By Coach Cez
When Coach Greg Glassman started CrossFit years ago, he came up with an image for the concept that we’ve all come to call the Sickness-Wellness-Fitness Continuum. What if we thought of our health as a dial on this continuum that is constantly moving towards either sickness, wellness or fitness? Where would your dial sit right now?
It’s been proven over and over again that chronic diseases can be managed, or even reversed, through fitness and nutrition. Of course, there are some unavoidable and completely unforeseen events which can set us back – more evident than ever during this global pandemic – but if we have the power to avoid the avoidable, shouldn’t we do just that?
Drinking alcohol in excess, smoking, having a poor diet and poor cardiovascular health – these are all things that move the dial closer to sickness. By moving the dial in the wrong direction we give ourselves a greater likelihood of developing heart disease, hypertrophy, Type 2 Diabetes and dementia – to name a few.
But if we move the dial towards fitness and wellness, we create an extra buffer for when things might go wrong. It’s like having an emergency fund for finances – but for your health. This is why – EVERYDAY we are able – we must push the dial away from the “Sickness” zone and closer towards the “Wellness” and “Fitness” zones.
So what can we do to move closer to fitness and keep us from sickness?
- Take regular exercise; walk, run, lift. Push, pull, squat. Just move. Do anything you enjoy that raises your heart rate for a period of time.
- Work on flexibility and mobility. Keep joints moving in the range of motion they are designed for and keep muscles balanced and supple.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet full of protein, healthy fats, complex carbs and fiber. Fill your plate with a variety of colors (natural, from fruit and vegetables, not skittles!)
- Avoid processed food, excess sugar and alcohol.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Don’t smoke.
- Get outside, breathe fresh air and soak up as much vitamin D as is available to you.
- Supplement omega 3s and vitamin D if you can’t get enough from your diet and lifestyle.
- Above all, give your mental health the time it deserves. Meditate, take time to yourself to de-stress, recognize when life becomes too much and find a way to take a step back and breathe.
(Photo from the CrossFit Journal)