About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cross Train for Better Results

Cross training is the best way to train if you want to lower your risk of injury, and keep boredom out of your exercise regime.     Cross training is using a variety of training methods to achieve your fitness goals.

You must do cardiovascular exercise along with strength training, and stretching to have a complete fitness program.  You can achieve more than one of these objectives by performing just one exercise.  For instance, if you are hiking in an area where there is steep terrain, you will not only receive benefits for cardiovascular exercise, but you will be getting strength training for your legs and butt as well.  You can find a spot to do a few sets of push ups along the way, and you have worked much of your body with this one hike.

Perhaps the next day you will decide to do some weight training, and cardio on the treadmill, concluding with a few yoga poses.  The following day you do a fast paced walk, followed by a stretch.  The day after that you do a bike ride, several minutes of plank exercise, and a floor stretch.  Take a kick boxing class, or a jazz dance class for your next day of exercise.  This is cross training.

Cross training not only helps you to avoid injury and boredom, it helps the body to keep from acclimating to one activity by using fewer calories and energy to do it.  Cross training confuses the body and doesn't allow this acclimating process to happen as easily.

There are only so many ways to train your bicep, shoulders and other body parts safely.  Sometimes we have to be O.K. with a certain amount of repetition when it comes to training the body.  Avoiding crazy "fad" exercises in the fitness world is a good idea most of the time.

Strength training can involve free weights, weight machines, the exercise ball, and resistance exercises like the plank.  Running, biking, hiking, rollerblading, skiing, gym machines, aerobic classes, swimming, and walking are exercises that work for cardiovascular training.  The key is to "like" the exercises that you are choosing.  If you are doing something that you really hate, you won't want to do it.  Find the things that you enjoy to create your cross training program.

 I recommend that you always hike with a friend, or friends, as it is safer to do so.  Many people are more motivated to exercise with somebody, rather than go it alone.  Find out what works best for you.  If you need a work out buddy, find a partner that is not going to flake out on you.  Make the commitment together to get into shape, and then keep each other accountable to your fitness schedule.

Cross training can make your exercise program much more enjoyable.  Lowering your risk of injury is a great plus.  This happens because your body is using different muscles, in different ways, and not overusing any particular muscle group.  Elite athletes sometimes experience injury due to the fact that they are performing the same sport or exercise over and over again, creating fatigue and weakness in areas of their bodies.  They must do this to be the best at their particular sport, but most of us do not need to over use our bodies in this way.

Create a cross training program for yourself to avoid boredom, and lower your risk of injury.  You will have better results and enjoy your workouts more when you add in variety.  It all adds up to being fit, healthy, and looking great! 

Wishing You Health and Happiness,

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