Found on RunnersWorld.com and written by Nicole DeBoom
I learned a lesson at 21 years old. Doing the same thing every day can actually be detrimental to your health and your fitness. Athletes are especially at risk of “Workout OCD” because we tend to be both driven and methodical, often relying heavily on numbers and technology. Think about how crazy it would be to stop your four-mile run at the 3.9-mile mark? Oh, the terror! This is something I’ve actually forced myself to do, just to prove I can!
After my college swimming (and ill-fated off-season running) career ended, I gravitated to the sport of triathlon, which in itself is the definition of cross-training. While triathlon has its own pitfalls, the cross-training benefits are incredible, especially when you look at the 60-to-64-age group on the podium. They all look 40 as they leap up on the stage as if they hadn’t just finished an Ironman.
The benefits of cross-training are endless. Switching it up helps prevent overuse injuries, builds new muscles (especially important as we get older), helps break through weight-loss plateaus, and improves your social life among other awesome things!
I am writing an upcoming three-part series about cross-training focused on three fairly accessible activities: hiking/walking, cycling, and metabolic training (aka high-intensity interval training). Stay tuned!