I went to medical school to learn to treat diseases, specializing in Internal Medicine, which is designed to help patients treat diseases of the body, mostly diseases that come from their own lifestyle choices.
Yes, the answer to most questions in medicine is ’lifestyle modifications’, but just how does one suggest going about these ‘lifestyle modifications’? Traditional medicine recommends ‘exercise 30 minutes 3-4 days per week’ and ‘eating a low fat diet’. So, previously patients would come in and discuss their high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension and get advice on the recommended exercise and diet, as well as medications to help them achieve their goal numbers on lab test. Let me say, rarely did/does this work. I would find myself adding more and more medications to achieve these goals, and still fall short (all the while also treating more and more side affects from the said medications).
In my search to a healthier life for my patients AND myself, I stumbled across CrossFit. A fitness program involving ‘constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity’. (functional movements include movements of everyday life – bending, jumping, pulling, pushing, walking, running).
CrossFit has a foundation built on nutrition. Nutrition that involves eating clean, basic foods in there most raw and natural state, and in appropriate portion sizes. I decided to give it a try for myself, and within a month I was convinced this was an answer to treating diseases that I had previously spent 13 years trying to treat (and failing miserably). Therefore, I integrated CrossFit and it’s philosophy into not only my life but the lives of my patients as well.
I have been able to see the physical results as well as the laboratory results of what CrossFit is doing for patients. Recently I had a follow up visit with a 76 year old female with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. She was previously taking 5 medications to treat those diseases and still not in the normal range with her cholesterol, glucose nor blood pressure. She started the CrossFit Legends class (for ages 50 up), meeting 2 days a week for 1 hour, and the 28 Day Nutrition Challenge at CrossFit Palestine. She returned after two months with repeat labs and for the first time in years, her labs were moving towards normal. She lost 7 lbs, her blood pressure was in normal range, her total cholesterol improved from 203 to 183 (normal), her good cholesterol went up from 41 to 43, and her average glucose improved from 221 to 186. She also was able to rise from her chair without using her arms (go ahead give it a try). This was only after 2 months of her lifestyle change to CrossFit.
We are gradually tapering her off of medications (which is rare in medicine, as we are normally adding more and more medications contributing to polypharmacy). I could share many many more examples with the same remarkable results as above. I am excited about my new found ‘medicine’ that is not ‘medicine’ after all.
Crossfit IS this ‘Doctor’s recommended’ lifestyle and available to any committed individual, regardless of experience, age, illness or current fitness level.
Written by Brandy Watson (Owner of CrossFit Palestine)