By Fitness Editor Paula Jager CSCS, Owner of Crossfit Jaguar
There are many reasons to start a fitness program–improving your health, body composition, mental well being and quality of sleep, increasing energy levels, enhancing sports performance and an overall better quality of life. Most of these topics have been covered inand are not foreign concepts to any of us. There are several modes and methods to getting fit–although some work better than others.
The construction worker, farmer or those with similar occupations engage in physical labor on a daily basis; the majority of people with sedentary jobs/lifestyles will require either joining a gym, working out at home or some type of recreational activity through team sports or weekend warrior recreation.
Lack of time or funds are often perceived as “reasons” (aka excuses) not to do so.
While there are a few highly motivated individuals that choose to workout solo what is often overlooked or denied to them and many others in today’s hectic and technology driven world is the community aspect of fitness. This is often the missing key or link to why people do not stick with a program.
These folks are not sure what to do, they don’t like doing it by themselves, and they don’t find it fun. There has to be more to it than putting yourself through what is often seen as self punishment. You get hot and sweaty, your muscles are sore and let’s face facts – it’s hard to push yourself sometimes and have the motivation to do so on a continual basis without some positive reinforcement or others going through it with you towards a mutual goal.
While it may not be for everyone, group fitness, especially CrossFit (CF), is taking America by storm and there are several benefits beyond the aforementioned.
- Relationships: Friendships are formed–both platonic and romantic and they tend to be of a lasting quality. You work hard together, you encourage and support each other and bonds are formed. This provides a solid foundation in a healthy environment and these bonds continue to grow through other similar activities.
- Family: This extends to the children of the families–they too form friendships. They do things other than playing Nintendo and watching television. They are moving, learning healthy activities and a sense of values and this transfers to other areas such as better cognitive performance.
- Respect, honor & integrity: Sorely lacking in today’s world yet abundantly abounds in a Crossfit group environment. Why is that? Generally inside any large group of people there are often cliques and negativity. I rarely see that in a CF box–it is not tolerated. I believe it is brought forth thought the commonality of working together and overcoming. Construction workers and CEOs are working side by side in a “classless” environment. You don’t see that in many facets of life today.
- Career: I see it all the time–after a few months of building strength in body and mind they begin to soar in other areas of their life.
There is a true power in community. Traditional societies and tribes had this sense of community from working together towards common goals and overcoming problems–this is lacking in today’s digitaly overconnected world.
People are lonely!
The community provides a sense of purpose; I see it everyday in my own box as well as stories that abound on the internet and in CF communities around the world. It is about making lives better and helping people achieve their goals. The community and camaraderie allow for a network of mutual support and human connection that enable us to deal with our daily challenges and stressors. The effects of sweating together, sharing challenges and goals are remarkable and lead to real connections and personal growth.
Moving beyond the challenges most of us face on a daily basis, others have dealt with life threatening crises with the help of their fitness community. Examples include those in need, cancer patients, loss of family members, disaster victims etc. The community comes together through fundraisers and support enforcing the body mind connection and allowing us to find meaning and purpose in a stressful world.
Through the community of fitness we create opportunities for people to matter to each other. It definitely answers the questions of “do we have time” or “can we afford this”? You can’t afford not to–we must invest in the health and future of ourselves and our family. It will help us to understand what it means to be a part of something that is bigger than all of us.
About the Author
Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar. Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results.
You can connect with her on Facebook by clicking here.