CrossFit Steps Into Primary Health Care Realm

Dec. 6, 2021 — In medical school, Julie Foucher, MD, found herself slipping away from exercise and other healthy habits.

And as she was learning about how lifestyle choices cause most of this country’s chronic health problems, she also discovered CrossFit. She enjoyed the varying challenges, the sense of community, and seeing people lose weight, get off medication, and improve their lives.

Now, Foucher is among the developers of CrossFit Precision Care, probably the most prominent, direct step to marry health care and fitness – yet another tie to the growing direct primary care trend.

CrossFit says it will offer “an individualized, proactive, and data-driven approach” to lifelong health — using CrossFit-training doctors and telemedicine.

“The sterile doctors’ office visit is not really the place to create health,” says Foucher. “Our health care system is great at addressing acute issues. It’s not really set up to be able to treat the root causes of disease, which are generally lifestyle-based.”

“Health is an expression of fitness over your lifetime,” says Foucher.

It’s available in eight states now, with plans to be nationwide in 2022. If successful, CrossFit Precision Care could provide options for people who are serious about their fitness and taking an active role in their well-being.

Trying to Find Some Kind of Merger

The idea of blending health care with fitness has been intensifying in recent years. In fact,

“it’s been talked about for decades,” says Bryan O’Rourke, president of the Fitness Industry Technology Council and a member of the board of directors of IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.

Some big insurance companies have tried to encourage healthier habits by offering discounts on certain plans, health club memberships, and discounted exercise eqiupment, he says. But to O’Rourke, that’s at odds with the companies’ profit mission.

“It’s really a marketing thing … not representative of what the merger of the two would be,” he says. “The health care insurance system in general does not make money from people NOT getting sick.”

But some kind of merger should happen, as three-quarters of chronic illnesses in this country are lifestyle-related, he says.

And direct primary care and concierge health care are “aligned to catering to the person,” he says. “They’re not going through the middle person of the insurance company. The growth area’s in private pay.”

Major insurance providers have been working with employers to help employees adopt better habits so that the company’s health care costs can be managed better.

“What’s the solution to America’s [health care] problem? For us, it’s thinking outside the box,” says Shell Waller, a client manager for Cigna. “You’re gonna have to start doing something different to see different results.”

That means things like workplace wellness checks, measuring body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and more. And despite the naysayers, “you don’t hear about it when group costs go down, but

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The Definitive List of CrossFit Community Podcasts

Photo Credit: Parisa Jensen (IG: @parisa_jensen)

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Since the creation of the iPod, podcasts have become an increasingly popular part of daily life for millions of people. The Joe Rogan Podcast, Armchair Expert, Is We Dumb? and My Brother, My Brother & Me are all examples of shows covering a variety of topics. There are also a multitude of options for fitness enthusiasts.  

One big thing: CrossFit is immensely popular, and the availability of podcasts about the topic — and fitness in general — reflect this fact. There are shows that cover serious topics, others that focus on nutrition, and some that combine pop culture with functional fitness. Here is a list of shows you should know.

(Note: There are hundreds of shows that cover CrossFit and functional fitness. The following list focuses on ones that have been active in the past few months. If there is a podcast missing, please let us know.)

Shows Discussing the CrossFit Games: 

  • Talking Elite FitnessHosted by Tommy Marquez and Sean Woodland, Talking Elite Fitness provides everything from serious interviews to intense debates about the best Christmas songs and whether to wear flannel at farmers’ markets. 
  • Get With the ProgrammingHosted by CrossFit commentators/affiliate owners Chase Ingraham and Bill Grundler, this show looks back at the history of CrossFit events and analyzes whether they were a true test of fitness. 
  • The Blues City CrossFit ShowCrossFit podcast hosted by Taylor Streid, Stephen Wallace, Matt Dettmann, and Teddy Williams. The Blues City CrossFit Show covers a wide variety of topics, including college athletics and CrossFit, Ricky Garard, and the role of coach. 
  • CrossFit Games PodcastA newer addition to the space, the CrossFit Games Podcast features Chase Ingraham and Dave Castro as they conduct interviews with everyone from Danielle Brandon to Ricky Garard. 
  • Froning and FriendsRich Froning Jr. sits down with key members of the CrossFit Mayhem family roughly once a month to discuss fitness, hunting, Topo Chico, and the CrossFit season. Certain Sunday episodes serve as devotionals that cover specific books and chapters from the Bible. 
  • The Sevan PodcastA show created by Sevan Matossian, The Sevan Podcast features the content creator and analyst/content creator Brian Friend as they conduct candid interviews with a multitude of athletes and special guests. 
  • WODCast PodcastOriginally a show hosted by Armen Hammer, Scott McGee, and comedian Eddie Ifft, the WODCast Podcast now features Ifft as the sole figure. He interviews some of the most elite people in the sport, including Justin Medeiros and Eric Roza. 
  • Coffee, Pods & WODsThis weekly podcast prominently features personalities from the world of CrossFit and conversations about competitions, but episodes also touch on other topics. A recent example is an episode about triathlons. 
  • Clydesdale Fitness and Friends – Scott Switzer, Cat Scherer, Charlie Otey, and Amy Rudawsky take deep dives into the CrossFit Games and the
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