When I was fat – sorry if that word offends you; I don’t use euphemisms for it when I’m talking about myself – all sorts of exercise intimidated me. I was embarrassed to try something new and look foolish. I was nervous because it was unfamiliar, but even more so because of my physical size. Pretty much anything beyond walking was outside my comfort zone. We’re gonna talk more about how to push past that self-consciousness and get out of your comfort zone later this week, but that’s exactly what I’m asking you to do. It’s necessary because I want you to try new things. Much more about that to come, but today it’s all about cross-training.
Since you’re following my “Health for the Holidays!” series, I’m assuming that you’re already doing your 40 minutes of cardio, six days a week. Congratulations, that’s great! If you’re doing the same exercise every day, think about adding something new. Mixing up your exercise routine is a good idea for many reasons. You’ve got to work muscles from different directions to maximize results. Just like anything, if you do the same thing over and over again you’ll see diminishing returns on your effort.
Cross-training is the term used to describe the combining of different forms of exercise that complement each other. The effectiveness of one compensates for the limitations of the other. I love running, right? But I can’t always do it because of an injury or illness. Also, running is great cardiovascular exercise, but it’s a rather limited form of movement that you do over and over again. If running’s all you do, you end up overusing some muscles and underutilizing others. Who wants a scrawny upper body? Not me. I need to compensate for running’s limitations by doing upper body workouts.
You also want to keep your routine from getting stale. If you’re not looking forward to a workout then it’s time to change things up. Each one should be fun but challenging, and maybe even a little bit of a stretch for you. Do different activities on different days of the week; mix up a group class or two with some solo activities. Try riding your bike to get to your exercise class!
Cross-training doesn’t just sound cool, it is cool. More importantly, it’s absolutely vital to your long-term success.
There are an infinite number of ways to get your body moving and I want you to try as many of them as you can think of! The more forms of exercise you try the greater the chance that you’ll find things you absolutely love. Once you discover those new passions you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them!
Losing weight is hard, and exercise is especially hard! But it gets easier. And you’re so worth it!
Let’s go get it!!!