The Importance of Cross Training

by Bea | May 20th, 2010 | Exercises, Running, Strength Training, Walking

Cross training. Well, what is it? The words should give it away to some degree; cross training means that one would partake in different sports while focusing on their main sport in order to improve overall performance. For instance, some runners cross-train by riding their bike or doing laps in a pool once or twice a week.  Cross-training is really important in order to become stronger overall. This is because with cross-training you are able to exercise some muscles that may not typically be used during your typical exercises. By working out muscles that you do not typically use, your other muscles will become stronger as well, and your body will be a lot stronger.

It is extremely important to cross-train. Even if you are not training for a big race or event, it is imperative to do something else at least once a week. Most people pick up running thinking that it is a quick and easy way to burn some calories, blow off some steam, build up their muscles, and so on and so forth. They think that “Hey, at least I’m running” and that it should be enough, but in reality, they could be doing so much more for their bodies by taking a day off from running and going, for instance, swimming.

If you are looking to achieve overall health, cross-training is the way to go. It prevents injuries by correcting muscular imbalances, it prevents boredom, and it also keeps people from burning out. According to scientist Bill Pierce, Ed.D, “Cross-training develops cardiovascular fitness, training the systems that deliver oxygen to working muscles, while reducing your risk of injury by preventing overuse.”

Cross train by lifting weights once or twice a week or maybe even pick up yoga or racquetball. If you are a runner, try to find some sand in the area and run in that! Running on soft sand will improve your turnover and speed. Make sure to go on the trails when you can or even go for a walk at a solid pace. Walking will help heal small muscle tears.

Cross-training is really important to your health. It is important to have some variety in your exercising world; you know what they say about having too much of one thing and what that leads to!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.