We are all guilty of finding a type of exercise we love and sticking with it day in and day out. There’s nothing wrong with practicing yoga every day, or running every day or strength training everyday. However, if you want to optimize your health or performance, prevent injuries, stay motivated and meet new goals, we suggest trying something different every now and then.
Cross-training simply means supplementing your normal routine with a variety of exercises that focus on flexibility, endurance, and/or strength training to balance out the effect of your workouts on your body.
Here are 5 reasons why you should cross-train:
Recovery or Rehabilitation. If you’ve developed lower back pain, or tight hip flexors, or pain in your shoulders, or whatever it may be, it’s likely you need to slow down, and allow those areas recovery and healing. However, when you experience an injury, it’s well-known you never want to stop moving. Supplementing your strength-training program with lower impact programs can keep you moving, allow you to modify to protect and heal the injury and get you back on your favorite program sooner.
Bust Through a Plateau. Your body adjusts to something you do repetitiously. When I hit a plateau in my health or weight loss goals, changing it up always works. When I do change it up, I feel soreness in areas of my body I don’t normally feel sore. This means those other areas of your body need work and could benefit from a balance of different types of exercise. I do this often as a yoga and barre teacher by adding high-intensity interval training, running, or kettlebell exercises.
Injury Prevention. When you do the same exercises over and over again, it’s possible to have a muscular imbalance which could lead to injury. It’s important to think about the extensive amount of small and large muscles and connective tissue in the body and how we can utilize different areas of the body to build strength and stabilize our joints. Also, giving your body a break from repetitive movements that may be overused in your exercise of choice can allow necessary recovery for greater injury prevention.
Motivation. Practicing one type of exercise every day or 5 days a week will inevitably cause boredom. That doesn’t mean you’re cheating on your favorite instructor or gym, it just means your body and mind may appreciate it more with a little curiosity and change occasionally. It’s a way to stay committed to your goals while also continuing to move.
Mind-Body Connection. Trying new movements with intention and focus teaches your body to work in a different way. This inevitably changes the way your mind and body are connecting and strengthens that connection. Routine is great and is a foundation for true health, but variety is the way to optimize your able body and mind to come even more into your body and grow.
Flow Space will be opening soon offering a variety of group fitness classes from yoga to barre, and bootcamp to kettlebell.