3 Tips for Winter CrossFit

16195048_1068620429950310_8173337754583943_n

You have probably noticed our gyms are not climate controlled.

This is not an accident.

One of the things that CrossFit has taught us is the fact that strength and resilience is developed through exposure. Exposure to challenge results in adaptations to our heath and fitness.

Weather is just another form of exposure.

Our bodies have heating and cooling mechanisms built in to them.

Allowing these mechanisms to operate helps keep them functioning properly. Our bodies are a lot like any machine where a lack of use will eventually lead to degradation.

With that said, there are some things we can do to ease the discomfort of this processs and make sure we stay healthy and strong through the winter workouts.

1. WEAR LAYERS

Wear multiple (3) light layers to the gym. Begin the warm up with all of them on stripping one at a time as you start to feel your body, joints, and muscles heating up.

2. WEAR A HAT

We can lose about 50 percent of our body heat through an uncovered head (even if you aren’t as bald as me!)

3. DRINK WARM WATER

It is important to stay hydrated in the cold. We often overlook this requirement because we don’t see or feel as sweaty. However we are still losing fluids when we are exercising vigorously. 

Cold water will make us colder as our bodies will lose heat trying to warm the water to our body temperature. Try leaving your water out, at work or home or in your car. It doesn’t need to be hot, just don’t want it cold. 

Use these tips to stay safe and healthy through this winter CrossFit season!

Evaluating Paleo Foods

scott-webb-98682

Answering the question, “Is it paleo?” is your first step. This is helpful because it rules out like 99% of the shit people put in their face-holes on a daily basis. But then there is the next question… “Will it help me to my goals?” We call this categorization a split between the realms of “favorable” and “unfavorable.” Identifying these differences can be the key to your success. And also give you some shit to do since you won’t be spending all your time deciding on which flavor soda you’ll be filling your Big Gulp™️ with next.

When I was in elementary school, my teacher was teaching us about the conversion of starch into sugar. She had us chew on a piece of white bread for several minutes until the saliva broke the starch down and the “substance” in our mouths actually became sweet to the taste. Why the fuck I remember this, but not which teacher, or what school I was at, is a whole ‘nother blog. But one thing stuck with me from that foray into scientific investigation…

“I need to chew my sandwiches longer.”

Fast forward 30-something years.

If you give a shit about nutrition, performance, and body composition, you would benefit dramatically from learning how to use the glycemic index. There are many explanations of glycemic index available upon a quick Google search, but mine is better. So here goes…

The glycemic index is a chart that shows how effective a food is at spiking blood sugar level, and consequently, insulin levels.

If you have been around me and mine long enough, you have heard me communicate that the current obesity epidemic, diabetes rates, and a host of preventable cancers and chronic metabolic disorders can all be linked to chronically elevated insulin levels.

 

In a nutshell:

  1. Having a lot of insulin running though your body all the time is severely damaging (and can make you fat)
  2. Having a lot of sugar in your blood is what causes Number 1.
  3. Eating high glycemic carbs/food is what causes Number 2.

 

Even simpler:

High glycemic index = High blood insulin = Chronic disease

or

Hyperglycemia = Hyperinsulinemia = Preventable Conditions

or

Skittles/Coke/Bread/Grain/Pasta = Death

 

So, to the point, how can I use the glycemic index to make better choices of foods? Real simple. Click here for the link to the glycemic index website. Type in the food and search.

(NOTE: If you search for shit like “paleo banana-glazed-cream-filled-almond butter brownie with sugar-free-paleo caramel apple-drizzle” and it doesn’t show up, guess why.)

 

Rule of Thumb:

Table sugar = 100

Foods create a higher insulin response the closer you get to 100.

>50 – limit or avoid

<50 – more preferable

 

Keep in mind that amount, method of preparation, and balance with protein all are factors in affecting insulin levels. We will talk about this stuff later. But this is a good place to start.