I have always been curious about crossit, but have stayed away due to my having an autoimmune disease and a long history with adrenal fatigue. I figured it was a straight shot ticket back to exhaustion for months and was something I would just never be able to do. After giving birth to my third kiddo, however, I was bored of working out on my own with the kids climbing all over me. I could never really fully engage in my workout therapy when I had three boys at home who couldn’t go more then ten minutes without some form of an emergency!
I had been driving by a crossfit gym just down the road from my house for quite awhile and decided to meet with the owner and discuss my concerns regarding my health and see if there was a way to try it out without killing myself. We agreed to try a 3 week beginners program, and so it began!
That was in October, and I have been hooked ever since! I have had a few hiccups here and there regarding my adrenals and energy, but I have figured out a system to help me stay on top of my health. Here are my top five tips for you to follow if you are stuck in the wanna try something new, but not sure if it would end up being good for you camp like I was:
- Get a “take it easy on yourself” accountability coach or teammate. Someone who knows your health history and concerns and can slow you down when your ego or competitive drive tells you that you are capable of pushing more. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should….yet!!
- RECOVERY RECOVERY RECOVERY!!! Do not fast before or after your workouts!! This is not the time to try intermittent fasting, keto, or any other thing that may put a strain on your adrenals. Be ultra aware of your water consumption, carbs, and recovery nutrition before and after your workouts!
- Give yourself at least 24-48 hours of rest between workouts. In the first couple months I would do a 6:15PM class and then a 6:45AM class the next day. This works fine for some people, but if you have an autoimmune disease or adrenal fatigue, do yourself a favor and give yourself a rest instead!
- Sleep more. I know, who has time for that? Well if you don’t want to end up sleeping on the couch all day again, find a way to add 30 minutes more to your bedtime each night! This is when your muscles regenerate and your body repairs damage, so if that means leaving dirty dishes in the sink for a night and skipping a TV show rerun then, love yourself enough to do it!
- Pick a “graduation” date to move up on level or amount of classes you get in per week and make it conservative. It is so easy after you start crossfit to let your competitive nature take hold. I found that I had to set dates farther out in the future than I would prefer to try RX (doing the workout at the prescribed weight and intensity without having to modify), to go up on weights, and to add in an extra class per week. I knew I could do a lot more than I was doing strength wise, but I also knew I needed to let my body adjust very slowly to the tax on my adrenals. That took a lot of patience and to be honest, it was really frustrating, but….it literally saved me!
I am happy to say that following these tips have helped me continue crossfit without any major adrenal setbacks. It really requires you to listen to your body, but you CAN do it no matter where you are right now!!! No matter what it is you have been eyeing, don’t give up. It is in your future…just may take a little patience:)