Cross training in exercise can make you a stronger athlete and help you achieve your fitness goals faster and more efficiently. Consider cross training in the workplace, and how learning or developing new skills can help to improve business, experiences, and job satisfaction – this isn’t much different in the realm of fitness! Simply put, cross training consists of adopting an exercise regimen which consists of a variety of modalities. To get started, consider your fitness goals, and the type of exercise that compliments them. Take running for example, instead of hitting the treadmill or pavement daily, try adding in Yoga or Pilates a few times a week for to help improve your flexibility and balance, or a strength training routine which targets the muscles you rely on to carry you across the finish line.
Runners, along with any athlete (yes, I’m looking at you!), participating in sport or recreational activity can benefit from adding a consistent strength training program into their training. The addition of resistance training multiple times a week will help increase muscular endurance, power and strength. What about yoga, flexibility training, and cardiovascular exercises like swimming, cycling, and rowing? Adding in a variety of these training methods will help to improve cardiovascular endurance, agility, balance, and posture, and make you more well-rounded which translates to how you feel and move in everyday life.
Still not sure cross training is for you? Some other benefits include:
- Reduced risk of injury: By cross training, you will be more likely avoiding overtraining of just one set of muscles and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
- Enhanced weight loss: Using multiple forms of exercise is a great way to increase metabolism and calorie burn. A proper diet, exercise and decrease in caloric intake will create a deficit, assisting in weight loss, if that’s a goal of yours.
- Overall Improved fitness: Adding other modes of training outside of your regular sport or recreational activity can have benefits of increased agility, aerobic capacity, flexibility, and balance. Giving you an overall improved level of health and fitness.
- Reduced risk of exercise boredom/burnout: Most people, at some point in their training, have experienced burnout or boredom from doing the same routine daily, monthly, etc. Adding cross training to the mix can spice things up and keep you fresh and focused! Cross training also allows the body to experience different types of stress to the body's systems.
There are so many ways to mix up or tweak your weekly workout schedule by adding something different into your routine. Try something new and refreshing, like a group fitness class, or a partner workout, and allow your body to recover from its normal routine. Remember not everyone’s cross training will look the same - speak to your NIFS fitness staff if you would like help creating a cross training schedule based on your personal fitness goals.