I cannot express the importance of engaging in regular physical activity. It is without question the most important thing you can prioritize for your wellbeing. Exercise is the number one treatment for fatigue, greatly improves symptoms of depression and anxiety, decreases your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and type II diabetes, slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, decreases the progression of osteoporosis, and is among the best treatments for arthritis pain. All this to say, it is the single best thing you can do to increase both your quality of life and life expectancy. However, in our overworked, overstressed, time is money culture, the most commonly expressed barriers to regular physical activity are time, motivation, and commitment.
“If you don’t find time for exercise, you will have to find time for disease.” - Louise Killens
So what does this have to do with CrossFit? CrossFit is one of the fastest growing fitness trends, with close to 13,000 affiliates world wide. It’s almost impossible not to know someone who does CrossFit. Through all this hype you may have found yourself wondering “should I try CrossFit?” Though taking that first step into a class isn’t easy. It’s common to be intimidated by a new activity. However, if your current physical activity regimen is constantly limited by time, motivation, or commitment problems, you are in need of a shake up. This is where CrossFit comes in. I feel CrossFit is a great solution to these issues which so commonly plague consistent physical activity, and here’s why:
4 Reasons Why I Think You Should Try CrossFit
1. You become part of a community.
Inside that building is a community of supportive people. The premise is simple. Everyone does the same workout at the same time and finishes as a team. It’s a ‘no man left behind’ philosophy, so the last person to finish the workout will have the most people cheering them on at the end. You encourage and support each other. CrossFit offers the benefits of being part of a team, with the individual goals of a personalized workout program. The community aspect of CrossFit helps grow relationships quickly, and it don’ts take long to feel kinship to your Crossfit companions. Some days, seeing these people is the extra kick you’ll need to go to the gym and do your workout.
2. Every class gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Reaching a goal is a great feeling, and CrossFit celebrates accomplishments. Often CrossFit gyms are equipped with Personal Record (PR) bells. When you hit a new goal, or reach a new max lift, you are encouraged to ring the bell as your CrossFit friends ‘bring the house down’ cheering for you. It may sound a bit over the top but it’s motivating to take a moment to just feel good about yourself and what you have accomplished. Not to mention the positive effect these little moments have on your mental health and self esteem. Everyone can benefit from a little more self love.
3. You will see physical results quickly.
A well structured CrossFit schedule has a lot of variety in the programming. Every class will require different movements, muscles groups, and energy systems to complete the workout. This is important to improve your physical fitness as the human body adapts quickly to physical demands. This means as you repeat an activity, you will get better at it, ultimately requiring less energy to do the same thing. If you are consistently doing the same workout, at the same speed (think running the same 5km over and over), you get more efficient at it, meaning your body will require fewer calories to complete it, which slows your physical results. CrossFit is a creative solution to this adaptation, as the workouts are always new so your body won’t be prepared for what comes next, keeping the energy demands high, and the physical results rapid and consistent. Nothing will reinforce your commitment to physical activity more than results. They are very gratifying.
4. It empowers you.
If you decide to give CrossFit a try, you are guaranteed to be doing things you never imagined yourself capable. You may get your first bodyweight pull-up, learn how to walk on your hands, snatch an olympic bar, or deadlift more than your bodyweight. Achieving things you never thought possible is extremely motivating, and why people love to talk about CrossFit. They are proud of themselves.
Finding an activity that you look forward to and truly enjoy is super important for both your mental and physical health. If you haven’t found that activity yet, maybe CrossFit will become that for you. So if you are curious about CrossFit you should give it a try. And whether you end up sticking with it or not, you can feel good about prioritizing your health first.