I’ve written a lot of posts on why CrossFit is beneficial. I try to get into the science behind high intensity exercise and demonstrate why working on maximal work capacity is healthy for you. My goal is to educate you on why to stick with the program and highlight the long term physiological improvements that CrossFit will reward you with as a fitness program. Well I thought I’d flip the switch and let you know why you NEED it. Like a crack head needs a fix, humans need high intensity activity in their life, here’s why:
Fight for Flight response:
The theory states that animals (even human’s – yes you’re animals… all of you) react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal for fighting or fleeing. This response was later recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms. While this response may save our life, it can cause us un-do stress and lead to unnecessary anxiety. A whole string of health problems are accompanied with high stress levels.
Perhaps the simplest, best way to turn down the activity of our fight or flight response is by high intensity physical exercise. Regardless of which your body decides to do during this response, the natural conclusion of fight or flight is vigorous physical activity. When we exercise, we metabolize excessive stress hormones—restoring our body and mind to a calmer, more relaxed state.
For the purpose of stress reduction and counteracting the fight or flight response, we do not need to exercise for 30 to 40 minutes. In fact a lot of research shows that regular exercise longer than 60 min can actually increase the occurrence of negative stress hormones. Any form of activity where we "work up a sweat" for five to ten minutes will effectively metabolize off—and prevent the excessive buildup of—stress hormones. Performing movements that require high power output, lots of muscle mass moving at once and at high intensity are key to getting over on your fight or flight response.
So remember, when someone asks you why you CrossFit, don’t tell them that you like it. Tell them that you NEED it.
A. Snatch 4-4-4-4 (work on catching in the squat)
B. Nate - AMRAP 20 min
8 KB Swings (2 pd, 1.5 pd)