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CrossFit Open Recovery by Thrive HQ

Hard to believe it is that time of year again, but the CrossFit Open has begun.

The CrossFit Open is obviously a test of your physical prowess, but even during this shortened 3 week event, it will become much more than a test of your physical capacity. As with most competitions, you are going to push yourself to limits you normally would have thought unattainable. You are going to give that extra 10% that you weren’t even aware you were capable of.

Our bodies and minds truly are amazing and can often push beyond limits we thought were possible. Our ability to push beyond these limits is in large part thanks to our sympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system is perhaps best known for increasing the secretion of adrenaline (epinephrine) in our bodies and allowing for the stress response commonly known as the “fight-or-flight” response.

To balance out the sympathetic nervous system, our bodies call on our parasympathetic nervous system, often known for its role in the “rest and digest” response.

When you add the loud rock music, the 3-2-1-GO, and the extra competitive environment of the CrossFit Open, your “sympathetic nervous system volume” gets turned up to “max.” Unfortunately, living in an environment with consistently elevated sympathetic nervous system levels can lead to overtraining, undue stress on our bodies, adrenal fatigue, and other negative effects on our bodies.

Over the next 3 weeks we are going to be bringing you various practices and methods for turning down the sympathetic and turning up the parasympathetic nervous system after each Open workout. We want you to feel as energized and ready to go by week 3 as you were for week 1!

TO START: We are going back to our post from last week about “Box Breathing.” Box breathing is a simple breath practice that involves breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds, holding for 4 seconds, breathing out through your nose for 4 seconds, and holding for 4 seconds. *When you hold your breath, do not clamp down and create back pressure. Rather, maintain an expansive, open feeling even though you are not inhaling. The slowing of your breath is an excellent way to tell your body that the “fight or flight” is over and you are ready to “rest and digest.”

TRY THIS OVER THE NEXT WEEK: take 5 minutes after every workout you complete to practice box breathing.

EXTRA CREDIT: spend 10 minutes first thing in the morning practicing box breathing.

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