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Cross-Training for Fitness and Fun

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you're not yet familiar with the fitness approach called cross-training, it might sound like hard work. But it's really just a way to add variety to your exercise routine by alternating activities.

You'll avoid boredom and boost your fitness level as well as protect against overuse injuries, which are more common when you do a single workout or sport.

Reasons to cross-train:

  • The combination of exercises adds up to a true total body workout.
  • Your muscles learn to adapt to new types of fitness activities more quickly.
  • Using different muscle groups helps you avoid injury.
  • If you do suffer an injury, you may be able to still perform one of your favorite activities.

With cross-training you can make sure all muscle groups are used over the course of each week. For instance, if you bike every day, swap a day or two with walking or using the elliptical to get in weight-bearing exercise. Or add swimming to give yourself a full body workout.

You can apply the same concept to your strength training routine. Alternate using free weights with weight machines or taking Pilates classes, which develop the core muscles. Mix up your flexibility workouts, too, by alternating between yoga and tai chi, for instance.

You can even cross-train during individual workouts -- switch from one activity to another after 15 minutes if doing two activities, or every 10 minutes if you do three. Cross-training with two or three activities in one session can be particularly effective for losing weight, especially fat. Try 15 minutes of treadmill walking followed by 15 minutes on a stair stepper or bicycle.

Keep in mind that you're only limited by your personal preferences and access to the activities you'd like to do.

More information

The American Council on Exercise has detailed information on cross-training.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=740255

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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