Kick it Up a Notch with Cross Training
It can be difficult to stick to an exercise plan, and can feel downright impossible when you’re bored. How can you achieve your fitness goals when you’re tired of doing the same thing, over and over?
Cross training—a concept involving mixing several different kinds of fitness activities into your exercise routine, rather than doing just one form of exercise or the same kind of workout—may be just what you need.
Years ago, cross training was the exclusive domain of athletes who concentrate on specific sports or events and use it as both a rest from the impact of high-volume specific training and to strengthen their bodies in ways that may not be possible with sport- or event-specific training. But the benefits of following this approach have since been embraced by non-athletes looking to shake up their routines and get more from their workouts.
Cross training can help you get a more balanced workout and help maintain your interest and dedication to exercise in the long term. But the benefits don’t stop there. By working out different parts of your body in different ways, you can reduce fatigue and the possibility of overuse or injury that can come with doing the same fitness activity all the time. Doing different fitness activities helps to spread the cumulative load on your muscular, skeletal and cardio systems, help you develop new fitness-related skills and contribute to general improvements in coordination, agility and balance.
An added bonus: when you’re on the road, sustain an injury or are faced with bad weather, cross training gives you lots of options—and zero excuses for skipping a workout!
One of the easiest ways to incorporate cross training into your fitness routine is to either do different activities on different days or do different activities within each training session. Try doing weight lifting on the machines one day, an aerobic class the next, an outdoor run or jog the following day, and free weights or a resistance band after that. The great thing about cross training is how many training options and combinations you can incorporate into your fitness training.
So mix up your fitness regimen with a little cross training and reap the exercise rewards!