Most people join a gym with the hopes of becoming leaner or stronger, but is it possible that another great result which can come from exercising regularly is becoming a generally happier person?
According to an article written by the Huffington Post, studies show that people who are more physically active have greater feelings of excitement and enthusiasm than those who are less physically active. The study also shows that people have more pleasant feelings on days that they exercise. So why does exercise, something that is meant to improve your physical health, also make you a happier person? The answer is because of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that are released from your body that promote feelings of happiness. They are produced during prolonged, continuous exercise. Endorphins can also reduce the perception of pain.
Not only can exercise make you feel happier, it is also a great stress reliever. Another role endorphins take on is reducing the negative effects felt from stress. I like to refer to CrossFit as my “cheap therapy.” Nothing feels better than going into the box after a long day and crushing a workout. Getting some physical activity in after a rough day at work can help you forget about anything irritable that may have happened. The tensions from throughout the day will start to leave as you focus on your work out and body movements, instead of whatever was bothering you or stressing you out previously that day.
Now that you have worked off all of the stress of the day, it will be easier to achieve a good night’s sleep. Sleep can be disrupted by stress and anxiety, but exercise, which we now know, can reduce or eliminate these issues, and will help to improve your sleep. Waking up after a good night of sleep will make you feel ready to take on the day, instead of dreading what is to come.
Another benefit of exercising includes an increase in self-confidence. When you feel better and you are more comfortable in your own skin, you will automatically feel happier and your everyday mood will increase!
CrossFit is a great example of an exercise program that benefits your mood. Whether it is PRing a lift, or just finishing a tough work out, you will always leave the box feeling like a brand new person with a huge smile on your face. By doing CrossFit you will achieve a greater sense of accomplishment after pushing yourself past limits that you didn’t even know were possible to go past!
If you want to become a happier, less-stressed person, come check out CrossFit Oshkosh this Saturday at noon for a free community workout. We guarantee you will leave in a better mood!
When I started CrossFit about 2 years ago I had no idea what I was getting myself into, all I had heard about CrossFit was that it was “hard”. I had no clue what Olympic lifting was, or a WOD, for that matter. And I had no idea that CrossFit was about to have such a large impact on my life. To this day I still remember my first WOD. Before CrossFit I would spend time in the gym on the treadmill, running a mile or two, and using the weight machines the gym had scattered around. I would absolutely dread going to the gym because it was so boring. Fast forward 2 years later and now working out is my favorite part of the day.
There’s no question about it, CrossFit has, in a way, changed my life. I think almost everyone I know from my box would agree. CrossFit makes you feel like you are a part of something, it gives you both long and short term goals that you can accomplish, and it gives you a coach to help you achieve those goals and push you through the most difficult of work outs.
I have found four major ways that both my physical health and mental health have changed and improved since joining CrossFit.
Going to the gym is no longer a chore
Like I said above, before I started CrossFit and just went to my school’s Rec Center, working out was almost unbearable. Running a mile or two on the treadmill staring at a wall, then walking around in a circle going from weight machine to weight machine just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. Now the first thing I do almost every morning is grab my phone and check my Wodify app to see what the strength of the day is and what WOD will be kicking my butt later (or maybe the other way around if it’s a good day). What I love about CrossFit is that it is different every day. You know you aren’t going to go to the gym and do the same old boring routine because your coaches put in the time to program different work outs every day that benefit your body and different muscle groups in different ways.
Instead of working out to be able to eat more, I now eat to work out
I used to be a calorie counter, a “go do 15 more minutes on the elliptical to be able to go get a drink with friends tonight without going over my calorie limit” type of person. To say I am glad those days are over with, is an understatement. Through CrossFit I have learned that food is fuel. With the help of my coaches and the CrossFit community I now understand that instead of working out to be able to eat whatever I want, I should be fueling my body with real, healthy food to be able to give my best performance during a workout. I have learned how to meal prep and all about the zone diet, things that have helped me transform my diet into being performance based (with a casual cheat day on the side, of course). Obviously my diet is nowhere near perfect, but every day, through CrossFit, I find resources or motivation to make it better.
Getting stronger is now more important than having the ideal body
I had one goal and one motive to work out before starting CrossFit. I wanted to look like a model in a magazine. I didn’t care about getting faster or stronger, I just wanted the looks. Now my list of goals is endless. I want to be able to back squat 300 pounds; I want my Fran time to be under 7 minutes. There isn’t a day I go into the box without a goal in mind to be accomplished during my time there. It might be to just get through the WOD or PR a lift by 15 pounds. My goals are what keep me going back to the box day after day. I don’t want one goal to go unaccomplished. Through CrossFit I have learned how much fun it is to get strong. I am consistently amazed by what my body can do after putting in a bit of work. The feeling of satisfaction after accomplishing a goal is so much more rewarding than seeing the number on the scale go down by one digit. Even though I don’t look like the girls in the magazines, I am happy and proud of my body because I know it can do amazing things. I no longer spend hours worrying about what I look like because through CrossFit I have learned there are so many more important aspects to leading a healthy and fit lifestyle.
I am a part of a fitness community
When they say CrossFit is a community, they truly mean it. Through CrossFit I have built so many friendships with all different kinds of people. I have competed in fitness competitions, which is something I never thought of myself doing during my pre-CrossFit days. When you go to the box for your daily workout, you get to see friends that you have real conversations with. Having people around to push you and encourage you during a tough WOD is so much more fun and exciting then having music play through your headphones.
I could go on and on about the positive impact CrossFit has had on my life. Not only have I noticed these changes, but my family members have told me they have noticed my confidence level (something that used to be very low) sky rocket since starting CrossFit. If you want a real lifestyle change that will benefit you in so many more ways than just getting a workout in for the day, do yourself a favor and go check out your local CrossFit box.
CrossFit Oshkosh will be hosting a free workout on the 18th of July at 12 pm. Come in and see how CrossFit can change your life as well! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920-385-0315 and speak to a coach.
My journey started in the summer of 2014. I was around 370 lbs with a very unhealthy lifestyle and someone who didn’t exercise at all. That summer I was struggling to find energy and stay awake throughout the day. I really wasn’t feeing well that entire summer. I would struggle to stay awake after sleeping 10-12 hours a night and I would just feel extremely fatigued. After a several series of doctors test from; heart echo, stress test, pulmonary function test, and a sleep study. It turns out that I had developed severe sleep apnea. I stopped breathing, choking, and had shortness of breath while I was sleeping. I received my CPAP machine November 2014. I starting using it every night and within a month I starting feeling better.
Being 30 years old and having sleep apnea scared me. It had me evaluate my life and lifestyle. You could say that God has given me a second chance at life and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I started walking every other day really watching what I was eating and watching my calorie intake. December 2014 I weighed 344 lbs. Eventually I got to the point where after work I was walking 4-5 miles pretty much everyday. I started weighing myself and the weight was coming off. I was losing about 3-5 lbs every week. By the spring of 2015 I had lost about 75 lbs just by walking and cleaning up my diet. I started Crossfit Oshkosh weighting 275lbs. Currently I weigh 237lbs have lost over 107 lbs in ten months. Crossfit Oshkosh has been a big part of that.
What brought me to CrossFit Oshkosh?
All my exercise consisted of was walking. So I asked some of my Facebook friends what they do for exercise. My friend Brian Hogwood owner of Crossfit DePere private messaged me. He told me about Crossfit, the success he has had and that Crossfit could help me out. I live in Neenah so the commute to DePere would be a little far for me to travel. So, I seen Crossfit Oshkosh on Facebook and they had a fitness class starting June 1. I called Crossfit Oshkosh, met with Austin and signed up for the fitness class. I did the three months of fitness, continued to see weight loss and started to see gains! I really enjoyed it! I eventually started the regular Crossfit Oshkosh classes in August.
My first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?
I have never stepped foot into a Crossfit gym before so my first impression was where are all the machines? I really didn’t know what to expect. I just put my faith in the coaches Austin, Ben, and Collin. They helped me tons with my mobility, range of motion, strength, cardio etc…
What has been my biggest hurdle since starting?
My biggest hurdle so far would have to be the weight lifting. Before Crossfit I didn’t do any Olympic weight lifting. I struggle with mobility, strength, and the form of each lift. But that’s why I show up to class everyday, for the gains, and there is always something to improve on!
What is my favorite aspect of CrossFit?
My favorite aspect would be that everyday is something different. The fact that the class is broke up into three parts: warm up, strength, and the infamous WOD. I look usually look forward to the WOD unless it has a lot of running! Lol I’m not a runner, but since starting Crossfit I have seen myself become better at it.
What are my current goals in CrossFit?
My current goal is to try and make every Crossfit class that I can. I am going to be making gains everyday that I show up and that’s enough to motivate me. My weight loss / Crossfit journey has been successful and I will continue the lifestyle of gains.
What is something we don’t know about me?
Lol…. I’m a 31 year old non smoking Leo. I enjoy long walks, disc golfing, fishing, four wheeling, traveling, hang out with friends. I’m a huge packer fan and season ticket holder. Go pack go!