Why This Chiropractor Became a CrossFit Convert

I was first introduced to CrossFit in 2011 when a patient came to me with an acute low back injury following a CrossFit workout.  The CrossFit craze was just beginning in our area.  The idea of CF sounded awesome - Olympic lifting combined with core strengthening and gymnastics!  Amazing.

I saw more and more patients my age age taking up CrossFit, and many of them were plagued with injuries.  So I came to the conclusion that such high intensity, demanding exercise was okay for 20-somethings who were already fit, but not recommended for the rest of us.  CrossFit, I decided, was something to be avoided.

Boy, was I wrong!

May 2016 - learning to rope climb

May 2016 - learning to rope climb

In 2012, a patient of mine who was a CF coach offered to train me.  It was time to do a little homework! 

I realized the foundational principles of CF were sound.  In fact, the concepts are exactly what I have been teaching patients for years - high intensity intervals, strength training, lots of core conditioning, variation, muscle confusion etc.    

So I decided I would give it a try.  And that’s how it started for me back in 2012; I was a 3x/week, CrossFit junkie.  

I’m so thankful that as I fast forward to 2018, we have an amazing CrossFit facility here in Port Perry.  I love it.  I am 46 years old, I often feel stiff and sore after my workouts, but I’ve found there is no more reason to worry about injury from CrossFit than from any other kind of conditioning.  

Here’s Why CrossFit is the Best All Around Solution to Fitness:

Humans have certain requirements they need to fulfill in order to be healthy.  Exercise is one of them.  I believe that CrossFit is the absolute best fitness solution to mimicking everyday human movements.  Look at this list of activities my husband and I did last weekend and the CF elements that prepared us for them:

  • Throwing the kids in the pool = Thrusters

  • Picking up the gas tank to fill the lawn mower = Deadlifts

  • Holding the gas tank up while I fill the lawn mower = Power clean

  • Pushing the lawn mower up the hill out to the front lawn for the repair man = Sled push

  • Loading bins of heavy camping equipment on the top shelf in the garage = Push press

  • Lifting the boat lift off its stand and into the water = Shoulder press

  • Hauling a tree stump up from the water = Wall ball squats

  • Backyard American Ninja obstacle course = pull ups

Your list may look a little different, but the list for all of us could go on and on. 

I know that by continuing to get to CrossFit and challenge myself regularly, I will be able to maintain the strength I need to keep doing all the daily activities that I want to do.  Regardless of age. 

Not only do I want to ensure I can continue to practice chiropractic into a ripe old age, I also want to be that crazy Grandma someday who can still hang with the kids on the monkey bars!

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HI! I'm Dr. Shawna Dingman and I operate Elevate Women's Health Centre in Port Perry. I am the co-owner of Elevate Health Centres with my husband, Dr. Craig Dingman. 


Speaking of family, I'm a mom of 3 amazing kids: Jackson, Jenna and Cole.  I've always been passionate about the care of women and children, probably because I began my career as a pediatric and pregnancy chiropractor as a young mom with an infant!  Aside from clinical practice, I also co-host a podcast for women chiropractors and coach women chiropractors who want to have practices that are a great fit for their families.  In my "spare" time, I love to cottage with my family, hang out with the kids, CrossFit at our local gym, read a book, catch a great show on Netflix, go for a run or have coffee with friends.