The NHS sets aside just 0.007% of its annual budget for mental health services for veterans, according to the BBC.
Yet, the Centre for Mental Health reports that one in five veterans experience mental illness.
It, therefore, makes sense for veterans to take control of their own mental health by embarking on a boot camp-style CrossFit training programme, which have been shown to improve one’s overall mental and physical well-being.
Research shows that up to 74% of veterans and current service members have problems sleeping.
Ideally, individuals should aim for 8 hours of solid sleep per night. Any less than this and they will start to feel anxious, and possibly go on to develop depression, bipolar disorder, and other similar mental health conditions.
CrossFit is an effective way to get better sleep, as it is tough on the body and depletes energy and fluid levels fast.
The high-intensity frequent exercises and movements burn an average of 15 calories per minute, meaning at the end of the day, sleep will be greatly appreciated to aid recovery.
Teamwork is a crucial part of military life and it can be difficult for veterans to go it alone once they leave the military.
As a result, it is common for veterans to feel isolated and lonely, which can lead to depressive feelings. CrossFit encourages teamwork, with group classes usually being held at fitness centres across the country.
There are many different types of equipment needed for CrossFit, including suspension trainers and vibrating foam rollers.
Many people will not have used these before, but by working with other class members to get to grips with the new equipment, veterans can easily integrate themselves back into the community and engage in a beneficial team learning effort.
In recent years, there has been a 2% increase in the number of veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Research supports the theory that vigorous-intensity exercise can benefit individuals with the symptoms of PTSD.
As CrossFit incorporates short, intense, workouts that quickly raise the heart rate, it is an ideal workout for veterans looking to improve their stress levels.
CrossFit also helps to lower cortisol levels, which can be particularly beneficial for veterans with PTSD as a 2015 study found that high levels of cortisol in such individuals resulted in strong-emotional memories being recalled for longer.
Many veterans experience poor mental health. But by regularly participating in Crossfit training they will reap numerous physical health benefits as well as mental health benefits.