We hear this phrase all the time, and may even own shoes which are supposedly built just for the task, but do we really understand the concept of cross training? Cross training can be especially confusing for those new to fitness, but it’s not hard to understand once you learn a bit about it, and you can easily learn how to make it a part of your exercise program.
Cross training – explanation and benefits
Cross training is simply adding another sport or exercise to your routine in addition to your main sport. It basically supplements your program and has a lot of benefits, especially to those who tend to do the same thing over and over, such as running.
For one thing, it helps keep your muscles balanced. When you run or do any other exercise over and over, you are essentially working the same muscle groups over and over, which means those are strong, but any muscles you don’t work will be weaker, which can lead to injury.
Since many cross training activities are cardio exercises, when you cross train, you’ll be giving your heart an extra workout, thus improving your heart, which is always a benefit.
Another big benefit of cross training is that it will lessen exercise boredom, which can happen to even the most active exercisers. Less boredom equals more motivation, so if you are someone who isn’t thrilled with the idea of physical activity, anything to reduce doing the same tired thing over and over again is like a breath of fresh air.
Is cross training really necessary?
While you can certainly get fit without it, cross training is a great addition to any work out. There are many different types of cross training, and you can do anything from low impact activities such as swimming or other water sports, to an exercise bike. Anything that will keep your body moving, your muscles balanced and boredom at bay can work wonders on your state of mind, not to mention the state of your overall fitness level.
Tips for getting started
Before you get started with any exercise program, you should of course consult your doctor, and if you have access to a trainer or other fitness professional, they can guide you in the right direction to get you fit and healthy in no time.
An expert can guide you in the right direction, as well as tell you which moves will fit in best with your plan. They’ll also be able to assure that you do the move correctly, which is the number one way to avoid injury.
Cross training can be a big benefit to those trying to get fit, and is especially beneficial to reduce boredom, keep you going and help you avoid injury. It’s a great way to keep your routine fresh and fun, and is a great step in the right direction to overall better health, and feeling better about yourself.