In recent years, we’ve heard more and more about the world’s “mental health crisis”, and with the idea that prevention is better than cure, this week is a great way to encourage us all to think about mental health, further tackle the stigma that surrounds it, and help create a society that protects mental well-being.

Working to find ways to prevent mental health problems

Recently featured in CrossFit’s Health Book Club, “Brain Energy” by Doctor Christopher Palmer draws on decades of research to conclude that mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, alcoholism, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, autism, and even schizophrenia are metabolic disorders of the brain.

Discussing symptoms and risk factors in mental health problems, Doctor Palmer explores what is happening in our brains at a cellular level to cause issue.

Why is this revelation so compelling? Because the arguments and scientific reference outlined in this book draw the important conclusion that people with good metabolic health are less likely to experience poor mental health.

Enter: CrossFit

Doctor Palmer describes how diet and exercise can be used as treatment to change brain metabolism to not only benefit those with severe mental disorders but also those with general anxiety and moderate depression. When people “work toward getting faster, stronger, more flexible, doing more reps, or achieving some other metric of increased capacity” this improves mitochondrial health – in this case; brain function.

What’s more, the CrossFit diet (Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.) addresses both the quality and quantity of a person’s food to support better metabolic health.

CrossFit for physical, mental, and emotional health

One of the biggest challenges people face in improving their mental health in this way is sticking with dietary changes or an exercise routine. Fighting against a habitual sedentary lifestyle and lack of energy may call for external motivation. Support, encouragement, and education is available in abundance at the CrossFit Affiliate!

At CrossFit DireWolf, we promote the idea that mental health is physical health and are proud to be addressing the global mental health epidemic with what we do as an affiliate.