General fitness and heart health are closely linked. Just like your other muscles, the heart is a very important muscle that also needs regular exercise to stay healthy.
You may think that its regular function is exercise enough, but, when you don’t exercise regularly the heart can begin to accumulate high levels of bad cholesterol and eventually become diseased.
What Is CrossFit?
CrossFit is an intense exercise that helps whip the body into shape while also promoting optimal heart health. Heart health is just as important as general fitness because the heart is responsible for regulating all systems and providing oxygenated blood throughout the entire body.
The average adult is 5’7 or taller, meaning that the blood has to travel a long way to reach the extremities and back.
With proper heart health, however, the body will function at its best and facilitate the precention of early death through heart disease and heart attack.
With the help of CrossFit, you’ll be able to get into shape and reach peak fitness levels.
Origins Of The CrossFit Exercise Program
CrossFit is a recent fitness craze that has taken the nation by storm in just a few years. It was created by Greg Glassman, a coach and former gymnast in Santa Cruz, California, over many decades. The ball began rolling when Glassman developed his own website where he would post daily workout routines or what he called, “the workout of the day.”
Initially his first following consisted of firefighters, police offers, and military types and members, but, from this original group the popularity of his workout routines began to grow.
Devoted followers of CrossFit are now so numerous that they’re called CrossFitters, and gyms all across the United States have incorporated this amazing and intense workout program as part of their services.
Glassman’s goal with the CrossFit program is to present total body fitness in a meaningful and assessable way. This means that one’s work capacity will increase across a long range of time.
The CrossFit programs offered are often very diverse. The locations, routines, and even trainers take the program and, using the same principals, create a workout that works for them and their clients. Many people enjoy CrossFit on the beach, in the gym, and other places where one can get the most out of the environment while rigorously training their bodies.
How It Works
One of the main points of a CrossFit program is that there is no set routine. This simply means that each time you engage in a workout, you’ll be trying new moves to keep things interesting and get your body to try a wide range of exercises.
There are at least 50 basic exercises that are used to create every “workout of the day.” With so any options, the routines never become complacent and you will always be engaged and ready to see what the CrossFit workout will throw at you next.
This elite program is defined as a workout routine that will optimize fitness. Due to the ever-changing routines and movements performed at high intensity, your body will receive a total workout while facing new physical challenges every time you exercise.
The best part of CrossFit for most people is that it promotes community. Gyms often offer these classes to groups of people at one time so that individuals come together and have a common goal and activity in mind. Many have agreed that this is one of the reasons CrossFit so effective and enjoyable.
The basic routines of CrossFit include Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, and track and field. The goal is to increase core strength and conditioning through the mentioned exercises and the other basic moves that create the different routines every day.
To really engage in the CrossFit experience, the workouts are created for full-body functional movements. These include movements such as:
While these may sound simple, the other trademark of a CrossFit workout is its intensity. One of the positives of CrossFit is that because the workout is inclusive of the whole body, it can be accomplished in an intense but efficient 15-20 minute session.
Many CrossFit trainers want their clients to be moving as quickly as they can as they go throughout the workout. It is meant to be a like a short but powerful burst of exercise that will provide the body and your heart with the regular exercise needed to stay strong.
There are many benefits to the CrossFit program. While some people may get carried away and push themselves much too hard, those who take things day by day and pace themselves will soon experience excellent benefits.
A stronger, more toned body is the first and most noticeable benefit of engaging in the CrossFit program.
When you take the time to focus on the whole body rather than just a few section, you can begin to tone, strengthen, and work even the hard to reach places while working out others.
Heart health is another huge benefit of CrossFit.
As long as you are not overworking yourself and pushing far beyond the limit, you will be able to healthfully increase your heart rate during your exercise which can get the blood flowing almost effortlessly.
CrossFit may be intense but it is designed to give you general fitness for the entire body. When paired with a healthy diet, plenty of rest, and emotional and spiritual wellbeing, CrossFit can do wonders for your body and your life.
If you are looking to go a bit deeper into the conception, birth, and journey of CrossFit, the following book is one that I have enjoyed immensely. It is an engaging account of the grassroots beginnings of the CrossFit method, and a beautiful take on the primal principles of humanity and fitness. Learning to Breathe Fire is wonderfully written, and I am a bit of a picky reader. Check it out.
Some other books you may enjoy, along these same lines are:
- Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life;
- Spartan Up! A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacle and Achieving Peak Performance in Life
- Ready To Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally
- Breaking Parallel: A Guide to CrossFit Gymnastics and Body Movement
- The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train and Thrive