Q&A WITH THE FITNESS DIVA
Are you stuck in an exercise rut? Try cross training!
Do you ever find that eating makes you happy? Do you ever notice that certain foods make you feel super happy? Women usually reach for comfort foods like chocolate, cookies, cake, (basically anything sweet) or salty. Men usually opt for salty and crunchy.
Is your exercise mojo waning? Have you hit a plateau with your weight loss? Are you bored with your current workout? If you answered yes to any of the above, then you should incorporate cross training into your current regime. Cross training isn’t just limited to the elite athlete anymore—weekend warriors and exercise enthusiasts alike can also benefit from the effects of cross training. So what is cross training exactly? According to fitness journalist Brenda Jones, “Cross training is the practice of changing both your cardiovascular and anaerobic exercise routines on a regular basis, to keep your body from becoming accustomed to one type of exercise.” It can be whatever exercise you choose to participate in—whether cycling, tennis, swimming, running, etc. The point is to incorporate a new physical activity into your current exercise program or change it up completely. Some people cross train to prevent boredom, while others do it to prevent overtraining (i.e. using the elliptical instead of running outside to ease shin splints).
Going back to the second question… have you hit a plateau with your weight loss? Incorporating a variety of new exercises is sure to help bust through that rut. Try plyometrics, sprints, mountain climbers, heavier weights, or higher repetitions just to name a few. Whatever your choice, make sure that you do it safely to optimize effectiveness (and to prevent injury) and make sure that you have fun! If you dread the change then you won’t stick with it and the negative thinking will quash your motivation (and hence your results).
Referring to the third question… are you bored with your current workout? Try changing up your monotonous trudge on the treadmill for some cardio tennis, or integrate intervals onto the elliptical, or better yet- combine cardio with weights! The possibilities are endless!
If you consistently do the same tiresome routine, change it up—trade machines for dumbbells, or better yet, use only your body weight. Your muscles will be confused and will be forced to fire differently—great news for you!
The benefits to cross training are infinite! What do you have to lose, except those last pesky pounds? If you need guidance, feel free to email me at [email protected]
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She can also be reached at www.PinkIslandFitness.com or www.101FIT.com and (239) 333-5771.