If you are a runner and you are not cross training, you're missing out on some huge benefits. Whether it's yoga, spin, rowing, weights, or swimming (or whatever else you choose), there are definitely some benefits to mixing up your routine.
1. Injury Prevention: This one is pretty obvious. Switching up your routine helps to eliminate overuse injuries. Did you know that about half of running injuries are actually reinjuries?
2. Greater Fitness Level: Cross training can help you in several ways. For example, it can increase a runners efficiency and power. Plus, it can allow you more time training without getting injured or fatigue. For example, a strong core can help prevent lower back soreness while running. Spin class can help with foot turnover. Swimming is a great overall body conditioning exercise that keeps the pressure off many easily injured areas while allowing you to work your entire body. See the benefits?
3. Motivation: No matter how much you love something, it's easy to get a little tired of it now and then. So, switching it up will help you keep that flame alive. Try cross training a couple times a week. Every now and then, take a week or two off from running and try some new classes or a new sport. You'll stay active, but you'll also remember why you loved running in the first place. Just a reminder - if you're taking a new class, make sure you check out the facility and the instructor. You want to ensure they're properly trained and certified as needed.
4. Active Recovery: The benefits of exercise are great. However, that athletic conditioning comes when your body gets a chance to rest. When you perform active recovery workouts between key running workouts, your body will become even more fit, and your body will actually receive more rest and recovery.
5. Rehab: It's a given - if you run long enough, you're likely going to sustain some type of injury. When this happens, cross training is key. While things such as biking, the elliptical, rowing, or walking may not be the same as running, they will help you keep a base line fitness level for when you are able to return to running. Plus, doing some type of exercise while you are injured will help keep you from getting down in the dumps.
If you are looking for some great classes or options for cross training, check out The Gym 24/7 and The Field Training Center. They offer classes such as Cross Train, spin, Pi-Yo, yoga, barre, plus much more.
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