Updated: Jul 4
Who says CrossFit is only for younger individuals?
Age is just a number, they say, and that couldn't be more true when it comes to CrossFit. Many people associate CrossFit with athletic individuals and well defined youngsters flipping tires and performing gravity-defying acts. But here's the thing, CrossFit is not just for the young and limber.
It's a fitness revelation that is more and more reshaping the lives of older individuals too.
Growing older doesn't have to mean embracing a decline in physical ability. With all of the new evidence and research out there now promoting functional movement, impact training and progressive resistance training we can now explore the wonders of ageing while sustaining a strong and fit lifestyle.
CrossFit for the older generations focuses on improving functional fitness, movement, and maintaining ones independence for as long as possible allowing older individuals to live their lives to the fullest.
Meet My Parents
Allow me to share a personal piece with you.
I will never forget waking up to the sound of my dad's car starting up at four in the morning, his sheer determination pushing him to get his daily CrossFit session In.
My father as a young man straight out of the army was always active. He completed several comrades events and loved being fit.
As the years passed he struggled to find a sustainable means of staying active and found "gym" or "fitness centers" to be monotonous.
He then discovered and fell inlove with what CrossFit offered him. CrossFit opened doors of endless possibilities where he could embrace aging while being fit and strong in a constantly challenging environment- and let me tell you, he smashed those "Saturday Devil-Press Workouts" (one of his favourites) with a tenacity that puts many younger men to shame.
But it's not just my dad who had embraced CrossFit, my mom has her own incredible story too. Throughout my mom's life, she battled with back problems originating from a car accident she had suffered years before. She relied on a back brace to get through most days and endured relentless back pain.
However, her life turned around upon trying CrossFit. She took it very slow in the beginning but was eventually able to strengthen her back and overcome the limitations that once held her back.
Looking back, and witnessing her deadlift 100kg's, while seeing the look on her face of disbelief while finally reclaiming her strength is a sight that filled my heart with immense pride.
This personal experience serves as a testament to the transformative power of CrossFit for aging generations. It defies stereotypes and clichès, challenges untrue ideas about CrossFit and age, and demonstrates the importance of 'functional fitness'.
CrossFit provides older adults with the tools to prevent deterioration, embrace independence, and live life on their own terms.
Benefits of CrossFit for Older Generations
First and foremost, CrossFit helps older adults improve their strength, flexibility, and balance. As we age, our muscles tend to weaken, and our joints become less nimble.
CrossFit workouts are designed to be scaled accordingly to target these areas, helping you build functional strength and agility that directly improves everyday activities.
From lifting grocery bags to reaching for that top shelf, or bending down and sitting on the floor, you'll notice increased mobility and confidence in doing these everyday tasks.
As we near our 60's our chances of heart disease increase, our blood vessels begin to stiffen and we are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
CrossFit works wonders for cardiovascular health. The combination of gradually incorporating higher intensity workouts and varied exercises aids in getting the heart pumping, circulation, improving endurance and overall cardiovascular fitness. You'll find yourself climbing stairs, chasing after grandkids, or taking long walks with confidence and energy.
Let's not forget about "dem bones", bone density and osteoporosis. As we age, the risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones, becomes a concern.
CrossFit styled training assist by putting your bones under a form of stress (the good healthy kind!);
This form of impact training stimulates bone growth and increases density, making for a more stable and risilient foundation as we age.
This means you are reducing the risk of fractures, giving you the freedom to enjoy an active and fulfilling life.
Cognitive Function and Wellbeing
Now, let's shift our focus to the positive impact of CrossFit on our mental state. Engaging in challenging physical activities like CrossFit has been shown to have a profound effect not only on our mindset but on our brain.
The combination of cardio/strength workouts simultaneously aid in brain function. Elements in CrossFit such as; Coordination, constantly learning new skills, having to work quickly under time domains, repetition of functional movements under continuous mind to muscle activation all help keep the mind sharp and agile.
You'll notice improved focus, enhanced memory, and an overall boost in cognitive function.
And let's not underestimate the power of endorphins! CrossFit workouts release those feel-good chemicals in your brain, leaving you with a natural high and an undeniable sense of accomplishment. Not only will you feel physically stronger, but you'll also experience a positive shift in your mental well-being. Say goodbye to stress, anxiety, and the blues!
Challenging and Social Dynamic
When we are younger we are generally borrowed a set of life 'luxuries'; such as endless energy, sharp memory, eagerness or zest, limber joints and acute health.
As we age these attributes gradually decline. For instance it takes a bit more energy to get out of bed in the mornings, it becomes harder to remember basic things, and motivation for basic errands let alone exercise becomes more challenging, especially when ones joints are achy...
Now imagine finding the inspiration to go to a public gym every day, only to perform the same boring circuit or routines day in and day out. This is where CrossFit ticks all the boxes.
CrossFit being a group based regime for one allows for people to improve on a social level, with like minded health seeking individuals.
CrossFit is constantly varied, this means constantly challenging in widening ones capabilities, making every workout interesting and different.
Because CrossFit involves countless movements and skills, and focuses on ever changing programming it keeps its members engaged.
So, my friends, if you're an older adult considering CrossFit, let these benefits be the motivation for your journey. Embrace the improved strength, flexibility, and balance that CrossFit brings. Harness the cardiovascular health that keeps your heart pumping and your spirits high. Enjoy the increased bone density and reduced risk of osteoporosis. Let the positive impact on your cognitive function and mental well-being be the cherry on top, and enjoy all of this with like-minded individuals.
Remember, age is just a number, and CrossFit knows no bounds! So lace up those shoes, and join our CrossFit community.