Most Monday mornings I wake up at 5:30am and hit the 6am WOD at CFS. I’m at a doctor’s office by 8:30am, ready to spend my day helping to care for patients, most of who suffer from the chronic and preventable conditions that plague our nation. It’s a drastic contrast in the course of a couple short hours, going from working my butt off next to other people who have made a commitment to their physical and emotional wellbeing, to seeing the consequences first hand of neglecting one’s body for years.
I recently saw 12 patients over a couple days in the doctor’s office – 50% were obese, 33% had type 2 diabetes mellitus, 25% had coronary artery disease, and 60% had hypercholesterolemia. Every female over the age of 65 had osteopenia or osteoporosis. This was a very “normal” day in clinic.
As I’m sure all of you know, exercise and proper nutrition have been shown time and time again to have beneficial effects on weight, glucose levels, lipid levels, and bone strength. Studies have begun to come out in the last few years showing the additional benefits of high-intensity training like the kind we do at CrossFit. A recent meta-analysis of studies looking at high intensity training found that even in healthy subjects, insulin sensitivity improved after as little as 15 minutes of high-intensity training over 2 weeks (1). In type 2 diabetics, similar amounts of training resulted in increased insulin sensitivity and decreased blood glucose 2-3 days after exercise. A study of sedentary women found that weight, waist circumference, glucose, and lipids all improved after 12 weeks of 20 minutes of high-intensity training. The effects were the greatest for those with high blood glucose and high cholesterol (2).
The effort that each and every one of you make in coming to the gym each week is doing more than helping you shed a few pounds, build muscles and PRs, and improve your mental wellbeing. The next time you start getting down on yourself for being slower than you wanted in a WOD, or before you tell me that your score isn’t worth putting on the board, stop and remember that you came to the gym today and gave it your best effort. In doing that, you are reversing the development of chronic disease or keeping yourself from developing chronic disease in the first place. For my part, I need to empower my patients to take care of their bodies.
100 Double Unders
18 Overhead Squats (95,65)
80 Double Unders
15 Overhead Squats
60 Double Unders
12 Overhead Squats
40 Double Unders
9 Overhead Squats
20 Double Unders
Level 2 (75,50), 50,40,30,20,10 Double unders
Level 1 – (65,35), Singles