Addiction to drugs, sex, speed, money, gaming, or your own personal affliction will eventually have a negative effect on your own life and the people around you. All of the above are classed as “unhealthy addictions” and the aim of my own research is to exchange a bad addiction with a “healthy addiction“.
Recent university studies show experiments using humans and animals indicates a similarity in behavior between healthy and unhealthy addictions. The connection between the two are endorphins which are produced by our central nervous system. The main function of endorphins are to produce pain signals but they also produce a sense of euphoria depending on our own aspect of enjoyment.
My Own Rehab Experiments
Over the past three years I have worked closely with a local rehab clinic to provide a range of keep fit classes that include: spinning, crossfit, yoga and 5 a side soccer. The original purpose was to give patients the opportunity to keep fit during their stay. It was noticeable that some patient’s attitude and habits changed dramatically when their thoughts were focused on a positive activity.
During the past 8 months I have conducted my own experiments of sports therapy. Below are my findings and advice for anyone wanting to implement a similar system.
To get the best results variety is the key. If all the activities remain interesting it stimulates the mind to prevent the patient from thinking about their addiction. Crossfit is the perfect solution because the activity is always changing. Below I have provided an example of one WOD (work out of the day).
3 min rest between each of 5 rounds
Crossfit Equipment and Gear
Crossfit requires a range of equipment and the correct gear before you can start. Below is a list of things you should buy to get started.
T-Shirt: you will sweat and become hot during every session. A T-Shirt is ideal for training.
Shorts: a pair of running shorts or compression shorts if you also intend to cycle.
Shoes: a pair of good quality shoes designed for crossfit are essential. My own shoes are the Reebok Nano but make sure when you do purchase a pair of shoes they are made for cross training to avoid injury. More information can be found at www.dsstuff.com
Socks: At every crossfit session I always bring two pairs of socks. It is important to keep your feet as dry as possible.
Sweatshirt: If you are running outside for an extended period of time a warm sweatshirt will maintain adequate body temperature.
Kettlebell: Many of the cross fit workouts incorporate a kettlebell during the routine
Weightlifting barbell: Nothing focuses the mind like weightlifting
Rings: They are not essential but they are cost effective for the beginner to add variety to your workout .
Medicine ball: Another cost effective piece of equipment that will target those are to tone muscles.
Jump rope: One of my favorite exercises is skipping . Make sure to find one that suits your height or a fun activity could turn into a frustrating experience .
Rowing machine: Investing in a good machine may cost you a few extra dollars but it will be worth it in the long run. Cheap machines tend to break fairly easy causing more time and money to be wasted . This is one thing you don’t want to buy used.
You can easily research crossfit training routines online which will list all the WODs to create a good routine. I would suggest watching crossfit workouts on youtube.com which will allow you to see the workouts performed . I create classes that last from 60 to 90 minutes, offering morning and afternoon sessions.
Set homework assignments after every workout ensuring the patient develops a better understanding of the sport . If the patient is fully vested into the workout routine it will result in long term compliance. The key to success is consistency, if you miss sessions the system becomes ineffective and the patients can loose interest quickly.
Implementing a system for your patients or even yourself can be easy and effective if you find the right fit. Variety is the key to keeping things interesting, and keeping everyone engaged .