Exercise is Medicine

For this blog I want to take some time to talk about the fact that exercise is medicine. There are so many of us out there that deal with depression, anxiety, who are pre-diabetic, etc. I want to let you all know that exercise can be a medicine for all of those things!

I currently work in an emergency room as an EMT-I. We see lots of people that come in with heart conditions, diabetes, severe depression and anxiety, the list goes on and on. I see time and time again doctors tell patients that if they would exercise and eat right, it would alleviate the illnesses they are dealing with or, at the very least, decrease the amount of medications they are taking. Sadly, I see their advice go in one ear and out the other. I will never understand why something free and non-harmful, something with no side effects, is typically our last resort.

When we exercise it releases endorphins, which are the "feel good" hormones. These endorphins interact with certain receptors in your brain which reduce your perception of pain. They also release a positive feeling that is similar to the effect of morphine! I don't know about you, but that blows my mind.  With so many people addicted to drugs because they are trying to self-medicate their pain (depression, anxiety, disease, etc), why would we not choose something that's actually good for us?

I completely understand the hesitation behind starting an exercise regimen, especially with CrossFit. I struggled with severe anxiety from the age of 12-21.  I remember having panic attacks so sever that I would hyperventilate and lose the use of my hands, feet, and speech because I was breathing too fast. So please believe me when I tell you that I know what it's like to be anxious about something. The biggest thing I hear as a gym owner is that "I am too scared to come; I have too much anxiety to ever step foot in the gym". To be honest with you, until I had to get my Level 1 CrossFit certification, I had never stepped into a real CrossFit gym because I had too much fear and anxiety behind it. I forced myself to do it and I discovered it to be one of the best weekends of my life!  I want you to know that I make it a point to make our gym a safe place for you. Do not get stuck in the cycle of "I need to exercise to feel better, like how I look, get rid of anxiety... but I am too afraid to even start". You will fall into that cycle and it is a hard one to break. I want to tell you that you are strong and, whether it's coming to our gym or just deciding to go on a walk every day, YOU CAN DO IT!!! 

I want to end by encouraging you to take those small steps. I am here for you if you have any questions. I am here to support you. We all know how hard getting into shape can be, how scary it can be to do something for the first time, but we have ALL been there. You are so strong, no matter what you or anyone else says!