We have officially made it over halfway through the year. Are you beginning to wonder where the time has gone and what on earth happened to those New Year resolutions of yours? If getting fit was on your list, maybe it’s time to try something new for your entire family to take a step in the direction of overall wellness. Believe it or not, the sweeping workout craze known as CrossFit may have something to offer for your WHOLE family. Take a look at some of the benefits, the controversy and why getting your kids involved is well worth the effort. At Daily Mom we believe that anything that offers something for the whole family and gets the kids up and off the couch is a win!
Ready to Get Fit 2015? Throughout the next few months we’ll be posting regularly about fitness and nutrition. All of us here at Daily Mom will be right alongside you, taking steps to be healthier and offering each other encouragement. Be sure you keep up with our initiative for some great tips, recipes, ideas, activewear fashion, family fun activities, and inspiration on getting fit and being healthy. And remember–this is Daily Mom so we understand the responsibilities that come with having children and families as top priorities. We are here to help each other incorporate fitness and healthy choices into our everyday life.
A Beginners Guide: What is Crossfit
Crossfit seems to be EVERYWHERE these days! Maybe you caught a glimpse of the Crossfit games on TV, or noticed that they are paired up with Reebok. Everyone seems to know at least one person who has joined a CrossFit “Box” (gym) and is loving it. It seems to be a topic that is surrounded with as much support as it is hatred. So that may lead you to wonder, “What is it?” and “Is it good for you?” or “Could I actually do it?”
CrossFit, simply, is the sport of fitness. Its workouts contain constantly varied, high-intensity functional movements. As a training philosophy it coaches and encourages people of all shapes and sizes to improve their physical well-being and cardiovascular fitness. Known for its hardcore yet accepting and encouraging environment, CrossFit will undoubtedly build your strength and conditioning in ways you never knew possible.
Now, with every sweeping movement in this country, comes controversy. Some say that CrossFit is downright dangerous. However, it is important to remember, that with any physical activity comes the possibility of injury and danger. This article is not referring to CrossFit competitors or bodybuilders. We are showcasing a great, high intensity workout for the everyday go-getter. We want you to get educated on what CrossFit is, see all the benefits, and know how to find the right gym!
Benefits of Crossfit
- It will help you get you fitter, faster. CrossFit is based primarily on constantly varied, high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This means you get more physiological benefits in less time compared to doing one type of exercise at a low or moderate intensity, such as going on a five to six-mile jog five days a week. Research has shown that interval training is more effective (when comparing minute to minute) than low or moderate-intensity workouts. It’s effective in boosting your metabolism and transforming your body. Muscles continually adapt to an exercise load, so switching up what you do is key! Don’t let the word “intense” scare you: Workouts are scaled to your current conditioning and ability so it will be individualized for you.
- Improves your self-confidence.
- Helps you lose excess body fat and gain muscle.
- Strengthens your heart and cardiovascular system.
- Improves your flexibility and joint mobility.
- Gives you a whole new group of friends.
- You Must Follow A Paleo Diet- Paleo is an eating plan borrowed from the ideas of our pre-historic past which calls for eating a high protein, high fiber, low-carb diet that is rich in healthy fats. For some, it may be too pricey or unrealistic. That is okay! Once you have settled into your new fitness routine you will likely be motivated to eat better to perform better. The optimal diet for everybody is different, and not necessarily paleo. The “clean eating” principle of paleo is a fantastic way to approach eating habits. Start there, and work your way up to finding the diet best for your body, lifestyle and food preferences.
- You will get hurt- With any physical activity, there’s always a risk of injury. CrossFit is set up to mimic everyday movements to help strengthen muscles and prevent injury. Listen to your body and if something is too heavy—simply don’t lift it. Be straightforward with your coaches so that they understand your limitations and how you are feeling. Also, be sure you are properly nourishing your body and drinking enough water so that your body can properly recover from the workouts.
- Membership is too pricey- Sure, your local gym is cheaper. Remember, however, you get what you pay for! At a regular gym you are basically just paying to rent out the equipment. At CrossFit people pay for high-level coaching. You get both the programming and the individual attention from a trained professional to assist you in reaching your goals. If you show up at least three times a week, do the work, and focus, results are inevitable. Also, at approximately $150 a month, this price is similar to the price of one or two mere sessions with a personal trainer. Investing in your health and longevity is NEVER a mistake!
- It is too time consuming- Granted, many people may hit up their local CrossFit 6 times a week, but this is not necessary. Three to four times a week is more than enough to see big changes, while twice a week will help to maintain your current fitness level if you’re already doing other activities such as yoga or running. A full class runs for around an hour, which is a pretty small block of time to get in such an amazing, body transforming workout.
- All CrossFits are Created Equal- You can’t just walk into any CrossFit box and expect to get the exact same service. Boxes (or the gyms) are licensed and therefore are affiliates of the brand. Therefore they don’t all need to play by the same rules. This gives lots of freedom to box owners, but it can also create many opportunities for bad boxes to form and turn people off to the sport in general. Do your own research and check out our tips to finding the perfect gym.
Picking the Perfect Crossfit “Box”
As we mentioned before, all CrossFit gym’s are not the same. Therefore, it is important to do your research when making a decision as to the best fit for your family. Below you will find some great tips for making your choice.
- If you have multiple Crossfit gym’s in your area try to visit a few and check out their vibe and how they do things. See how coaches interact with you as well as others. Be sure that coaches are walking around, checking to see if everybody feels okay.
- Before you decide to join a CrossFit gym, or “box”, be certain that box is a “true” affiliate. Check this website for a list of registered affiliates.
- Look for a gym with an attitude and environment you’re comfortable with. This will be based on your personality as well as your goals. Looking for a family-friendly atmosphere? Be sure to ask the coaches or owners if they offer CrossFit Kids!
- Make sure that the coaches have the appropriate educational backgrounds to run and coach a CrossFit facility. It’s always a good idea to ask about that experience: how long has the gym been open? how long have the coaches been training CrossFit athletes? You may decide to go with a gym that’s been doing this for more than a year, or a month. A good sign of a reputable facility is that the gym invests in ongoing education for its coaches, and that the coaches have a well-rounded base of knowledge and multiple certifications.
Rocktape is a collection of tapes that are designed to enhance your performance and recovery. Their tape can be used both to apply compression and to promote recovery, or decompression to relieve pain and swelling. This tape meets the demands of all athletes from endurance athletes like runners, swimmers and cyclists to the weekend warriors, or those just starting out with CrossFit.
Rocktape also offers another great option for athletes, G-Love gloves protect your hands from everything from barbells to the dreaded pull up bar. These gloves are touch-screen friendly, made with seamless construction, have venter finger side walls and can even be used with chalk!
Don’t let your body aches get the best of you! Use Rocktape’s Rock Sauce to cure the pains that ail you. This “sauce” works only with kinesiology tape and provides fast acting relief, helps reduce cramping and enhances sports performance. Be warned this is very powerful and not for the faint hearted, it provides both heating and cooling relief for a great all-in-one treatment. Keep your hands in great shape with Rock Rub. This moisturizer is made with the best all-natural ingredients. Keep your hands softer and stronger for when your workouts get rough!
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Crossfit for the Youngest of Athletes
Think CrossFit is just for adults? Think again! Many CrossFit gym’s have programs for even the youngest of athletes. CrossFit Kids emphasizes good movement throughout childhood and adolescence. Your CrossFit Kids will experience many benefits including increased balance, agility, coordination, endurance, flexibility, strength and speed.
The point is to make exercise fun and a part of everyday life early on. It is very important to instill the value and importance of fitness at an early age. It is equally important to make sure kids find fitness fun. If they grow up associating working out as something enjoyable and clearly see the benefits to both their health and their bodies, they are more likely to make fitness a priority. CrossFit can be one of the many ways you show children that health and fitness is something that should be prioritized into everyday life.
At Home Workout
Maybe you really don’t have the time right now to dedicate to workout outside of the home! (Do rushed 30 minute workouts during naps sound familiar to you? We feel you!) Or possibly that gym membership is just a little out of your budget right now. That doesn’t mean you need to cross a beneficial CrossFit workout off your to-do list. This is a pretty straightforward workout that can be done at home! Though it may not be as intense as a full CrossFit Workout of The Day, it is a great introduction.
Complete 3 Rounds:
- 400 Meter Run
- 21 Wallballs
- 15 Push-Ups
- 9 Wall Walks
- 10 Overhead Squats (Per Arm)
Remember: You want to make sure you have proper form to avoid injury. Check out the videos on CrossFit.com to ensure that you are completing this properly.
Photo Credits: Women Lifting Kettleballs by Crossfit South Bay