Over the last several years, experts have hailed the importance of cross training. I have had the opportunity to cross train and I have learned the value and enjoyment of changing it up every now and again!
One of my first cross training experiences was during high school when I was forced to stop running due to an injury. During my junior year of high school, I suffered from shin splints during cross country season. Injuries are often caused by overuse and no runner likes to put their training plan completely on hold while recovering from an injury. Because I was in too much pain during training, I instead exercised in the pool so I would keep fit while not putting any pressure on my shins. The exercises included running in place and flexibility drills. These exercises helped me not lose my strength and endurance for my eventual return to running.
During both high school and during my freshman year at BYU, I continued my cross training experiences by taking several new fitness classes. My yoga class helped increase my flexibility and balance. During my BYU weight training class, I learned several exercises that increased my core strength and helped me to tone my muscles.
Cross training offers many valuable benefits. It helps to prevent injuries as well as to rehabilitate following injury while securing fitness levels. Cross training also can provide a needed break from the usual routine. Changing it up can increase motivation for the sport you love and help rejuvenate your body for the next season. Don’t be afraid to change your routine by incorporating other forms of exercise! Try bike riding on the weekends, hitting the gym for some weight lifting, signing up for a yoga or Pilates class, or swimming some laps in the pool. Your body will thank you!