AARP, April 1, 2007
If you workout or exercise regularly, you should change up your activities every now and then to avoid injury and to reach new levels of fitness. Cross training combines two or more types of exercise into your physical activity routine. Repeating the same movements over and over can make you very good at a sport, improve endurance and build muscle. But it also can keep you from moving beyond a certain level of fitness. It can also cause injury from overworking the same muscles.
According to Laurie Tucker, MS, CHES, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, "Regardless of your age, you should incorporate activities which help you reach and sustain the four building blocks of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. It is important to alternate the types of cardiovascular exercise you participate in each day."
Benefits of Cross Training
Besides relieving boredom and giving you a more balanced workout, cross training can help you:
Here are some activities in each of the four major fitness categories that you can use to create some fun, new workouts:
Another way to cross train is to prepare for a triathlon or other sports event. For a triathlon, your training alternates swimming, biking, and running or walking workouts. Training for a sports event is also a great fitness motivator that can be lots of fun, especially if you train with others.
You also could add more than one kind of exercise into a single workout session. For instance, rather than one hour of step aerobics only do 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of strength training and 15 minutes of stretching. To avoid injury, strength training should be done 2-3 times a week per muscle group.
So what are you waiting for? Design a cross-training program today, Regardless of the exercises you choose, remember to start a new activity slowly and gradually build on your routine. Allow enough time at the beginning and end of your workout to warm up and cool down. And consult your doctor before starting a new routine if you have specific health concerns.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Enter address, city, state, or ZIP code.
Driver Safety (0)
Tax Aide (0)
Entertainment & Dining (0)
Healthcare & Insurance (0)
Financial Services & Insurance (0)
Member Local Offers (0)
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
Members save on in-home caregiving services.
Members get 10% off monthly fees, plus free installation and package savings on a safety monitoring system.
Members can take a free confidential hearing test by phone.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at