Why CrossFit is beneficial for the mind and the body
|Topics:||Exercise, Anatomy, Biology, Physical Education, Social Psychology|
CrossFit is a form of body exercise that works in intensive and variable exercising techniques. This kind of body fitness is mostly practiced in some Olympic competitions and body building exercises that involve subjecting the body to intense exercise. CrossFit exercising was started in early 2000’s as a mode of training military officers to keep them fit in order to perform their duties efficiently, but soon many people got interested in it, and it was incorporated in most training gymnasiums. CrossFit workouts incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises. All these forms of exercises are aimed at keeping the body physically fit either for competition purposes or for genuine body fitness of an individual. These different intensive exercises are quite beneficial to the body assisting the body to stay overall fit and enabling an individual to perform daily activities efficiently. In this article the associated benefits of CrossFit to both the body and the mind will be discussed and a decision to be made about whether truly it is has more benefits than the perceived negative impacts (Eather et al., 14).
Before the introduction of CrossFit exercising, there were many other forms of exercises but were not as efficient as CrossFit. Researchers in human body fitness had to combine different forms of exercises to form CrossFit which was deemed more efficient in keeping both the mind and the body at the stable functioning position. Some of the reasons that necessitated the introduction of CrossFit were: sprinters and endurance athletes both enable the body to attain cardiovascular benefits as well as applying power on the body but not as much power as the power heavy lifters can apply to build body muscles. Endurance athletes and body builders are usually very excellent and professional in their exercise such as keeping the body aerobically fit and very muscular but lack the ability to keep the body all powerful and with high levels of stamina. Due to its intensive nature, CrossFit offers several health benefits to both the body and the mind (Eather et al., 15).
Benefits of CrossFit to the body and the mind
One of the greatest health benefits of CrossFit in the body is that it helps to burn excess fat in the body quite efficiently. Since CrossFit involves a combination of exercises performed at a short period it assists the body to burn excess fat faster than normal regular exercises in the gym. The intense weight lifting and swift movement exercises such as frog matching continuously burn body fat and help the body to build muscles quickly a factor that keeps the body healthier after a few sessions of CrossFit exercise. Excess body fat causes serious health problems when they accumulate over long periods of time. This had prompted many people to seek weight loss programs unaware that their solutions could easily be found in taking shorty and steady CrossFit sessions each day. A physically fit body also enables other parts of the body including the mind to function effectively since there will be proper circulation of blood to the brain (Brown et al., 797).
CrossFit improves the heart health of an individual due to the intensity of the exercises performed. The fact that CrossFit involves intense exercises performed over a short period consistently makes the heartbeat of a participant to remain elated over the entire session. This assists to keep the heart health and able to function more efficiently and even under tough conditions. The muscles of the heart are also exercised during this increased heart rate making them stronger to pump even more blood to body organs. This continuous exercising of the heart keeps it alert always, and the brain and other body organs also benefit from increased oxygen supply. It is estimated that the heart rate reaches a high as 90 beats per minute during a CrossFit session. This value is high and maintains the heart muscles even stronger. The oxygen supply within the body during this intense session reaches 80 percent of VO2max which is the maximum amount of oxygen that a person can utilize during an intense exercise. The mind requires a proper supply of oxygen to function well, and thus this exercise is quite beneficial in supplying this (Brown et al., 798).
CrossFit facilitates increased joint mobility which is a crucial aspect of keeping the body healthy. This form of exercising involves rapid movements of virtually all body parts by combining various exercising procedures to produce a formula that is all-round. Through the rapid movements, the joints are kept fit, and this helps cure some diseases that affect the joints when they stay for long periods while immobile. Joint health is maintained by regularly moving them to facilitate movement and displacement of the joint fluid. This is the reason most elderly people are recommended to take a walk or a jog about thirty minutes daily. CrossFit can save these thirty minutes by an individual taking a short but intensive session that will, in turn, give them added health benefits (Nielsen et al. 67).
CrossFit exercising helps participants to undergo a complete lifestyle improvement with time as they continue with the sessions. The daily exercising makes an individual to spend some part of the day with other people who are motivated to keep their bodies fit, and this gradually influences a person to adopt health diet habits. A participant will even stop some unhealthy habits to supplement the efforts made in the exercising session in keeping the body fit. This will come as a common sense to most people that they could not spend so much energy exercising to keep the body healthy then continue eating junk foods that deteriorate the body’s health. This will, therefore, come as a self- motivation to eat balanced diet and maintain proper body weight to become more effective in the exercising sessions (Smith et al., 3159).
CrossFit leads to overall improvement of body health. This happens through maintenance of ten different domains of body health namely: stamina, strength, coordination, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, accuracy, and endurance. This is the core reason why CrossFit was introduced to human training and body exercise because it has a rare ability to combine various aspects of the body and maintain them at top level. The combination of all the above-mentioned domains keeps the body at high levels of health making all body organs including the brain to function efficiently. CrossFit also assists in building friendships among the people participating in the exercising sessions. Such friendships tend to benefit people because they can extend to other aspect of life building a lasting association among some of the participants (Heinrich et al., 24).
After a concrete analysis of the above discussed benefits of CrossFit to the body and the mind of a person, it is evident that this form of intensive exercising has more benefit than the traditional forms of exercising, though it is accused to cause some body problems due to its intensive nature such as injury and exertional rhabdomyolysis. General injury associated with CrossFit occurs but or rare occasions. Exertional rhabdomyolysis is injury to the muscles that is caused by excessive CrossFit training. This is also a rare occurrence and possibly happens when a person has an unqualified supervisor. Generally, CrossFit when properly performed and with a qualified and careful supervisor has more benefits to the body. It helps ensure people stay healthier especially as they grow old when they could start developing some lifestyle diseases (Nielsen et al., 67).
- Eather, Narelle, Philip J. Morgan, and David R. Lubans. “Effects of exercise on mental health outcomes in adolescents: Findings from the CrossFit™ teens randomized controlled trial.” Psychology of Sport and Exercise 26 (2016): 14-23.
- Nielsen, Glen, et al. “Health promotion: The impact of beliefs of health benefits, social relations and enjoyment on exercise continuation.” Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports 24.S1 (2014): 66-75.
- Smith, Michael M., et al. “CrossFit-based high-intensity power training improves maximal aerobic fitness and body composition.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 27.11 (2013): 3159-3172.
- Brown, Danielle, et al. “CrossFit Experience Attenuates Heart Rate Variability.: 2913 Board# 228 May 29, 3: 30 PM-5: 00 PM.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 47.5S (2015): 797.
- Heinrich, Katie M., et al. “Mapping Coaches’ Views of Participation in CrossFit to the Integrated Theory of Health Behavior Change and Sense of Community.” Family & Community Health 40.1 (2017): 24-27.