Switch or Stabilize: 4 Benefits of Working Out Using Cross Training

According to acefitness.org, cross training is “an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness.” Exercising the same way all of the time doesn’t work out for everyone. Sometimes you have to change things up, and cross training is a good way to do it. Here are 4 benefits of cross training.

  • Reduces the risk of injury. When you aren’t doing the same thing over and over again, your body has more time to allow the body to adjust to each exercise and not be overwhelmed.
  • Improves overall physical fitness. Exercising different parts of your body means improving all of your muscles, not just a few. When you cross train, your body is preparing for any kind of movement.
  • Helps you lose weight more effectively. Switching to different exercise modes can help you continually burn a good amount of calories and help you lose weight.
  • Keeps you involved and interested. When you switch up your program, you keep things interesting. That decreases the chance of you getting bored and not exercising anymore.

Want some ideas on how to incorporate cross training into your exercises? Here are some ideas from webMD.com.

  • Session 1: Walk briskly for about 20 minutes, adding hand weights to increase the impact. Also do stretching for 5-10 minutes, then lift weights or use resistance bands for upper body strength for 20-30 minutes.
  • Session 2: Jog at a steady pace for 20 minutes; stretch for 5-10 minutes; do weight training or any other exercise that builds lower body strength for 30 minutes.
  • Session 3: Swim for 20-30 minutes; then do yoga, Pilates, dance, or another activity that enhances balance and flexibility, for 20-30 minutes.
  • Session 4: Use an exercise bike, rowing machine, or cross-country skiing machine for 20-30 minutes; stretch for 10 minutes.
  • Session 5: Walk briskly for 20 minutes; then train both your upper and lower body using weights or resistance bands for 20 minutes.
  • Session 6: Jog at a varied pace for 30 minutes; stretch for 10 minutes.
  • Session 7: Walk at a comfortable pace for 30-45 minutes; then do yoga or Pilates for 20-30 minutes.