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How to maintain a healthy lifestyle with CrossFit?

It has snowballed for most of us. At first, we started to come two, three times a week. We then increased our attendance to class, staying a little bit after to stretch and mobilise. After a while, we considered entering a competition and began training for it. Hours at the gym accumulated, compromising sleep and rest, before we knew it we were irritable, aggressive, and depressed. We took it too far. How can we now go back to having a loving relationship with CrossFit?   Results do not define youimage 075 Worrying too much about the number of reps or the time can be the first sign that we are maybe crossing a line. The limit is fine between passion and obsession. What had started as enthusiasm might become unhealthy if we are not vigilant. CrossFit can be a healthy lifestyle if we understand that results do not define us. Rather, it is the process which we have to learn to appreciate. We have ended up adopting its rituals and its community but in any case, should we associate our performances with our self-worth. Our family and friends will still love us even if we do not beat our Fran time.   Remember your WHY It is easy to fall into the trap of “shoulding” in CrossFit. There are so many skills to acquire that we want to tick all the boxes. “It’s been a year since I started CrossFit, I should be able to do 50 unbroken double-unders by now”. “Look at such and such on Instagram, if they can do it, why can’t I?” It is easy to become discouraged especially with the strong presence of social media. When we feel that way, taking a simple pen and paper and remembering why we love CrossFit in the first place could be what takes us back to a healthy relationship with our passion.   Balance your social life image 112Recovery is crucial for training. As we take our CrossFit more seriously, our social life might start to plummet and become non-existent. Any professional athlete will agree with the fact that an early night and healthy foods are essential for optimal performance. That being said, a good meal and laughter with friends also play the part in mental game. How we approach a workout is not only defined by our physical capabilities but also by our mind set. The happier and relaxed we are, the better our chances to perform well.   Constantly exhausted, easily irritable What causes our bad mood? Sometimes we don’t have to look far. We probably are doing too much and when we thought that having a busy schedule was a good sign, it turns out it can be counterproductive. If we are operating under a fight-or-flight response 24/7, our nervous system might send us warnings that we are taking it too far. When we become aware that components other than muscle fatigue and nutrition count for our well-being as an athlete, it becomes easier to dial down and give ourselves a break. In the end, not everything is under our control.   Set smaller goals that fit into your schedule The reasonable approach when we feel run down is to set smaller attainable goals. A “get 50 double-unders by the end of the month” goal can be changed into “practice double-unders 3 times a week for 15 minutes this month”. This objective is already far more realistic, process focused and gentler with ourselves.   Tamara Akcay        

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