COVID-19 and 5 Immune Boosting Nutrients


#CrusherNutrition has partnered with our team at Healthy Steps Nutrition – to put together a list of 5 essential nutrients, to support your immune system.  During this time – one thing we can control – is what we put down the hatch!  To help protect from illness and boost your immune system, include the following in your diet.  If you need help with your nutrition, and guidance with these steps – email Jen@CrusherCrossFit.Com for more information!  We are here to make humans healthier and happier.

 

    1. Protein
      Protein plays a role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery. Eat a variety of protein foods including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and nuts and seeds.
    2. Vitamin A
      Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Get this immune-boosting vitamin from foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs or foods fortified with vitamin A.
    3. Vitamin C
      Vitamin C helps protect you from infection by encouraging antibodies and boosting immunity. Include more sources of this healthy vitamin in your diet by consuming citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato or foods fortified with vitamin C.
    4. Vitamin E
      Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and improves immune system function. Obtain adequate vitamin E in your diet with consumption of fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils, hazelnuts and peanut butter.
    5. Zinc
      Zinc helps the immune system work properly and assists with wound healing. Zinc food sources include lean meats, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts.

Additionally there are other nutrients that may influence immune response and play a role in a healthy immune boosting diet, including vitamin B6, folate, selenium, iron, as well as prebiotics and probiotics.

*Disclaimer: obtaining these nutrients from foods is preferred, so be sure to speak with your healthcare provider and/or a registered dietitian nutritionist before taking any immune-boosting supplements.

Ashley Osterman
Director of Nutrition Education
Healthy Steps Nutrition

Where does alcohol fit into your training?


Since about 7000 B.C., alcohol has been a staple for gatherings in many cultures. You may have heard that wine can actually be a healthy beverage for your heart, or that a hot toddy when you’re sick makes you get better quickly. Are these claims true? Like most answers: yes and no. It depends on a myriad of things like your genetics and the way your body processes alcohol, additives and the quality of the booze you’re consuming.

So where does this fit into your life? If you’ve ever wondered if you should avoid it all together, or can have a glass or two of your favorite red or microbrew, this article is for you.

Let’s talk about the science of alcohol. What’s in it that gives us that fuzzy feeling?

  • The answer: ethanol. This substance absorbs into our bloodstream and causes a “depressing effect” on the systems in our bodies.Our reaction times slows, stress and anxiety are reduced, and the body altogether slows down.

Weightlifting and exercise in general generate metabolic waste for the body to process. The liver is instrumental in clearing these waste byproducts from the body. If you are working hard in your training you may be putting a hefty load of work on your liver. Make sure that if you are exercising and enjoy a few drinks you are getting ample rest and recovery to keep your body in balance.

There is also the additional calories to consider when it comes to alcohol. If you are trying to lose fat then there is most likely no room in your diet for excess calories. You want your primary calories to come from lean protein, fibrous vegetables, and heart healthy fats. Replacing some of those calories with alcohol put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies. Not only that, but after a few drinks you may become tempted to reach for foods that don’t support your body compositional goals.  Let’s be honest… You can’t say you have a few drinks an then go find a kale salad??

Consuming alcohol doesn’t make you unhealthy or a bad person. Just like anything else you consume, it can have a place if you are responsible and keep it in balance with your health and wellness goals.  Need more help or advice on what your calories should look like?  Send us an email at Coach@CrusherCrossFit.Com to set up a free consult or get some nutrition help!

 

Should Kids Lift Weights?


Weight training and High-Impact training for kids.

Don’t worry, I am not going to get technical with stats and percentages. I’m going to make this simple and relatable for everyone. How many times have you heard…”Kids should not use weights…it will stunt their growth”…Countless times I am sure. I can find countless articles that contradict that and on the flip side I can find articles supporting that. As a parent of two boys who do Crossfit I can tell you I am 100% confident in having them use weights. 

But let’s define “weights”, and more importantly “weights” when it applies to our program. Age appropriate weights is how I’ll describe it.

  • I want you to picture an 8 year old girl holding a set of 2lb-3lb dumbbells doing some shoulder presses.  Now picture a coach beforehand demonstrating proper movement. Can the child demonstrate proper movement without weight? If so, then let’s see how they perform the movement using a very light load. If they can they get to use that weight for the workout. If not, they don’t use a weight. 

Simple as that in our program. The coach dictates what weights are used because we all know little ones, they will grab the heaviest weight they can. It’s in their nature to do that. Weights used are earned through demonstration of movement. The Crossfit Kids training program does not advocate maximal lifts for kids and preteens. We do however advocate supervised low load weight training.  Something to keep in mind however, is how heavy is your child’s back pack?  What types of things do they move around and life on a daily basis?  I will say, much heavier than what we have them lifting in class.  And we are teaching them how to lift those things with proper form.

When our youth are playing their respective sport the force applied to their bodies during play is far greater than those we use in our program. Our application is also done in a controlled setting with no outside variables such as sport. The unforeseen variables in sport pose a far greater risk of injury. Making your child’s muscles and joints stronger will help prevent injury on the field and in everyday life. Helping them move better through proper range of motion will benefit them for their entire life.

Along with age appropriate weight training we also add in high impact training which has huge benefits for your child. These are movements like running, box jumps, and broad jumps just to name a few. Read this article for benefits of high impact and weight training in our youth.

 

http://journal.crossfit.com/2016/11/crossfit-kids-research-brief-bone-density.tpl

Any application of load in any exercise program for anyone needs to be done so correctly. Especially in our youth and our coaches are trained to do so. Explanation, demonstration, correcting of faults, and “earned” loads will keep your child safe and that is Crusher’s number one priority. 

Looking for a place to keep your child active?  Athlete or not –  we would love to help.  Our program is designed for any child of every level.  Email Geo@CrusherCrossFit.Com for more information!

 

Coach Geo

Guess What? Your Coach Noticed.


I had an athlete approach me recently, expressing concern that a peer in class had repetitions that did not meet movement standards.  This person was not upset because of what the scoreboard said, but they were frustrated because our workouts are so much more than what the whiteboard says.  Our workouts are hard work.  I  have always said “How you do anything, is how you do everything.”  I had a conversation with this person about ensuring we are only worrying about ourselves, and our own workouts.  As the conversation progressed – I realized this was a deeper issue than just a few no reps. And I completely understood.

I get it.  You want to beat that person who you always compete with in class.  Or you don’t want to finish last place.  Or you want to come across as this major BEAST during the WOD.  It seems powerful and amazing right?  Well ok – there is more to it than this.  You need to hold yourself to a higher standard.  If you are starting to move so fast just to get the rep done, that your form is shot or you are not completing the full rep – are you really winning?  Are you really working closer to being a healthier version of yourself?  If you clearly have the ability to do things right, and you choose not to, then you are doing yourself a disservice.

What I mean here – “How you do anything, is how you do everything.”  (Not just at the gym.)  If your integrity to your ownself in the gym is lacking – what does it look like outside of the gym?

Why do we perform these types of workouts anyways?  To be the best we can be – the best version of ourselves – healthy… and the list goes on.  What is the purpose if we are shaving reps, moving poorly, and letting our integrity go out the window?  Are you really reaching those goals?  What is this doing for your mind?  Which also transfers outside of the box.

You also have your peers – the one to your left and to your right – who are counting accurately (well except when you have WOD brain and miss 1 of the 300 reps during Cindy).  But for the most part, intentionally counting accurately.  Or the ones who are listening to the coach with movement standards… not letting speed get in the way of form.  FOR TIME or AMRAP does not mean move like trash.  There is next to no value in going fast and moving poorly.  These peers see you (Yes they do, even if you think they don’t) and they get frustrated.  They are working so hard, yet see you cheating.  Cheating yourself, and cheating the camaraderie you all have in your class session.

I found this article on the crossfit journal that I found super interesting – take a peak.  http://journal.crossfit.com/2016/07/an-open-letter-to-cheaters.tpl

Let’s all strive to be the best versions we can be.  Be Honest.  Work Hard.  DO YOU!  Don’t worry about beating someone other than yourself.  Competition is good and healthy – as long as you can leave your ego at the door and maintain integrity.   Reminder of our Rules of Conduct at Crusher – and honestly, these can also go out to real life as well!

“Be Honest with YOUR FELLOW ATHLETES & YOURSELF.

Abandon your ego. No one cares if you finished first or you finished last,

but everyone will be upset if you cheat.”

Choose an Environment that Supports You


The environment you place yourself in is arguably the most important decision you can make at any given moment. The actions the environment supports will shape your life and the decisions that you make. Sounds like a big statement but let’s think about it for a minute. Compare a few different potential options of environments you could spend your day in.

  • On one hand, you could spend your day throwing around heavy weights and being bold, focused and confident in an activity like weightlifting or CrossFit. Think about how you feel after lifting a barbell, or doing pull-ups. How do you feel? Maybe strong, determined, more powerful?

Now let’s consider another way your day’s activity could go.

  • You go to a yoga class where you focus on your breath. Stillness and peace is a common feeling people get. You’re stretching, creating space. Think about how different that feels from the weightlifting you would do at the gym. The feelings you experience from doing yoga may be uplifting, and open. The gestures your and stretches you take your body through in a slowed down type of activity like yoga impacts the way your brain perceives your life.

Let’s analyze a third option.

  • You go to an old friend’s house. You end up sitting on the couch having a few drinks and snacking. You watch a mindless TV show while your friends complains about work and how unhappy they are at their job.

Which experience do you think will make you grow? Which environment will contribute to the person you want to be?

Ding. Ding. Ding. It’s an easy choice right?!

“Surround yourself with people who remind you more of your future than your past.”
-Dan Sullivan

Put simply, you become what you do. Your body communicates who you are to your brain. If you spend your time doing hard work and lifting heavy weights, you start to think how strong you are and how you can do hard things. This will translate into your life. You become the type of person who is strong and can do hard things. In a place like yoga, or maybe running outside, you may experience those feelings of freedom, space and peace. You become a person who experiences these things.

It’s incredible how much body influences how we think. Activity is so important to everyday life. The next time you’re working out, whatever activity it is that you choose, notice the messages your body sends your mind. Feeling weak in your life, like you can’t do anything right? Get under a barbell and do some hard shit. Feeling like you need more space in your life? Try some yoga or running. With your body as a tool you can create the environment you most need in your life.

Do you need help identifying what is best for you?  We offer 1-1 personal training sessions and can tailor the session to the type of exercise you need.  Email is at Coach@CrusherCrossFit.Com

Have a great week!

4 Ways to Save Your Joints


When you are dedicated to your training and putting in the hours to achieve your goals then there is nothing more frustrating than joint pain and inflammation. It almost feels like your body is punishing you for working hard. No fair, right!

Rather than make excuses about your pain or backing off on your training you may want to consider some new techniques to mitigate the damage from these patterns of overuse.

1. Focus on form
2. Make intensity your new volume
3. Recover Harder
4. Hit the Supplements Aisle

1.Focus on form
If you are training often and hard then even the slights inefficiencies in your movement can turn into nagging injuries over time. Before you put in all that hard work you owe it to yourself to work with an experienced coach to refine your movement. You will make progress faster and stay healthy in the process. Slow down, not every day is a competition.

2. Make intensity your new volume
Sometimes the body simply needs a break from volume. All athletes in any sport go through periods of alternating intensity and volume throughout the year. They have different rhythms and protocols for preseason, in-season, post-season, and off-season training. Try backing off on the volume of your training and focusing on higher intensity pieces instead. For lifters, this could mean performing fewer sets or reps and using a higher load, shorter rest times, or a faster tempo. Runners might try lower mileage with weeks and adding a sprint workout 1-2 times per week instead.

3. Recover Harder
Training hard without the proper recovery techniques is bound to beat you up and becomes unsustainable long term. Make time for massage, foam rolling, stretching, yoga or mobility sessions, sleep, and any other recovery methods that can improve your performance. Sometimes the most beneficial thing you can do is stimulate your parasympathetic nervous with these recovery techniques to let your body’s natural healing mechanisms kick in.

4. Give your body what it needs to repair itself
There are tons of great supplements that can help with joint health. Fish oil and omega 3’s provide a healthy inflammatory response in the body amongst many other health benefits. Glucosamine and Chondroitin provide the building blocks for joint repair. Tart Cherry Juice extract has been shown to reduce muscle soreness after a workout. Give those a try to start!

Don’t let joint pain stop you from moving and doing the things you love!

5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season


As the weather turns colder, many of us tend to let our health and fitness routines take the back burner for a few months. Whether you are feeling rundown or beat up from two CrossFit Open cycles in one year or just trying to escape the holiday season without eating too much pie. It is important to recognize what the change in season can mean for you in your training and health.

The winter months bring about changes in our training routines, daily habits, and nutrition. Rather than take a hit and accepting that this is a time to let yourself slide (because you’ll make it up and get back on track in January) what if this year you made a plan to do things differently.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” -Jim Rohn

Here are 5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season!

  1. Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
  2. Go for a walk during the daytime.
  3. Break a sweat every day.
  4. Stay Hydrated.
  5. Structure your day for success.

Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
During the summer months, there seems to be an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables around. In the winter we tend to shift towards more comfort foods, foods that are preserved or packaged and are easy to prepare. Focusing on incorporating more vegetables in your diet will help you get the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and micronutrients that you need. Omega-3s found in fish oil can help with skin health, heart health, and has been shown to support

Go for a walk during the daytime.
Getting outside for a walk during daylight hours can be extremely beneficial for your body and mind. Even if we can’t get Vitamin D from the sun during the winter months we can still benefit from its exposure. Walking can help improve metabolism, boost mood, and be a much better pick me up for your energy than coffee. Doing it in sunlight is proven to be one of the best ways to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that gets people run down in the winter months.

Break a sweat every day.
Prioritizing fitness may actually be more important in the winter than the summer. We naturally find ourselves more active during the summer months, enjoying the weather at the beach or on a hike or a bike ride. In the winter we tend to hole up indoors. Those hours of walking are replaced with hours of Netflix bingeing and lo and behold we start to get soft and complacent.

Stay Hydrated.
In the winter months, you may never feel the need to quench your thirst as you do on a hot summer day. Most folks tend to stay on the dehydrated side. Sweat also evaporates in the cold dry air, so many people are less likely to replenish fluids after exercise. Be sure to set daily hydration goals for yourself. Setting alarms on your phone to get up and grab a drink of water is a great way to accomplish this.

Structure your day for success.
One of the best ways to take charge of your health during the winter months is to plan out your day. Set yourself up for success by incorporating healthy habits and avoiding the detractors is key. Plan to have a big healthy salad before showing up to the holiday party where you know there will be tons of desserts. Book a fitness class, yoga session, or plan to meet a friend during a time you would normally just watch TV or surf the internet.

If you want to stay in control of your health this winter and have questions about how to eat, train or plan let us know!  Coach@CrusherCrossFit.Com

3 Exercises to Fix your Lower Back Pain


The body thrives on balance. Our muscles and joints are happiest when they are getting equal and total range of motion. The spine is no different and since it’s range of motion is smaller than most other joints, imbalances can be felt more intensely.

The spine requires the stability of the supporting muscles that surround it to keep up upright and mobile. When a link in this system is weak, the body will compensate in order to expend the least amount of energy. 

A common issue seen causing that dreaded lower back is due to tight hip flexors, tight spinal erectors, accompanied by weak abs and glutes, also referred to as the lower cross syndrome. The tightness of the body in one area causes another area of the body to become weak. 

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Buddhist Proverb

 

So how do you fix or prevent this? Here are three things you can do today to make sure your glutes are firing, your core is tight, and your hips and back muscles stay strong but supple.

  1. Single leg glute bridges, to strengthen the core & glutes. Aim for 3 sets of 15 on each side. Plant the bottom of your feet and palms firmly on the floor. Stack knees above ankles. Lift one foot off the ground and perform a single glute bridge with the other, pressing firmly into your palms, shoulders, and foot to take any pressure off the neck. Try to get the hips as high as possible, then lower to the ground.
  2. Couch Stretch, loosen the tight hip flexors Aim for 2 minutes on each side. Using a couch or a bench, get into a low lunge in front of your object of choice, and the goal of this stretch is to use the front leg to support your weight as you put your back foot on a couch or bench and get your knee as close to the couch or bench as possible to stretch the hip of the back leg.  
  3. Supine single-leg twists to loosen the tight muscles in the lower back.

Lay on your back, hands out to a T, and legs together, bring your right knee up to your chest and let it fall to the left side of your body. Try to keep the spine stacked in a straight line. Repeat on the left leg, bringing left knee to chest then letting it fall to your right, knee resting on the ground or a block. Spend at least a minute on each side.

Incorporate these exercises and stretches into your routine to help ease and prevent lower back pain. As always if anything causes pain, don’t do it and always consult your doctor before trying new things.

Succeed in 2020


2020 is your Year!

We all want to hit the new year and decade like the Kool Aid Man right? We all do, but we all have seen ours and others New Year’s resolutions start quick and end even quicker. Why? We often pick goals that are attainable but we pick an unsustainable way to get there. All in right away….I’m not eating that anymore, I’m waking up at 5am Monday through Friday and I’m running 5 miles, I’m going to do this and not that (whatever it is). But we can’t redirect a runaway train instantly. We need to take baby steps. How about setting a long term goal and then setting up baby steps to get there.  

Ok you want to eat better, great that is a fantastic goal. But going all in is probably not going to end well. Let’s start by eating better 5 days a week. Indulge a little on the weekend. Do that for a little and then let’s eat better 6 days a week. 

Here are some helpful ways to stay on track.

 

  • Make an attainable goal (losing inches on your waist, lowering your blood pressure, I want to work out 3-5 days a week and just get stronger and healthier)
  • Create a plan that consists of a sustainable process (baby steps)
  • Track your progress (detail where you are now and measure where you are weekly, not daily)
  • Get friends and family involved (accountability, and it’s more fun)
  • If you are going at it alone then talk about it with others. Let your family and friends know about it and explain you’ll need their support
  • Realize there will be a plateau and do not get discouraged (trust the process – be patient!)
  • Lean on the professionals to get you there (Crusher programs and staff are experts and make it simple) 

 

So here we go!  2020 is YOURS. What goals are you going to CRUSH this year?  Remember… 2020 will be the exact same as 2019 unless you MAKE A CHANGE!  Get after it! Start simple and step forward.

Meet Connor – Teen Athlete!


Teens Athlete Spotlight (November 2019)

 

Athlete – Conner Epping

Age – 15

Member since – March 2017

 

I want to introduce you to one of our amazing Teen athletes, Conner Epping. He puts in the hard work and he is an absolute joy to coach. Conner is part of one of our many families who “Fitness” together here at Crusher CrossFit. His parents Alanna, Joe, and sister Brenna are all part of the Crusher Family. Recently they were seen doing the “CrossFit Open” together as a family in the same heats. Very cool and very inspiring to see as they pushed through very tough workouts along side of each other while the Crusher community cheered them on. 

I recently sat down with Conner for a little Q&A

 

Why did you start CrossFit? My Mom and Dad started and they would talk about it at home. I knew they loved it and they inspired me and I gave it a shot.

Do you enjoy CrossFit? I love it. 

Why do you enjoy CrossFit? It helps me mentally. It has made me more confident. Both in the gym and at school.

Were you nervous to start? Yes, very. But not anymore. I look forward to coming now and challenging myself.

Do you play a sport? No. Crossfit is my sport.

Do you think CrossFit helps you in your academics? Yes, it has taught me to focus more. It also helps with my headaches and anxiety. I feel much better when I come to class.

Have you talked to friends about CrossFit? Yes. My friends Joey and Trevor joined. I like when we all can work out together. It’s fun.

What is your favorite movement? Rowing

What is your least favorite movement? Burpees. I hate those things. (“Conner, I feel your pain here man” – Geo)

Do you like working out with Mom and Dad? Yes, they inspire me to try harder. It’s pretty cool.

Do you plan to continue with CrossFit when you become an adult? Definitely. 

Do you like your coaches? Yes, they are fun and they help me with each workout. They give me scales and tips to get through the workout.

As a coach of Conner I can tell you this kid is awesome and we are the lucky ones that get to coach him. The Epping family continues to inspire all of us and we look forward to seeing them all continue their fitness journey with us. 

 

If you feel encouraged to try something new like Connor did, email me at Geo@CrusherCrossFit.Com – I would love to help.

 

Coach Geo