Benefits of Cross Training Your Workouts
We’re all a bunch of creatures of habit. Time and time again we fall in love with a routine we like, whether that be in our personal or professional lives – and in workouts – and we refuse to change. It’s easy because it’s what we know and what we feel comfortable with. And it works.
Well, at least we THINK it works.
When it comes to having an efficient and killer workout that’s going to benefit you from a total body perspective, more people are realizing that the same, tired old routines don’t cut it anymore. In fact, being a creature of habit often has a detrimental impact simply because we aren’t benefiting our body with a one-dimensional approach. Instead, an increasing amount of workout enthusiasts are switching to cross training.
Cross training is a way to alternate workout routines to increase performance and overall fitness. For example, avid runners who do nothing but pound the pavement several times a week will not see as much benefit from those workouts as they would adding in core strengthening exercises and weight training.
A momma like me who likes to sweat off the pounds at home with the same old high intensity workout videos might want to consider shocking the body by doing something different.
When you switch to cross training your workouts, there are endless possibilities to your workouts. Here are a few:
*Aerobic dance *Yoga
*Stair climbing *Weight training
*Pilates *Resistance training
Think of your body like a car. To keep a car working at an optimal level, you can’t just fill it up with motor oil every 3,000 miles and expect it to last you another 15 years. Quite the contrary. Instead, you need to be checking the fuel filter, the tire pressure and even the engine.
The same goes for your body. To be in peak physical condition, you can’t just go out for a 10-mile run every two or three days. You’ll eventually break down. You must pay attention to all the muscles in your body, not just the ones used in a specific activity.
A perfect example was a girlfriend of mine who wanted to compete in one of those crazy obstacle course mud runs. She knew it was a long race, so she focused strictly on her cardio and nothing else. Big mistake. Those races require you to jump, dive, dip, climb, and dodge all sorts of obstacles. She wasn’t prepared. Her body wasn’t prepared. And as a result, she ended up suffering through the race instead of enjoying it.
If you aren’t yet convinced on the power of cross training your workouts, here are 5 key benefits:
Fewer injuries – Cross training your workouts helps improve flexibility and eliminate most injuries that pop up simply due to overuse. A runner can become an elite runner if he/she pays attention to all the muscles in their body, incorporating everything from weight training to core strength conditioning.
Leaner body, burn more calories – It kind of goes without saying that by tricking your body with a different set of workouts (tire flips, box jumps, moving from the treadmill to the Stairmaster) will force it to work in different ways and thus, burn more calories. You should notice a considerable difference in the mirror.
Greater training volume – Simply put, you can do more over a longer timeframe and not get winded or worn out. Period. As they say – bigger, faster, stronger.
You won’t get stuck in a rut – To me, there’s nothing more boring than the same tired workout day after day and week after week. From a “looking forward to something” perspective, I just don’t see how anyone can stay motivated with their training by doing the same thing all the time. Switch it up.
Adapt to change – I put this as the last benefit on purpose. I started this blog by talking about many of us being creatures of habit. That can be with our workouts, but we also need to break a mental sweat, too. By switching things up in your workout, you learn to adapt and possibly carry it over to your professional and personal life. It can help set a new standard, and help you better handle this crazy thing we call life.
As always, I’m here to help you live a healthy and fit lifestyle. If you need any help with cross training, or any other topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me through this website, email or on social media. It’s what I am here for. It’s what I enjoy. Also, checkout our latest fitness & nutrition products today!