If you are going gang busters at the gym, as many people do come January, and are just tackling the treadmill I am here to urge you to cross train. Variety is the spice of life and if you are mixing up your workouts the chances of getting bored and stopping significantly decreases. Boredom is one major fitness routine killer.
The best part of cross training is that if you are trying to lose weight, cross training can help you burn more calories. Since the human body has evolved to be an efficient machine, it quickly adapts to the stresses we put on it. If running is your go to cardio exercise, when your running improves and you become a more efficient runner you also burn less calories. To alter this unfortunate situation, to burn more calories you need to confuse the efficient machine by adding unfamiliar movements into your exercise pattern. Why not mix swimming in with your running? If you feel like you are an especially bad swimmer, think of all those calories you will be burning just trying to stay afloat.
There's another bonus to cross training to lean about it
Another bonus of cross training is that mixing up your routine also decreases repetitive strain injuries from over use. Adding biking, swimming, etc. to a running program, your joints get a break and your muscles will be worked in different ways. Making you well rounded in your fitness.
Fit's Tip: Cross training, and working out in inefficient ways, can work against you if you are attempting to run a fast marathon. In that case, you simply need to run. However, why not save your leg joints and trade one run a week for a pool run. Running in water means you are working your muscles against the resistance of the water by not pounding your joints on the pavement.
And you? How do you cross train? Share your cross training plan in the comments section below.