I have to confess that when I started running about 5 years ago, I was really bad at cross training. Sure, I’d do a warm up before and stretching after each run (hey, which should count for something!), but as I was just finding my way into a new fitness routine, I didn’t really do anything else but run (unless you count the occasional time on the elliptical a cross training activity).
But don’t you worry, I’ve gotten much better at cross training over the years. It definitely helps keeping me motivated (because it’s always good to switch things up), but I also think it’s a big reason why I’ve been (mostly) injury free. I’ve been trying to take advantage of my gym membership which gives me access to equipment and classes and I am usually there 3x per week.
I started going to yoga classes (although I have to admit that I haven’t been to a class in a while) and also do yoga workouts at home sometimes. There is just something about bending and stretching your body in a gentle fashion that definitely helps with flexibility and mobility of your body.
I also started (body) weight and strength training a couple of years ago (and I can definitely see how that has helped my running!). It’s so important to strengthen your core and hips to be a stronger runner. You’re much less likely to get injured due to weak joints/tendons that lead to poor running form.
I’ve been incorporating more core and balance training into my strength training exercises. (For short-term extra boosts of motivation, I’ve also joined the TMAC20 21-day challenges* before, which provide community support and very effective, daily 20-minute workouts that are easy to incorporate into your daily life).
And then, I very recently picked up cycling as a cross training activity and I can see that becoming a favorite. I’d been talking about taking a cycling class for a while and I am so glad I finally got a taste when I went to a cycling class with my friend Tanja when I visited her in SoCal a week and a half ago. I think it’s safe to say that she most certainly got me hooked (now, if I could got to the cycling classes with her, that would be even better).
All this to say, cross training is fun, it’s important and it keeps me motivated.
What is your favorite cross training activity?