And it is certainly working for Linda.

The Institute has it's own Bod Pod which measures your body fat. At last check, Linda had decreased her body fat by 10 percent.

It's all because of her hard work, even though Linda admits it doesn't feel like work.

Linda says coming to work out at the Institute feels like she's coming to play, that it doesn't feel like work at all. And that's really waht Kai-zen approach is all about.

If it doesn't feel like work and you enjoy doing the exercises, chances are you'll stick to the fitness program and keep with it.

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