Exercise is a critical component of any healthy lifestyle. The human body was made to move, and designed to thrive at what are known as functional movements, or movements needed to achieve our activities of daily living. These functional movements include pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, running, squatting, stretching, throwing, etc. Practicing functional movements at intensity is a necessary component of an exercise routine, and is much more effective than focusing on a single form of exercise, such as running.
As many of you know, the doctors in this office enjoy CrossFit. The cornerstone of CrossFit is practicing constantly varied functional movements at a high intensity. In any given workout, there can be unlimited combinations of exercises, repetition schemes, and timing sequences to keep the variety high and never allow the body to get into a routine. This, in my opinion is ultimately leading to the end goal of achieving fitness.
So what is fitness? In my opinion, achieving fitness means your body is able to work at 100% function. It means that you are ready for any physical task that you may encounter. We talk a lot about wellness in the office. I believe fitness is even one step beyond wellness. The founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, explains fitness in this 100-word definition:
“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.”
Depending on each individual’s physical capabilities, everyone’s fitness level is different. However, everyone has the ability to improve. I have seen people with all ranges of ability push themselves to their physical limits. There is a common theme when that happens, in that these individuals leave with a sense of satisfaction knowing they did something difficult to benefit their health. CrossFit is not for everybody, in that a lot people simply will not enjoy it. However, everyone is capable of CrossFit. Each exercise can be scaled and modified to accommodate to whoever is trying to perform it.
In the end, the goal should always be working toward optimal health. Pushing yourself to achieving fitness is a great way to reach optimal health.
This summer the Reebok Crossfit Games is actually coming to Madison. Us here at Project Wellness Company and All About Chiropractic, are excited to be apart of this history and hope to see you all at the games!