“There’s a powerful and profound interaction between human movement and how well the brain works.” – Greg Glassman, Founder and CEO of CrossFit, Inc.
Fitness is not limited to the physical province. For decades, we’ve known exercise is a potent antidepressant, and research now strongly supports physical activity as the best way to improve neural networks and reduce cognitive decline as we age.
In fact, rigorous exercise is necessary for creating long-term memories that are easily recalled. It’s critical for developing neural networks in infants, and maintaining connections in the brain in the elderly.
Since 2005, we’ve been researching the brain, motivation and the effects of CrossFit on both. We can make drastic improvements in brain function after traumatic injury. We can help kids with autism and gifted children alike. We can erase the deleterious consequences of ‘chemo fog,’ and hold off dementia and alzheimer’s awhile longer. But we need clients to exercise intensely, and to WANT to come to the gym. This is where CrossFit serves best.
While the benefits of weightlifting, anaerobic exercise AND aerobic training on the brain are widely reported, the effects of CrossFit on retention and adherence have yet to be studied beyond our own empirical measurement. But the effect is no less clear: clients who come to our gym LIKE doing their cognitive exercises. And they’re more likely to attend their other therapies when CrossFit is part of their treatment plan.
When the opportunity to have a positive impact is this broad, it becomes a responsibility. Our mission is to help other CrossFit gyms forge cognitive fitness.
“You’re already the beneficiaries of the reality of the thing Chris hopes we can prove to the scientists someday. It’s OK to be groundbreaking, to lead a revolution, and in the wake of that let science convince others that what we’re doing is what needed to be done. And that’s exactly the process that’s underway. You’re delivering the goods.” – Greg Glassman