Cross training - why I do it

Cross training - why I do it

Cross-training is the notion of engaging in more than one form of exercise. You may love to run, but you also cycle, swim, or weight train. Most of us are guided by our passion, or, in some cases, we push ourselves to do something. Walk, for example. However, the reality is that diversifying your workout regimen through cross-training can offer a plethora of benefits. Cross-training refers to the practice of engaging in different types of exercise activities to enhance overall performance and health. So why should you consider doing more than one thing?

Focusing solely on one form of exercise can lead to repetitive strain injuries. For instance, runners often experience issues like shin splints or runner's knee due to the constant impact on the same muscle groups. By cross-training, you give specific muscle groups a break while working on others, reducing the risk of overuse injuries.

Different exercises impact various muscle groups. After a rigorous run, opting for a low-impact activity like swimming the next day can aid in recovery. The water's buoyancy alleviates strain on the joints, allowing muscles that were heavily used during running to recuperate.

Cross-training ensures that you're working on different aspects of your fitness. While running might enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength training can build muscle mass and strength. Similarly, running may occur at a high heart rate, but walking could be done at a moderate rate, also known as zone training. By diversifying your workouts, you ensure a well-rounded fitness profile.

It's not uncommon for individuals to hit a plateau in their fitness journey. This stagnation can be demotivating. Cross-training introduces new challenges and stimuli for the body, helping to push past these plateaus and continue making progress.

Doing the same exercise day in and day out can become monotonous. Mixing things up not only benefits the body but also keeps the mind engaged. The excitement of trying something new or setting different goals can reignite one's passion for fitness.

I therefore run, walk, cycle, and weight train. I swim occasionally, when I can. I stretch. I climb and hike when I can. Sometimes I do HIIT, and sometimes I walk slowly over long distances. Mix up your exercises; your body will thank you!