Since the weather has gotten warmer and shorts and dresses have come out of the depths of my closet, I’ve needed more motivation to go outside and be active. I decided to do a bit of research on new exercises and stumbled across an article from WebMD about cross-training.
Cross training is a basic workout routine where you alternate exercises in order to target different muscle groups. For example, people who frequently weight lift can add a cardio workout, like running on a treadmill, to their routine. When a person exercises and does only one workout everyday they begin to put stress on the muscles used during that one activity. By cross training you are increasing your performance and putting less stress on your body.
There are many benefits to cross-training:
- The ability to exercise more for longer periods of time without overloading the weaker parts of the body
- Adding two or more physical activities in a cross training regiment allows people to burn a significant amount of calories
- More functionally fit and able to do day-to-day tasks with ease
- Adds variety so people are not bored by doing the same exercises everyday
A Sample Exercise
The WebMD article I read gave examples of cross training exercises that anyone can do. Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what a cross training exercise is. You can do one session per day or two sessions per week:
- Session 1: Walk briskly for about 20 minutes, adding hand weights to increase the impact. Also do stretching for 5-10 minutes, then lift weights or use resistance bands for upper body strength for 20-30 minutes.
- Session 2: Jog at a steady pace for 20 minutes, stretch for 5-10 minutes; do weight training or any other exercise that builds lower body strength for 30 minutes
- Session 3: Swim for 20-30 minutes, then do yoga, Pilates, dance, or another activity that enhances balance and flexibility, for 20-30 minutes
Just a Reminder
If you are an active person you may not need a specific workout. As long as you continue to do activities like skiing, cycling, or rollerblading and make sure that there are variations in your daily routine then you are practicing cross training!
It also important to not confuse cross training with circuit training. Circuit training is doing one exercise after another but it may not incorporate key elements like strength training, cardio, flexibility, and balance. Make sure that when you are cross training you are targeting all of these elements.
What do you all think? Is cross training something you want to give a try? And if you do cross training, what different exercises do you do? Please be sure to comment!