How do we define health across a lifetime? What does it mean to be “well?”
With all of the exercise and diet trends that bombard our daily inboxes and screens, it’s sometimes challenging to discern what approach to exercise and wellness fits our particular needs best. From fad diets, to 7-minute ‘quick hit’ workouts, knowing how to maintain a level of fitness that suits your daily life can sometimes feel like an uphill battle.
While no one approach works for everyone, a relatively new (est. 2000) core strength and conditioning program called Crossfit® (learn more here) is taking the fitness and health industries by storm. Crossfit® combines balanced nutrition with an exercise program consisting of “high intensity functional movements” performed at (relatively) high intensity.” You may have seen depictions of elite Crossfit® athletes performing what seem like unattainable feats of strength and power, and thought – “this isn’t for me.”
Actually, Crossfit® has a place in your life regardless of your age or physical capabilities; its website describes the regimen for older people as “practicing with small loads and demanding proper technique.”
It’s all about Functional Movement
Lifting and carrying bags of groceries, pulling down your suitcase from a train’s overhead luggage rack, bending down to pick something off the floor, or climbing stairs are all examples of ‘functional movement” we all do daily. Crossfit® aims to provide opportunities for people to prepare themselves to tackle these functional movement needs; of course, Crossfit® has altered the way these movements look. (Sometimes it may be difficult to identify a functional movement underneath the broad show of force and spectacle.) But, beneath it all, Crossfit® is training everyone, young and old, to stay healthy, well, and engaged with the world around them. The program is “infinitely scalable,” meaning prescribed workout patterns (weights, movements, etc.) can be changed to accommodate the needs of anyone, regardless of age, who wishes to participate.
Most recently, CrossFit® has launched an ancillary component of their work entitled CrossFit Health®, which is attempting to change the way we talk and think about the patterns and causes of mainstream diseases. This new approach leans away from hereditary pathology and into lifestyle (diet and exercise) as the causes of most common ills. Despite this change, at its core, CrossFit® is still providing an accessible, communal, and fun way to keep doing the things we want for years to come.
Join us on May 21st at the Senior Planet Center in NYC May 21 from 3pm-4:30pm to learn more about functional movement exercise and how it may play a role in your life. Space is limited! RSVP required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 646-590-0615.
Alex Glazebrook is Senior Planet’s inhouse director of operations, as well as a CrossFit® Level 1 Trainer and marathon pace team leader.
Note: May 29th is National Senior Health and Fitness Day! Be sure to check the Senior Planet calendar for our fitness and movement activities. For more information, call 646-590-0615
Photo: Gesina Kunkel at www.happyveganfit.de