Keeping things fresh with some cross training is a great way to improve your fitness--and to avoid boredom, the silent killer of a healthy lifestyle! But changing up your routine can sometimes be a daunting task. We tend to avoid the unfamiliar - and settle into our familiar routines. Unfortunately, our muscles do the same. Your long-term health is better served by a varied workout regiment.
Here are some quick-and-dirty cross training activities that you can do almost anywhere:
Hill Sprints - Almost everyone has access to some topographical training potential! Running up and down hills, as fast as you can, is one of THE most physically demanding activities you can ever do. Find a hill (stairs work too but you have to take them one at a time), and just sprint up that sucker as fast as you can.
Rest at the top for a minute, then run back down.
Just be careful not to tumble down the hill; you may have to turn to the side to maintain control, just alternate sides on each descent. If it’s too steep for you to be comfortable, you can walk down and only sprint on the climb.
Carry Something Heavy - Literally this is as simple as you pick something up, walk until you can’t anymore, then set it down. Repeat 3-5 times. This can be a bucket in each hand filled with something heavy like dirt, rocks, or water or a backpack loaded up with water bottles or weight plates. Even just a big rock! Carrying something heavy, irregular, and unusual taxes your whole body like you wouldn’t believe. It’s also great for building strong bones and dense muscle tissue!
Dancing - This is definitely the most fun of the three. Sure you could go to a class or attend a concert, but chances are you won’t really go 100% non-stop the whole time. For this one throw together a playlist of your favorite beats, crank it up, and dance it out! Don’t stop until you are sweaty, tired, and exhausted. Express yourself freely and enjoy moving in a body you have worked hard to keep strong and healthy. You can even do this with friends or family, throw on some headphones, and everyone can rock their own tunes but have fun together!
It’s great to use the physical sciences to design optimal training cycles, but sometimes the best thing for you body is just to use it in ways it’s not used to!
So get out there and try these easy cross training ideas to challenge yourself. 20-30 minutes of any of them will leave your muscles sore, mind refreshed, and self feeling good!