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What Is Cross-training And Why Should You Try It?

By Inside Columbia
cross-training

When it comes to exercise, a routine is fantastic. It helps us to stay consistent, to work towards our goals, and it’s important to stick with a workout we enjoy. But, switching up your workout every now and then can be a great thing! I know, it can absolutely be intimidating to try something new. But, who knows, you might love it!

First of all, what is cross-training? The term refers to the practice of incorporating different types of exercise, such as aerobic activities, strength training, flexibility exercises and activity-specific training, into your fitness routine. Cross-training, or mixing it up as I like to say, has so many advantages. By increasing the variety in your workouts, you’ll be taking a well-rounded approach to fitness, which allows you to engage and strengthen different muscle groups. This not only helps prevent injury, but it also helps combat fitness plateaus and burnout. No one likes to get stuck in a rut!

Now, how do you do it? Start slow. Maybe you have always wanted to try that Pure Barre class you heard about (*wink wink*). That’s a great place to start! Try the free intro class to learn more about how each class format targets strength, stability, balance, flexibility and cardiovascular health. Most fitness studios in our area do offer a first-time class for free, so there’s nothing to lose in giving them a try! As my mom used to say about her cooking, “You might even like it!” Even incorporating one day a week of something outside your routine can be beneficial.

If your workout is typically a HIIT style exercise, maybe try going for a walk on Sunday or head over to a yoga class. Maybe you’re more of a yogi, how about adding in a walk, some functional strength training or a dance-based fitness class? The options are endless and the Columbia area has no shortage of fun workouts to try. What’s the most important part of exercising and cross-training? That you enjoy it.

Although exercise targets your physical health, it’s also beneficial for your mental health. Make sure you’re having fun while you’re getting your sweat on!

Jenny Dewar

Jenny Dewar is a transplant to Columbia from the suburbs of Chicago. She is the owner and general manager of Pure Barre Columbia, where she also works as an instructor. In addition to her work in fitness and health, Dewar spent 15 years working in college athletics.

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