Cross-Training can tune-up
your whole body. Strengthen heart, bones, muscles, and joints. Improve
cardiovascular (heart-related) fitness, build muscle, reduce body
fat, and increase flexibility.
In cross-training, 2 or more types of exercise are performed in
1 workout or used alternately in successive workouts. No single
exercise offers all the potential benefits of exercise.
Example: Jogging enhances aerobic fitness (which
improves cardiovascular health and requires sustained use of large-muscle
groups like those in the legs).
Jogging contributes little to developing muscle mass, especially
in the upper body. Weight training increases muscle mass without
Cross-training may lead to optimal effort, because peak performance
in any physical activity usually involves more than 1 physical attribute.
Combine various activities to sharpen reflexes and better the end
The Cross-Training Edge:
How can it help you?
1. Add variety to your workouts to keep you interested. Run and
swim as well as exercise on various machines or on in-line skates.
2. Develop your entire body, rather than specific parts or energy
(aerobic vs anaerobic).
3. Distribute the load of training among various body parts, thus
reducing the risk of injury. Keep training while you are injured.
When one body part is injured, you can train using different muscles
Plan Your Program
Perform different types of exercises for a specific period:
- Aerobic fitness (rhythmic movement of large-muscle groups for
extended periods): Walking briskly, walking with hand weights, jogging,
running, swimming, water walking or running, water exercises, bicycling,
cross-country skiing, rowing, in-line skating, ice skating
- Anaerobic fitness (entails intense bursts of muscle activity):
Sprint in above exercises
- Muscle strength (contracting the muscles against a fixed resistance
without moving the joints): Weight training (free weights or machines),
- Muscle endurance: Low-resistance high-repetition weight training,
push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, other calisthenics
- Flexibility: Stretching, yoga
To improve aerobic fitness, for example, you can bike for 30 minutes.
To increase strength, you can lift weights for 30 minutes.
Do one form of exercise each day, or both on the same day.
If you do both on the same day, you can change the order in which
you do them.
Keep your mind-body connection alert with change!
You can easily tailor cross-training to your needs and interests.
Just select exercises of different types, then build a program.
Create a cross-training program for all-around conditioning. Boost
aerobic fitness, muscle strength, muscle endurance, and flexibility,
and also assist in weight control by helping you burn calories each
day. Of course, you can take a rest day once or twice a week depending
on your training level and goals.
Stay in shape and manage your weight!