The Benefits of Cross-Training

Work out

Maybe you’re like me.  Every so often you make extreme fitness goals for yourself. “I’m going to run 5 miles a day 5 times a week” or “I will swim 100 miles in 100 days”or “Every morning I will do 1,000 sit-ups”.

And that’s when the boredom kicks in. Now don’t get me wrong, running, swimming, and sit-ups aren’t necessarily bad. But too much of anything can lead to monotony and frustration. Additionally, your body won’t reach it’s highest fitness potential if you only stick to one type of exercise in order to reach your goals. If you constantly repeat the same work-out routine your body may become unbalanced.

Cross-training is one of the simplest ways to recharge your work-out routine. Here’s why:

If you’re into cardio...

  • Most cardio exercises (running, elliptical, dance, etc...) primarily work the lower body’s muscles. Try swimming or upper body strength training to tone the upper body.
  • Although swimming is one of the few cardio workouts that evenly involves the whole body, swimmers can improve the strength and reach of their stroke through flexibility exercises and weight machines.
  • Many stick to cardio if they are trying to lose weight. The truth is, muscle burns more calories than fat. Studies have shown that people who do strength training in addition to cardio exercises end up losing more weight than those who only do cardio.

If you’re into flexibility...

  • Surprisingly, too much flexibility can lead to injury. That is, if the flexible person is seriously lacking in muscle. Add gentle weight training to your regime to make sure that you are as strong as you are flexible.
  • Flexibility is important, but cardio exercise is best when it comes to building a healthy heart.

If you’re into lifting weights...

  • One word - YOGA! Weight lifters can become surprisingly tight. Tight muscles can lead to immobility and injury so it is essential for strength trainers to stretch often.
  • Scared of yoga? Try adding some gentle cardio to ease your way into limbering up.
  • Muscles need adequate recuperation time between workouts. Instead of doing the same strength-training every day, switch it up and work out different muscle groups on different days. A Creatine / NO2 Sports Nutrition supplement can help you rebuild muscles in between workouts.

Cross-training is the sure-fire way to keep your workouts interesting and your body evenly fit. Boring workouts are hardly worth it. Shake it up. Try something new.

What’s the best cross-training routine you’ve ever tried?

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