I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how they need to, “go hard every day”. While I admire their dedication and enthusiasm, this is not what is best for your body. What is best for your body is being active every day, but changing up your intensity. If you workout until your whole body is shaking and you are utterly exhausted, that’s great, but you don’t want to do that every single day.
Research is starting to show that what appears to be best for recovery is cross training or active rest days. They are a bit different, and today we will be focusing on cross training. Cross training is defined as, “the action or practice of being trained in more than one practice or skill”.
How Can I Cross Train?
There are a lot of sports and exercises that are commonly used for cross training, here is a sample list.
- Swimming/aqua jogging
Why Should I Add Cross Training to my Workouts?
Cross training can be very beneficial both physically and mentally. Cross training is advantageous to your physical health because it helps to prevent overuse injuries by avoiding continuous stressing of the same muscles groups over and over. It can give your muscles a break, or allow them to be used in a different way or direction than they are used to being moved in. It can also give you new skills so that you can incorporate new exercises and movements into your workouts. It can also challenge your mind or make you think in new or different ways and help build your mind-muscle connection.
How Often Should I Cross Train?
This depends on your training and your goals, but a good place to start might be twice a week. All you need is an hour, maybe even half an hour. These workouts don’t need to exceed an hour, and shouldn’t be as intense as your hard workouts.