If you tend to read about fitness, or if your friends read about fitness and are active on social media, you may have seen this article going around about the ‘dangers’ of Crossfit.
Now, I’m not going to specifically address the points made in this article, because I think some of them can be very valid, but I do tend to eye-roll when I see articles flying around about the ‘dangers’ of any exercise program as a whole.
Evidently, Crossfit is bad for us.
So are marathons.
I can only imagine what people say about Ironman events.
Or any super-long endurance sport, really.
I’m not going to look, but I’m sure hot yoga has tons of articles about the dangers of working out in a hot room.
And then there is ‘normal’ yoga which is getting questioned by Christians who may think it goes against their belief system.
I mean, with all the negativity going around, what is a person who just wants to workout to do?!
It seems like the exercise world wants us to do all low-impact activities that don’t really test our limits. Of course, I’m putting words in people’s mouths here, but for every article talking about how great a certain workout is, there seems to be an article talking about the dangers of that workout or why it’s ineffective or why people shouldn’t do it… I mean, what should I be doing? Lightly jogging or walking or swimming (but not too far) or maybe just using the stair master at the gym? Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those, but isn’t the human body capable of much more?
Shouldn’t we all get excited that people are moving around in general?
With obesity on the rise and plenty of people sitting at desk jobs all day, is our main concern really that people are (generally) pushing themselves too hard?
Of course, I’m biased here. I don’t work in a medical profession where I see injuries all day long, and I have participated in marathon running, Crossfit, boxing, yoga, hot yoga, barre class… I pretty much love sweat in general.
Do I think that some people can get injured by participating in these sports? Absolutely.
I was injured for a lot of my cross country/track time in high school and college and I never seemed to be able to get through a complete marathon training program without sustaining some sort of over-use injury. But that’s me and my body and once the injuries outweighed the benefits of running (for me personally), I decided to quit for a while. However, I would never say marathon running isn’t worth it – some of my favorite life moments involve the finish line of a marathon or half marathon! I even loved training for these long distance events… It truly put me in a great place mentally and physically and I wouldn’t trade those summer runs for anything.
Crossfit I loved for all different reasons. It’s challenging, it’s exhausting, and it made me stronger. I had to quit because pregnancy got in the way of me being able to do the workouts how I wanted to do them, but I never felt like Crossfit was especially dangerous. That being said, I loved the coaches at my box (gym) and I thought they were great about correcting my form and encouraging us all to slow down and do the moves with perfect form instead of getting the best time. I never felt pushed to go beyond my limits with lifting, and I credit that to why a scrawny woman like me was able to do Crossfit successfully for over a year without one injury.
That being said, I know that people do get injured from these activities. I mean, people get injured during every activity! And I do think it’s important to have great and trustworthy coaches who will push you but not beyond your absolute limits. A person should know their body and know the warning signs of overuse and fatigue and be aware of when they’re going beyond their healthy limits. I think a 10 mile run can be great, but maybe not in 100 degree temperatures. Everyone has their limits and knowing those is part of being an athlete.
A workout might be dangerous for one person but totally fine for another person.
Basically, I’m saying if you want to workout, you should do it. You should do whatever workout challenges you and makes you feel great about yourself, and you shouldn’t worry about whether people on the internet or people in your circle of friends think it’s ‘safe’. I’m a big believer in pushing limits both physically and mentally, and I would hate for people to hesitate to try a new workout regimen because they’re scared or intimidated by people’s opinions of it. Definitely try a workout for yourself and see if it’s right for YOU before deciding to either go all in on it or that it will never be right for you.
Have fun getting your sweat on!