CrossFit to Prevent Heart Disease

07 May, 2020
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the western world. It's a good idea to try CrossFit to prevent heart disease.
 

It’s a fact that in the western world, we are able to live longer. Thanks to advances in medicine, we can enjoy a better quality of life. Here, we’ll talk about a trendy exercise, CrossFit and its role to prevent heart disease.

Due to this improvement in life expectancy and quality, unlike countries with higher poverty rates, infectious diseases are less and less frequent. Instead, heart diseases are more common due to lifestyle habits.

In this article, we’re going to see how high-intensity sport, mainly CrossFit, could help to prevent heart disease.

Why do heart diseases appear?

In a society like ours, where we have access to all kinds of foods and lead a relatively comfortable lifestyle, it’s easy to acquire bad habits. A sedentary lifestyle and eating high-calorie, processed foods are bad habits, fueled by jobs that involve sitting for long hours, often with no time to cook.

These bad habits lead to an increase in obesity, diseases such as diabetes, or an increase in cholesterol. All this hurts your arteries and can form atheroma plaquesUltimately, these cause heart attacks and other problems that lead to heart failure.

Prevent heart disease: what is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a functional training program that combines constantly changing exercises performed at a high intensity. Their classes usually last for an hour, so it’s a great alternative for people that don’t have time to exercise.

It’s important to emphasize that anyone can do CrossFit or any type of intense interval training. In fact, it can be adapted to all levels and increase in difficulty over time.

 
A woman doing CrossFit in the gym.

Usually, the workouts are short but quite intense. This helps you burn lots of calories! If you also follow a balanced diet, the benefits will be even greater.

CrossFit to prevent heart disease

CrossFit can prevent heart disease in different ways. Let’s see the main ones.

1. Improve body composition

CrossFit is one of the best ways to burn fat. Intense but varied training sessions will burn a lot of calories during the session.

Also, this discipline can raise your basal metabolic rate, which means you keep burning calories for a few hours after exercise.

Improving body composition also means developing your muscles. Since muscles are important tissues to maintain your body, you need more calories every day. Therefore, you’ll burn more calories and can eat more.

2. Boost the lipid profile

High-intensity exercise is one of the most effective tools in improving the blood lipid profile. This includes lowering triglycerides and cholesterol in your bloodespecially LDL or bad cholesterol.

This is really important since hypercholesterolemia (or dyslipidemia) is one of the greatest risk factors of heart disease.

 

3. Improve insulin insensitivity

Since these workouts are short and intense, the glucose in your blood and glycogen reserves are used. This is important because it helps transport cells and promotes insulin action.

People doing a CrossFit workout.

This way, this hormone doesn’t build resistance. Therefore, this is a great tool that lets CrossFit prevent metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

4. Improve the cardiovascular system

Finally, CrossFit includes a wide variety of aerobic exercises, which make the heart and lungs work. This lets your heart work more efficiently, and it helps oxygen flow.

This way, you can lower your resting heart rateIn fact, this is a great marker of cardiovascular health! This program has lots of great benefits, so don’t wait to take advantage of them!

 
  1. Feito Y, Heinrich K, Butcher S, Poston W. High-Intensity Functional Training (HIFT): Definition and Research Implications for Improved Fitness. Sports. 2018 Aug 7;6(3):76.
  2. Gibala MJ, Little JP, Macdonald MJ, Hawley JA. Physiological adaptations to low-volume, high-intensity interval training in health and disease. J Physiol. 2012 Feb;590(5):1077–84.
  3. Currie KD, Bailey KJ, Jung ME, McKelvie RS, MacDonald MJ. Effects of resistance training combined with moderate-intensity endurance or low-volume high-intensity interval exercise on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with coronary artery disease. J Sci Med Sport. 2015 Nov 1;18(6):637–42.
  4. Cosgrove SJ, Crawford DA, Heinrich KM. Multiple Fitness Improvements Found after 6-Months of High Intensity Functional Training. Sports. 2019 Sep 2;7(9):203.
  5. Schroeder EC, Franke WD, Sharp RL, Lee D chul. Comparative effectiveness of aerobic, resistance, and combined training on cardiovascular disease risk factors: A randomized controlled trial. PLoS One. 2019 Jan 1;14(1).