Why is cross training important?
The benefits of cross training are endless. The physical benefits include strengthening your muscles, improve your cardiovascular health and increase your flexibility, just to name a few! However, cross training also has non-physical benefits. Studies have shown that cross training actually can help you rejuvenate your body, mind and soul and therefore have a very positive impact on both your social and professional life.
In this post we'll cover 5 reasons that you should start cross training today. These include: improving endurance, preventing injuries, increasing muscle mass and strength, reducing stress and lastly, increasing career productivity.
1 Improving endurance
You may often people that are very fitness performance oriented talk about "endurance". They do it because endurance is a valuable measurement of your physical performance. Endurance means that you are able to perform your activities without being exhausted too soon.
So, the more endurance you have, the better the athlete you essentially are.
Before moving on, we need to further divide the term "endurance" into cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
Cardiovascular endurance is the capacity of your heart, lungs and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to the working muscles.
Muscular endurance is all about how long you can use a given muscle or a group of muscles without getting tired.
Cross training will improve your endurance in both areas! The more you do strength exercises, the stronger your muscles become, which will allow you to train for a longer period of time. At the same time, cross training also has positive effects on your cardiovascular endurance.
Building endurance with the Nordic Trainer
For example, when you are doing long runs or Nordic Trainer sessions for a longer period of time, the heart rate does not go up as much because the movement is mostly lower intensity. But when you do other forms of exercise like weightlifting, cross training or short intense sessions on your Nordic Trainer, your heart rate will go up more rapidly, improving your cardiovascular endurance.
This is why cross training has so many positive effects on the physical performance of athletes.
This is very important for all kinds of sports, but as we will look into later on, it can also have a big impact on your professionel life. People that lack endurance often get overwhelmed by little tasks and this can lead to stress.
2 Preventing injuries
Why is injury prevention important?
Cross training helps to prevent injuries. Injury prevention is extremely important for all athletes and this can be achieved through cross training activities that will strengthen the core muscles of your body. For example, a lot runners tend to neglect their abs because they think it's not needed when running long distances; however core strength provides you with the foundation for good posture and good form during physical activities, which is essential for preventing injuries.
Build a strong core!
In the Nordic Trainer, you will activate your core muscles in every single movement that you make. This makes it a great training supplement for athletes, like runners, who may neglect training their core musculature.
Use different muscle groups!
Another way to prevent injury through cross training is by incorporating exercises that don't require the use of the same muscles all at once. For example, jogging and biking are both great ways to get in your cardio but they require you to push with one leg at a time. This can create muscular imbalances which may lead to injuries down the road.
In the Nordic Trainer, you move your body in soft range of motion, which ensures that the machine has a low impact on your joints and muscles. Furthermore, even though you are building a lot of muscle strength and endurance with the Nordic Trainer, you are overexerting any pain on your knees, as you are standing still with your feet in the machine.
3 Increasing muscle mass and strength
Cross training also has an impact on your muscles. We already mentioned how cross training can develop both cardiovascular and muscular endurance, but cross training also allows you to build more muscle mass and improve the strength of your muscles.
If you are using mainly cardio activities like running or biking for cross training, this will lead to overtraining of certain sets of muscles because you are not using them in cross training activities. This is the reason why endurance athletes tend to show atrophy of certain muscles, like biceps and triceps for example.
This will lead to a lack of symmetry which can be undesirable for both aesthetics and performance reasons. By cross training with Nordic Trainers or weightlifting, you prevent this from happening.
4 Reducing stress
Alongside the physical health benefits from cross training, there are also many non-physical benefits. Studies have shown that the stress hormone cortisol is reduced drastically when people engage in cross training activities as well. This can be very beneficial to your health, as studies have also linked elevated levels of cortisol with high blood pressure and heart disease.
In addition, a lot of athletes tend to neglect their social life because they are too busy but this contributes largely to the stress they are experiencing. Cross training allows you to reduce this social inhibition, as cross training activities have a very positive impact on your motivation and energy levels which will give you more motivation to engage in other activities outside of sports.
Whenever you feel down or stressed, our advice is always to try and squeeze in a workout. Even if it is just a brisk walk in nature. Over time, it will be key to reducing the risk of stress.
5 Improving career productivity.
Cross training and training in general has a very positive impact on a person's productivity. The feeling of being healthy in your body and mind from training increases motivation and energy levels, which helps you to be more productive in your career. This is especially true if a person manages to squeeze in training before work or business activities.
A lot of people have the wrong notion that they don't have time for working out because of their busy lives but this isn't necessarily true. Even just 20 minutes of training can make a huge difference in your motivation levels and motivation is key for career success.
It is all about training effectivity - something which you can you easily transfer to a normal job. It is about learning to be effective and efficient, about developing processes that will enable you to get things done and to identify the areas that are most important to focus on.
For a period of time, try and keep a productivity diary, where you can write down your training sessions and how you feel and do at work. If you see a link between your training and productivity at work, then you know it's working for you.
The benefits of cross training are enormous. The health benefits from training extend beyond a person's physical health. If you are looking for motivation in your workout, look no further.
Also try to keep a training diary or journal of some sorts where you can track your progress and see the positive change that is happening in your body. This will also increase motivation levels even more! And finally, remember - it's all about efficiency when it comes to working out. Identify the areas that are most important to focus on and learn how to be more effective at what you do!