OK, full disclosure, I’m stealing this from Ben Bergeron’s Podcast “Chasing Excellence.” I feel mildly within my rights to “steal” it because his answers to a question were exactly the same answers I would have given, so there’s that.
For overall general fitness, there is no substitute for what we do. So if the question is what ONE thing should you do to maximize fitness, CrossFit is the answer.
But the question is: what three activities should you do besides CrossFit?
Yoga. I tell people all the time that yoga is way harder than CrossFit. And it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Look for a yoga class (or something similar) that is more still than moving, more passive than active. You want restorative yoga as opposed to Bikram or hot yoga. We take a beating at the gym several days a week. This shouldn’t be another one. Find a yoga or stretching class that will improve your mobility, but also get you back to center. Yoga is also great at teaching you body awareness – where you are in space and how you are aligned. Those are things that will help with CrossFit as well.
Yoga Heights: look for Restorative and Yin
Hike. Get outside. Go for a long hike. Put your phone in the backpack and listen to the sounds in the woods. Breathe un-recycled air. Reconnect. This is a great activity to do with friends or by yourself. Or with a dog. Hiking has proven physical, mental and health benefits. Spending quality time in the great outdoors can reduce stress anxiety and risk of depression. And just like scaling your workouts, you can choose any trail from extremely challenging to casual stroll.
Start in your backyard with Rock Creek Park. Work your way up to Old Rag.
Play a new sport. After 21 years of triathlon, I decided in 2019 that I would learn to play golf. I don’t get out as much as I would like, but I love doing something new and different. It’s as social as CrossFit, and often more frustrating, but it’s a different kind of challenge. Sports are the ways in which we get to express the fitness we have built in the gym. Start one that you’ve never done before. Triathlon, anyone? There is a space open.