The Importance of Cross-Training
FIRST OF ALL, SOME OF YOU MAY BE WONDERING—WHAT IS CROSS TRAINING, REALLY?
According to Men's Fitness, Cross Training is typically defined as an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness.
It has been our experience that people gravitate towards things they are good at. For example, if you are strong, you tend to spend more time lifting weights then on mobility or cardio. Take inventory on your fitness attributes--strength/power, body composition/mobility and Cardio-respiratory. If one is not up to par with the others, cross-training can help address those gaps, and change things up for the better, per the below list of known documented benefits.
REDUCE INJURY RISK
Naturally, if you're not repeatedly using the same muscle and joint groups over and over again, in the same plane of motion, then you may be able to exercise more frequently and for longer durations without overdoing it in your vulnerable areas, like your knees, hips, back, shoulders, elbows and feet. (Acefit.com).
For instance, if you're an avid runner, you should consider working in some low-impact activities like elliptical training, cycling, swimming and strength training to balance your regimen.
Overweight individuals can effectively achieve a reduction in body weight and fat stores by combining 2+ physical activities in a cross-training regimen to achieve the duration needed to burn the calories necessary, plus keep things somewhat interesting.
It's easy to dread 60 minutes on a treadmill for instance, when 30 minutes is more mentally manageable when paired with 30 minutes on the stationary bike.
INCREASE YOUR FITNESS LEVEL
Cross training can not only develop your conditioning, but also builds muscle as well. Research has shown that resistance training can help individuals prevent injury, control body weight and improve functional capacity, paired with cardiovascular endurance.
Cross training is also a great way to add variety to an exercise program as aforementioned, which can help you push yourself beyond your own limits—whereas monotony and boredom typically will set you back.
Long story short, cross training demands that we evolve both mentally and physically in a positive, more challenging way as we embark on our own fitness journey.