Cross-Train to Improve Performance
Cross-train to not just get better results, but improve in your chosen sport. Sometimes we get caught up in doing the same thing all the time without changing up once in a while. As human beings we like what we like and it’s easy to get stuck in the same old routines. While it’s certainly necessary to spend a dedicated amount of time to the thing you are trying to improve, it’s also beneficial to get out of that from time to time.
Probably one of the most obvious times when we see this as beneficial is after someone sustains an injury. The athlete is forced to take some time off so the injury can heal, and when they go back, they are actually better than they were prior to the injury. That is because the body is shocked into a different routine which ultimately results in improved performance at what they’ve been doing for a long time.
Don’t Wait Until You’re Injured
You don’t have to wait until you are injured to change things up, though, you can choose to do it deliberately. The easiest way is to choose an activity that works the cardiac system and muscular system in a different way. I recently took up mountain bike racing, and while nothing beats being on a bike and actually riding, other activities can still prove useful. For example, some good mountainous hiking definitely gets the heart pounding much like mountain biking, but using your muscles differently.
The same could be said for kayaking, where obviously the emphasis is on upper body instead of your legs. Using a heart rate monitor, you can be sure to get your pulse into your training zone. You can also break up the pace as it doesn’t need to be constant. Try moving between fast strokes and slower ones to incorporate interval training. I’m using mountain biking, hiking, and kayaking as examples as they are three of my favorite outdoor activities.
So try breaking out of your same routine! You will get better results even if you’re not an athlete. And if you are, you will decrease your risk of overuse injury while keeping your training interesting. Get outdoors and start living your life to the optimum!
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