It is crucial to remember that depression and anxiety are significant mental health issues requiring a professional medical diagnosis and treatment. While physical activity, such as CrossFit, can help manage anxiety and depressive symptoms, it should not be used as a substitute for medical counsel or therapy.
Yet, some data suggests regular exercise, such as CrossFit, can successfully treat sadness and anxiety. For example, recent British Journal of Sports Medicine research shows that training is 1.5 times more effective than standard medication or cognitive behavior therapy at treating mild to moderate depression, stress, and anxiety.
Another example, this study from 2021 discovered that exercise lowers the risk of anxiety by more than 60%. In addition, this study from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, raises the possibility that increased physical strength may be associated with decreased anxiety levels.
Due to studies like these, gyms like EHP Performance in Moorhead, Minnesota, now provide a full range of mental health services, including support for conditions like PTSD, anxiety, substance abuse, mindset, and sports performance coaching for elite athletes and people leading active lifestyles.
Here are a few explanations of why working out is more effective at combating anxiety and depression
- Endorphins are natural compounds in the body that enhance emotions of happiness and well-being. Exercise causes the release of these chemicals. Working out can lessen anxiety and despair and boost mood in general.
- Activity relieves stress, and CrossFit is no exception. CrossFit may be a fantastic stress reliever. Cortisol, the hormone linked to stress, can be reduced by physical activity, aiding in relaxation.
- Exercise enhances sleep: Anxiety and depression can be exacerbated by, as well as a symptom of, poor sleep. Frequent exercise, like CrossFit, can assist in increasing the quantity and quality of sleep, which helps lessen the signs of depression and anxiety.
- Exercise increases self-esteem: CrossFit can be challenging, and finishing a workout can increase self-esteem. Although anxiety and depression can frequently result in feelings of low self-worth, those dealing with these disorders may find this very helpful.
- CrossFit is a group workout that can foster a sense of social support and connection. Exercise boosts social support. Social isolation can make those with anxiety and depression worse. Therefore this is very beneficial for them.
Even though the CrossFit community understands the value of physical activity and fitness for mental health and can be a helpful tool for controlling the signs of anxiety and depression, it’s vital to remember that it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for medical care. Getting help from a licensed medical expert is crucial if you’re experiencing anxiety or sadness.
March is the founder and owner of The Barbell Beauties which she started in 2015. She is from the Philippines and currently lives in beautiful Thailand with her American husband and daughter. She is an avid Crossfitter and has just started her journey into Muay Thai (kickboxing).