Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why CrossFit Makes Me Cross

Have you heard about the latest exercise craze?  It's called CrossFit.  It's an exercise regimen, typically worked on at a franchise 'box', that is extreme IMO.  The idea is to extend your body to its furthest physical limits - to lift heavier, push farther, jump higher, etc, getting in as many reps as you can in a 12 minute period.  There regimen includes those things we recall from our school days, burpees, kettle balls, jumping, and other high impact activities that are best suited for the young and physicall fit.  Well, not really.  These activities, pushed to their extremes, are not really good for anyone's body but the CrossFit business is taking advantage of both the extreme aspect and the social interactions of these activities while growing their franchises across the country.

It's not that I am opposed to this sort of extreme physical activity.  I think that for Navy Seals, those training for triathalons, and those who are very physically fit, the CrossFit path to physical fitness may be acceptable.  However, I've known several folks who appeared to be quite physically fit suffering phsical injuries from this workout (or others similar to it).  One guy I know broke his leg doing the burpee to jump in the air exercise.  Really.  Breaking your foot while engaged in muscle building activities is a no-no.  I felt sorry for him.  Six weeks in a cast meant no more extreme fitness workouts for him.  Others have suffered everything from pulled muscles to  exertional rhabdomyolysis, a potentially fatal disorder in which muscle fiber break down from over work, releasing specific proteins into the bloodstream which can damage the kidneys.  It's a form of dehydration which is extreme.

So, everything about this new trend is 'extreme'.  While it's marketed to couch potatoes and triatheletes alike, it's pushes the limits of sensible exercise to incredible and often disabling lengths.  Why do that?

This time of year, the gyms are overloaded with people working toward their New Year's Resolution to build a better body.  Nothing wrong with the gym, of course, but most of those folks will have gotten over it within the next few weeks.

Far better to start slow and work toward a sensible, reasoned exercise regimen.  If you want variety, take a few notes on the CrossFit strategy and incorporate them into your workout.  Change things up by walking backward, carrying weights, upping the elevation on the treadmill, or simply increasing either your speed or the duration of your walk.

The payoff may not be immediate, but there is a payoff.  You'll quickly begin to feel better, bypassing the pulled muscle and dehydration hurdles, and build an exercise regimen that you can incorporate into your schedule/routine and do anywhere any time it suits you.

If CrossFit is for you, go for it.  But, when you've given it up because of a torn this or a painful that, go back to your the exercise nature designed your body for - simply walking.

*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

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