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CrossFit, an energizing fitness program, produces measurable results through lifestyle changes that focus on exercise, training, and nutrition. The workouts involve dynamic models of high-intensity, functional movements. Although it may seem intimidating at first, the truth remains that CrossFit really is for everyone.

What are the benefits?

Especially as we age, staying active and healthy can be critical to celebrating life, being productive, and enjoying time with family and friends. CrossFit has numerous benefits, such as better cardiovascular health, improved strength and flexibility, increased bone density, and better sleep. CrossFit focuses on functional fitness, which means the structure helps you do the activities necessary in daily living.

What are high-intensity, functional movements?

Functional movements are part of our daily activities, such as rising from a chair, climbing stairs, squatting to pick something up, or putting objects away. CrossFit classes incorporate these movements into exercises that help you perform your daily activities better, longer, and with less risk of injury. For example, burpees develop the ability to get back up after a fall. Working on a pull-up progression can help you get into your pickup truck. Performing movements such as squats, lunges, and overhead presses build muscle, stamina, and endurance. Tailored workouts focus every movement to fit your skill level and abilities, while your CrossFit coach helps determine how much intensity is right for you. Tracking your progress motivates you to stay consistent. As you continue, you will notice that daily activities become more manageable, you’re out of breath less often, and you sleep better.

What are CrossFit Classes like?

This is by far the best part! Classes are fun, energizing, and guided by knowledgeable coaches, so you’re never alone. You will become part of a fantastic community. You’ll have a group of motivated, accepting, and encouraging people alongside you, doing the work just like you are. Workouts are a little different every day, so you’re always learning new skills, developing strength, and improving your mobility. And it’s never dull!

Classes often begin with a warm up to loosen up and get your heart rate going. Then a strength portion follows, and last, an 8 to 30 minute portion that combines movements in a repetitive structure. This includes cardio and strength movements for a specific time or number of repetitions. Your times and reps are recorded in a computer program so you can look back at previous scores to track your strength and progress.

Who gets injured?

Injuries are more prevalent in athletes who don’t have supervised coaching. The most common injuries are to the low back and shoulder and the most common exercises resulting in injury are squats and deadlifts. Structured coaching to correct form absolutely helps prevent injuries. Our egos, working within our individual abilities, and using proper form are other less talked about factors in preventing injuries. If you work outside of your limitations, you are more likely to sustain injuries just like any other sport. So leave your ego at home and listen to the coaches!

What to do if you are injured?

Muscle pain and strains are the most common types of injuries reported in CrossFit. Like any other exercise regime, you may experience muscle soreness and fatigue, especially if working out is new to you. If you experience an injury, the first steps should be to rest, ice, elevate, and try some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. In addition, asking the coach if your technique is correct and if you are placing any unnecessary strain on your joints may help you avoid reinjury. If you experience worsening symptoms or sustain a dislocation or broken bone, seek medical treatment at your local emergency facility.

What are you waiting for?

No matter where you are in life—your age, skill level, or physical mobility—CrossFit can help you reach your fitness goals. The numerous and far-reaching benefits allow you to live a longer, more active lifestyle surrounded by a supportive community. To find a gym near you, visit and start your journey today. Most CrossFit gyms offer a “foundations” course, which is a great place to start and learn proper form and technique.

Author: Ryan M. Geringer, DO, FAOAO | Columbus, Georgia

Vol 36, Number 2, Spring 2024

Health Alert Catalog

Last edited on July 2, 2024