The Benefits of Cross Training

Cross training is a versatile training approach that involves engaging in a variety of different physical activities to improve overall fitness, performance, and reduce the risk of injury. It's particularly popular among athletes, but is also utilized by fitness enthusiasts of all levels.

Our Bodies Are Made to Move

Cross training combines different forms of exercise such as running, swimming, cycling, strength training, and yoga. This diversity helps work various muscle groups and improves different aspects of fitness like endurance, strength, mental health, flexibility, and balance.

When we typically think of a good workout, it will likely have one of two focuses: "cardio" or "weights". 

Cardio exercises (think running or swimming) primarily improves cardiovascular health. Also known as "aerobic exercise", it involves sustained physical activity that raises your heart rate and keeps it elevated for a period of time.

Weight training, or strength training, focuses on building muscle strength and endurance through resistance. It involves exercises that cause the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance.

Cross training is unlocked when you intentionally structure your workouts to incorporate both.

6 Personas: Examples of Cross Training Routines

Incorporating cross training into a fitness routine can be both enjoyable and effective. Here are six practical examples for different fitness levels and interests:

For the Beginner:

Weekday Variety: Alternate between walking or jogging, swimming, and bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, and planks throughout the week.

Weekend Activities: Include a fun activity on the weekend, such as a yoga class, a hike, or a group sport like soccer or basketball.

For the Intermediate Exerciser:

Structured Schedule: Plan a schedule that includes cycling on Monday, strength training on Tuesday, swimming on Wednesday, a Pilates class on Thursday, and a long run on Saturday.

Cross-Training Classes: Many gyms offer classes designed for cross training, which may include high-intensity interval training (HIIT), circuit training, or boot camps. Check out the classes at Courthouse! 

For the Advanced Athlete:

Targeted Training: If training for a specific sport, incorporate activities that enhance different physical capacities. For example, a runner could add cycling for endurance, weightlifting for strength, and yoga for flexibility and balance.

Outdoor Enthusiast: Use the seasons to guide activities, such as skiing or snowboarding in winter, water sports in summer, and indoor rock climbing in autumn.

For the Busy Professional:

Home Workouts: Incorporate short, 20-minute sessions of different exercises, such as jump rope, kettlebell workouts, or online dance classes, which can fit into a busy schedule.

Active Commute: Bike or walk to work one or two days a week, or get off public transportation a few stops early to include some walking or jogging.

For the Recovery-Focused:

Active Recovery Days: Integrate low-intensity activities like leisure swimming, gentle yoga, or tai chi on rest days, which aid in muscle recovery and prevent stiffness.

Daily ROM: Engage in range of motion (ROM) exercises to promote circulation and muscle movement. Intentional stretching and focused breathing can assist in recovery journeys. Book an evaluation with Carbon if you're looking for assistance in your recovery.

For Social Fitness Enthusiasts:

Group Activities: Join community sports leagues or workout groups that try different activities each week. This can include team sports, group rides, or charity run/walk events.

Gym Buddies: Courthouse offer classes for their members, providing an avenue for individuals to move their bodies and connect with their community.

Neural Benefits of Cross Training

We know cross training helps sculpt your physique, but did you know it can actually fortify your brain?

Studies suggest that exercising regularly yields neuroprotective effects, reducing the risk of neurodegenerative conditions. By giving our bodies different exercises and varied movements, we create an environment conducive to better physical conditioning as well as long-term brain health.

The mental benefits of staying active are powerful and tangible: improve mood, reduce stress, boost self-esteem, improve brain function, and reduce cognitive decline with targeted exercise methods like cross training.

Optimizing Performance, Mental Well-Being, and More

Individuals who integrate both cardiovascular and strength exercises often report enhanced focus and concentration. The synergy between sustained cardio efforts and the precision demanded by strength training hones cognitive abilities, translating to better mental acuity.

This healthy combination releases endorphins, the body's natural mood enhancers. It's no surprise then that regular cross training is associated with reduced stress levels and an overall improvement in mental well-being. The better we treat our minds and bodies, the better we're treated in return.

When done in a community, cross training can also enhance social health and connection. Working hard, exercising collectively, and building physical and mental resilience as a group compounds effort and results. 

Not sure? Get a small group of friends and try it out! 

moving forward. together.

Elevate Your Fitness, Elevate Your Mind

Cross training emerges as the ultimate fusion of cardiovascular and strength exercises, designed for an elevated fitness experience. By combining various activities, the body and mind are afforded a two-for-one treatment in fitness and development. 

Beyond the physical gains, the neural benefits of this holistic approach create a pathway to optimized brain function and long-term cognitive health. A healthy body and mind yields more benefits outside of the gym - regardless of how much you lift or wherever you lift.

Engage in activity to promote your well-being. We value our patients' wellness and emphatically encourage an active, healthy lifestyle. 

A healthy community is a happy community.