Too often we hear "I'm too old for CrossFit". We say, NEVER!
In this blog post our amazing Coach Katelyn dives into a little more of the How's and Why's of why we encourage people of all ages to do CrossFit.
Within the last year many CrossFit gyms have experienced a growth in their older adult population (Check out the hashtags, #crossfitgrandma and #crossfitgrandpa, for some pretty cool videos). CrossFit HQ has been targeting this age group for some time, by rolling out CrossFit journals, videos, Instagram and Facebook posts, which focus on the benefits that CrossFit and exercise in general have in combatting chronic illness. It is no surprise that due to this media push, the population, which these diseases most frequently occur in, have begun to take their health and fitness more seriously. However, I do believe that CrossFit’s use of functional movements within their training methodology is what sets them apart from your standard exercise regime. This blog post will highlight some functional movements and the purpose they serve, and how they can benefit older adults.
As a nursing student currently in a clinical placement in the hospital setting, it is all too often I come across patients who have fallen at home. This can be due to many factors, but some of the more common ones include, poor gait, loss of strength, or from tripping hazards within the home. But many patients when telling me their story, express their fear of falling while no one else is home, or falling in general and not being able to get up.
However you look at a burpee is your own choice. Some may see it as a cruel form of punishment; to others it’s a movement that gets their heart racing during a workout. But, once you break the movement down you can identify its functional use. In a burpee you bring your chest to the ground and lay flat, from there you have to push yourself up and bring yourself back up to a standing position. Essentially, with a burpee you are focusing on the task of moving your body from the floor and getting yourself back up. Initially, I never viewed this movement in that regard. Yet, the benefit of this movement can allow an individual to maintain their independence longer and reduce a sense of fear associated with falling.
A deadlift is another functional movement, which can also help benefit older adults. In a deadlift you are essentially focusing on picking something up off the ground, perhaps your grandchild. CrossFit allows you to train this movement under the supervision of a coach to ensure the proper form. So when you do need to pick up that little one you won’t hurt yourself while doing so.
Not to worry, you will not see me prescribing 100 burpees for time to my elderly patients to complete while in the hospital. I am simply showcasing CrossFit’s use of functional exercises can be used as a preventative measures. Exercise in general will allow the older adult to maintain strength and mobility, as well as coordination, which can help benefit an individual as they age. As a nursing student and CrossFit Level 1 coach my goal with the older adult population is to help them maintain a healthy and active lifestyle to promote and maintain their independence.
Have more questions about how CrossFit can increase your overall health, wellbeing and functionality in every day life?
Just ask me, I’d be happy to go into more detail and help educate anyone willing to learn!
~ Coach Katelyn