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Being active and fit is not only good for your look but for your health too. The benefits of physical activity are long term and they have an effect on your body and mind as well. Doing sports and being active can help you feel better, look better and have an overall better life.
There’s no rule when you should start with exercising, but the earlier the better. It’s never too late to start taking care of your body and yourself to have a healthier lifestyle. It’s a well-known fact that when you’re being active you’ll easier engage in other sports and possibly excel at them. By going to the gym or doing CrossFit you’re more likely to have more strength and coordination of your body needed for various sports.
The Benefits of Physical Activity
There are various reasons why physical activity is beneficial for you. It reduces your risk of developing major diseases and it helps you keep your body and mind in shape.
Being active is a natural mood lifter since it helps you get rid of daily stress, anxiety, anger or symptoms of depression. Physical activity is like a happy pill that has no negative side effects on your health. The reason why most people keep on exercising is that they come to the conclusion that those exercises make them feel better and so they become part of their everyday life.
Another benefit of being active is that it helps you keep the doctor away. It’s a well-known fact that too much sitting and not moving your body can increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. By being active, you’re keeping yourself healthier because physical activity can lower your blood pressure, improve your blood flow, prevent bone loss (that may lead to osteoporosis), improve your sleep quality and keep your body fit.
Some other beneficial aspects of regular physical activity can help you with more practical things. This may include managing stress and tension, boosting your energy so you can do things easier and faster, it can help you quit smoking if you’re struggling with that, and it can help you improve your self-confidence.
CrossFit is probably one of the most popular and growing sports these days. It’s a workout that includes the whole body, and this way you’re conditioning your body holistically which is a more efficient workout than a classic gym workout. These workouts are dynamic and they can improve your power, speed, agility and cardio. Meaning, with this kind of training you’ll be capable to increase your aerobic capacity, to make your feet quicker, and to gain those muscles you’ve been looking forward to.
CrossFit is also good because it can maximize your effectiveness in other sports that are closely connected to it. For example, those who are planning on taking part in triathlon can implement CrossFit in their training and it’s highly likely they’ll achieve better and greater results.
The most important element of CrossFit is strength. That’s why adding heavy deadlifts or handstand practice in your daily workout of running, pushups, and pull-ups can make such great training. The effect is even greater if you do all of that for a week. CrossFit is actually great not just for people preparing for a triathlon (as mentioned earlier) but for all kinds of athletes. Many football, hockey, and baseball players are using the benefits of CrossFit as strength training that will give them better results. As for cyclists, swimmers, or runners, implementing CrossFit training in a combination with their regular workouts and activities helps them move faster and better because this strength training activates more groups of muscles than their regular session.
CrossFit and Cycling
If you enjoy cycling and you’d like to improve your cycling performance try doing CrossFit training. It will help you strengthen parts of the body that aren’t used actively during your cycling training. By including those areas of the body you’ll gain greater speed on your bike. Implementing CrossFit in your cycling routine either a mountain bike or a spin bike, you’ll cycle easier and faster.
If you spend most of your time on a mountain bike you’ll climb the hills easier and you’ll be able to cycle for a longer period of time. When you cycle you spend lots of time in a forward-leaning position, a position that’s not so natural to your body. To keep your neck and back healthy and active try doing a CrossFit training that will challenge the core.
When you cycle you involve just some areas and muscles of the body, primarily the quads, glutes and hamstrings. Speaking of those three, the glutes are usually the most neglected. You can fix this problem and activate them during a CrossFit training in basic moves of squats, deadlifts and pistol squats. Remember to use the amount of weight that will help you keep good form and activate those muscles without forcing yourself too much.
CrossFit and Running
CrossFit is a great supplement to your running workout, but before you create your CrossFit / running plan, you need to ask yourself: what’s my ultimate fitness goal? It may sound like a simple question, but many people struggle to find an answer when they try to combine these two. If you want to make the most out of both of these sports at the same time, you shouldn’t because you’ll only end up hurting yourself especially if you’re training to a long-distance event such as a marathon.
If you’d like to devote the same amount of time and attention to your CrossFit workouts while getting ready for a marathon, you’re putting yourself at risk of being injured and burnout. To avoid that think about what’s your goal and what you’re striving for. Is it to prepare yourself for a marathon? To lose weight? Or maybe to improve your muscle mass? Whatever you choose and whichever decision you make, remember that’s not permanently. You can change your goals at whenever you feel like it, but just bear in mind that you should make one sport as your main focus while you’re reaching for that goal.
CrossFit and Football
All those who play football know how important good metabolic conditioning is for such a game, You’re required to have mental toughness, to be fast and strong to be successful in this sport. The NFL even developed CrossFit Football training because they realized that CrossFit has a great effect on players stimulating their condition during the game. With this kind of training football players are improving their metabolic conditioning, speed, and strength that will help them in some of the most demanding parts of the game.
CrossFit and Soccer
Adapting CrossFit training for soccer will benefit players by increasing their agility, stamina, aerobic and anaerobic endurance, power and balance. It seems that these attributes are very important for professional players. Adding exercises such as squats, lunges and box jumps are very effective because they increase player’s leg muscle power helping him to be a better player than he imagined.
CrossFit exercises are great for soccer players because they give them proper conditioning and strength to last during a whole game. Bench press, squats and deadlifts are of great use to build power and strength in legs, arms and other body muscles that are important for players.
CrossFit and Swimming
Swimming is a great sport that can build your muscle tone, flexibility, and strength. It can also improve your heart health, decrease asthma symptoms and cholesterol levels. Mixing CrossFit and swimming can lead you to achieve greater results in these two. There are some similarities between a CrossFit workout and a swimming workout, even though there two don’t seem similar and take place in different surroundings.
Although you usually use and move your legs and arms when you swim, the key in a good swimming technique is a strong core that connects lower and upper body and helps you swim more efficiently. You can have even the strongest lower and upper body, but your swimming won’t be that good without a strong core. That’s why strengthening the core is a priority and CrossFit will help you with that. There are certain movements in CrossFit that can help you with transferring power, speed and explosion off the blocks in the water.
CrossFit and Basketball
Adding CrossFit to your basketball practice can help you jump higher, get stronger and increase your control and balance. Jumping and sprinting exercises are the most essential movements in basketball and these exercises you can practice in your CrossFit training. It’s important to remember to check with your trainer or coach before attempting to add any new exercises, especially if you’re in a process of preparing for some big event such as the Olympics. Also, remember to warm up with dynamic stretching before you start working out. Last but not least, make sure you have enough time after the workout to recover, stretch, rehydrate and get a proper meal.
CrossFit and Hockey
As with almost any sport mentioned above, CrossFit can help hockey players to improve their strength, stamina, agility and speed which are all important while playing on the ice. Without these, you won’t be able to play a game more than a few minutes even if you were the most skilled player. Another thing in which CrossFit’s core conditioning can help hockey players is by improving their balance which will help them maintain the performance for a longer period of time.
SummaryBeing active and doing sports is great for your mind, body and overall health. As you can see, doing CrossFit and implementing it into your regular sports training can help you become better at that sport. The biggest advantage of using CrossFit in sports is that it’s adaptable and dynamic. Many professional athletes and sports players have adopted these kinds of workouts since they can help them improve their endurance, stamina and help them get stronger and better in what they do. But remember that CrossFit can improve your potential no matter if you’re doing sports as a hobby or you’re a professional. So, add a CrossFit training to your regular sessions and become the best version of yourself.
Helen Bradford is a journalism student who always seeks new ideas to write about. She enjoys blogging about beauty, health and style trends for women. When she’s not writing, she spends her spare time being active through fitness and traveling.