If you're bored doing the same old exercises, don't quit moving! Liven up your life with cross-training. It's a great way to spice up a stale exercise program. And you may discover some new fitness possibilities. back to top
What is cross-training?
When you cross-train, you combine two or more different kinds of activities during the same week. You might run one day, swim the next, and take a hike or a bike ride on the weekend. Combine any cardio
exercises that raise your heart rate
and you're cross-training. back to top
The benefits of cross-training go way beyond boredom-busting. Doing the same kind of exercise over and over again can lead to injury. That's because focusing on one activity puts stress on the same part of your body all the time. When you cross-train, you give your body a chance to rest by working your muscles in a different way. For example, whether you're swimming or running, you're using your quadriceps muscles. But each activity moves the muscle in a different way.
Cross-training gives you a chance to try all sorts of new sports and activities that exercise your muscles as well as your curiosity. If you've ever wanted to try skiing, martial arts, body surfing, skateboarding, hip-hop dance, or rock climbing, this is your chance! back to top
How do I get started?
Cross-training is as easy as dribbling a basketball one day and taking a ballet class the next. There are only a few rules, but here are some tips to make your cross-training a success:
- Try any activity. But drop it if you don't like it. If skateboarding freaks you out, move on to something else. Cross-training is supposed to be fun!
- Ask a friend or an expert for advice. If you're jumping into something intense like rock climbing, it's best to get some guidance.
- Warm up your muscles doing a gentle version of the activity you're trying. And cool down at the end of your workout, just like you do before your regular exercise routine. Skip your warm-up and cool-down, and you could end up hurting in places you never knew you had muscles!
- Keep up with your strength training and flexibility exercises. Cardio cross-training is a great addition to your regular fitness plan, not a replacement. back to top