Why You Need to Mix Up Your Workout Routine
Is one of your goals working out more often?
Do you like the idea of increasing strength and flexibility?
If this sounds like what you’re looking for in your fitness routine, then maybe it’s time to mix up your workout regimen. For athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike, combining a variety of exercises from various formats finds added benefits for the body.
Cross training or the “combination of exercises from two or more disciplines/sports to supplement a main focus activity” is very important. If we are talking about a runner, cross training would include workouts such as cycling, swimming and strength training in addition to their running regimen. We know athletes such as elite runners and professionals add cross traini
ng into their programs, but why do YOU need to add cross training into YOUR everyday exercise routine? There are 2 primary reasons:
- Reducing risk of injury is one of the biggest reasons the fitness enthusiast should include cross training exercises. The harder we train the body in just one activity the more strain you put on all the muscles and bones involved in that one activity. The more you do, the better you MAY get, but the more you risk overuse and greater risk of injury. This is particularly true for runners, athletes or people who engage in a lot of lower limb activity which can create problems for the knees, ankles and hips. It is important to not over train one part of the body and to remember that rest is an essential part of working out. Cross training can also add as an active recovery practice in between periods of key workouts.
2. By changing your routine up with cross training you also improve your overall fitness. This being a goal for most people, mixing up your workouts helps you becoming all around more fit. By adding in new and different exercises you improve muscular strength as well as improving aerobic conditioning and endurance. With improving our overall fitness, a result is enhanced weight loss. Research has shown when individuals exercise for longer duration (more than 30 minutes), at a moderate level of intensity, it enables them to safely burn a significant number of calories. Arguably this is best accomplished by adding in multiple exercises from multiple disciplines.
3. Cross training is one of the best ways to fight boredom in our fitness programs. Get rid of the same old routine your body is used to. Spicing up your workout programs and using different muscle groups helps you reach a high level of fitness. By keeping things different and interesting it helps you stick to your goals instead of flaming out a few weeks into a plan. Pick exercises based on your interests or things you enjoy doing. No matter how much you love one type of exercise, excessive repetition of routines will become boring. Cross training helps you maintain enjoyment and enthusiasm for your sport and make it possible to train harder and perform better. Anything you can do to increase your motivation for training is worth doing.
How to get started?
Whether you are exercising for improved health/fitness or training for a competition, try varying your exercise program by adding in different activities or maybe trying a new class like boot camp, TRX or resistance training. One of the easiest ways to add cross training is by alternating between activities like running one day, spinning the next and then strength training another. It is also an option to switch activities within the same workout, such as that provided for in a Spin Fusion or boot camp class. If you want to stay refreshed physically and mentally in your workout routine and continue to challenge yourself, get out there and try something new!