I was never one to consider myself an exerciser. Sure, I’ve been relatively active most of my life. As an adult I played a fair amount of pickup basketball and toyed with P90X, but I had never dedicated myself to an exercise regimen, and certainly didn’t make it part of my early morning routine.
When I started working at BizStream in 2015, there were a small handful of people who would endlessly promote CrossFit, of which I knew nothing. After putting in my first year at BizStream, I figured I would bite the bullet and see what it was all about. Now, almost 2 years later, I have noticed the incredible impact exercise has had across my life. My fitness, mood, quality of life, and even my work have all improved. I know this sounds like an infomercial, but stay with me.
1. Stress Reducer
I’ve realized that getting in a high-quality workout earlier in the morning has the most impact. Yeah, at first I was dead to the world and I think there were a few hours that first day that I might have lost consciousness, but over time I found that exhausting myself set my mind right to take on the rest of the day. Per WebMD, “when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.” That endorphin release makes any task in your regular workday seem totally attainable. It is also good for reducing any stress you might have, as well as potentially blocking more stress from piling on throughout the rest of your day.
2. Improved Sleep
Vigorous exercise is also helpful for improving sleep. Even if your mind is racing with thoughts and ideas or a never-ending to-do list, your body is too tired to keep up and helps you just … let … go.
3. Enhanced Memory
There’s also scientific evidence showing that exercise improves memory and cognition. Exercise releases hormones that encourage the growth of new brain cells, a process known as Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to “reorganize” itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. It allows the nerve cells in the brain to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. A study in 2010 found that primates who exercised were learning new tasks twice as quickly as those that didn’t.
4. Team Building
A benefit specific to exercising with the BizStream team, is just that. We get up early and go to CrossFit Allendale as a team. These days there is anywhere from 4-9 of us that go together. Call it team building, camaraderie, getting in the trenches with your friends, or all of the above. It’s way more fun than just staring at yourself in the mirror at an ordinary gym, and it always gives you something to talk about throughout the rest of the day (Editor’s note: formal apologies to the rest of the staff, who are sick of hearing about “today’s WOD”.)
If you find yourself going home every day sluggish and tired, or are starting to “zombie” your way through your day, try a shot in the arm with a high-intensity workout. Better yet, get your co-workers involved and hold each other accountable to keep at it. As much as we advocate for CrossFit, we also have on-site gym, an annual backpacking trip and a soccer team! When weather allows, we encourage each other to get up and take walks outside. As a team we have even completed the ToughMudder! Get out of your comfort zone and find something that wakes you up, jumpstarts your cardio and forces you to put in some work. Shout out to CrossFit Allendale for always pushing us to do more, try new things, and keep showing up!