DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s been a busy time for most people around the holidays. Getting ready to host a holiday gathering or event can be stress and time consuming. It also crowds out the “me time.” However, there are quick ways to take break and get a little workout in. It’s called functional fitness.

“Functional fitness is basically doing things every single day that can help you have a better lifestyle. It can help you stay healthy, can help you stay flexible, strong and, most of all, keep you in an upright position so we don’t lose our balance and fall down,” said Toni Jacobson, a trainer and instructor at the YMCA of Greater Des Moines.

She teaches several yoga class and said many of the stretches she does can be done in any space at any time.

“You can do them while you’re brushing your teeth, you can do them while you’re cooking, you can do them while you’re even dusting or things like that,” Jacobson said. “So, you can do these little things to help yourself feel better.”

She said people can do a series of stretches on their own using household items such as a chair and a dish towel.

She recommends people take a couple of minutes every hour they’re doing a household task, like cooking, or working at a computer, and do these stretches.

“Enjoy that moment for yourself. We have a tendency not to enjoy ourselves when we’re busy,” Jacobson said.

She said while stretching is important, maybe the most vital part of functional fitness is simply how someone stands or sits.

“Where do I have my weight? You know, we kind of like to hang out on one side or the other, which is really really bad for our spine so it’s not good function,” Jacobson said. “So form follows function. So we want to stand up nice and tall. Be cognizant of what your body’s doing especially when you’re going to be doing something for a long period of time.”

She said in addition to being a great stress reliever in the moment, keeping good posture and taking short breaks to work on functional fitness can have long-term benefits.

“Over the course of your life, it can help longevity, it can help the quality of your life,” Jacobson said.