Spring has kicked off with gorgeous weather! As long as you can make it through without allergies, you have probably gotten a good start on all those outdoor activities like gardening, home projects, landscaping, and even exercising outside. Although exercising outdoors is a great way to enjoy walking, running, biking and hiking, don’t drop your wellness center/gym membership yet! When we move all of our exercise outdoors, we may likely fall victim to mundane and repetitive workout habits. Cross training should be incorporated into your year-round routine.
What is cross training? It’s a training routine that involves several different forms of exercise. It limits the stress that occurs on a specific muscle group because different activities use muscles in slightly different ways.
Here are some reasons to bring your workout inside a few times per week:
- Injury prevention Using one set of muscles repeatedly can increase your risk for repetitive injury. It is important to give them a break. By mixing up your routine, you will give your overused body parts a chance to rest and the under used a chance to strengthen. Try lap swimming or a Yoga class in place of your normal cardiovascular exercise.
- Better overall fitness You faithfully run several times per week and occasionally add in a fun run on the weekends and feel pretty fit, right? But, a friend asks you to go paddle boarding and suddenly you can’t keep up and find yourself with muscle soreness for several days later. By incorporating several different modalities in your fitness routine you can increase your performance and overall fitness. Try adding a day of core work, some strength training and some different forms of cardio to mix it up!
- Reduces exercise boredom Doing one thing day after day, whether in your daily life, or in this case, your exercise regimen is sure to get old over time. By incorporating a variety of activities you’ll keep it interesting, keep your body guessing, and will be more likely to adhere to a healthy lifestyle. As the old saying goes, “variety is the spice of life” even when it comes to exercise! So why not commit to trying a new group exercise class?
- Strength training Some of the benefits of strength training include disease prevention, increased stamina for activities of daily living, and an increased resting metabolism just to name a few. So needless to say it is very important to incorporate into your routine. Maybe you have some strength training equipment at home? Maybe a few dumbbells, or bands, but most of us do not have the wide array of equipment provided in a facility. And let’s be honest – most of us with equipment at home do not use it at home. It more often than not becomes a dust collector.The American College of Sports Medicine recommends strength training at least two days per week. So, bring your workout inside and lift! Not sure how to get started? One of our nationally certified personal trainers would be happy to help you!
Rather than canceling your gym membership for the next 4-5 months because the weather is beautiful, keep it! You will truly find value in your membership by cross training with equipment and classes you won’t have access to outside. And remember, there will always be rainy days. With a gym membership there are never excuses!