It’s important to keep some variety in your workouts. Doing different things helps to build different muscle groups and keeps things interesting. In my case, it also helps with better blood sugar management. This is referred to as Cross Training.
Cross training refers to training in a routine that covers off several different forms of exercise. In order to excel in your chosen sport (such as martial arts), it’s important to train consistently in that discipline. however, cross training allows you to vary your workouts and helps to develop an overall high level of fitness. It can help to prevent injury by ensuring more areas of the body are developed, can help with weight loss and will help to ensure you stick to exercising since it won’t get boring.
Ace Fitness has a good article on this and can be read here: https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/36/what-is-cross-training-and-why-is-it-important
This morning, I decided to do something different. I got up at 6:30 am, slipped on some dry fit gear and a helmet and hit the frosty streets on my bicycle. It was -3 degrees Celsius, the windows of most vehicles were frosted over. Since I was wearing a bike helmet, I had no protection for my nearly bald head and my face was seized with cold.
One of the benefits of biking like this is that no matter how uncomfortable or cold I got, the only way for me to get home is to keep peddling! This morning, I faced that exact situation. Within five minutes, I had left the suburban neighbourhood and was faced with endless open fields (I live in Saskatchewan, after all). The morning breeze was light, but combined with the speed of cycling along, caused the muscles in my face and neck to twitch and beg me to seek shelter.
By the end of my run (when I reached my driveway and hit stop on the tracker app), I had reached 4 kms in 21 minutes. That’s a far cry from what I wanted to accomplish and it sure didn’t burn as many calories as I expected, but I got outside, stuck with it and did something different. I’m hoping to start shaving that time through consistent biking over the months to come. Who knows? I may even start biking to work… (someone’ll make me eat those words eventually)
It was nice to do something different. I spend so much time lifting weights and doing martial arts, I realized I have a few muscle groups I don’t use often, and I don’t often include cardio. I may or may not be cursing my legs at the moment.
Right now, I’m using an app called RunKeeper. It’s pretty sweet, it allows me to track distance, time and pace with just about any type of workout one can imagine. In fact, I also use it as a passive log to document my karate classes and weight workouts.
The above image is what you can look at once you’ve ended your workout. There’s a lot more information available on the previous screen and as you screen down, I just think the map function is super cool!
Although you kinda need to download the app on your smart phone, since that’s the point, you can check it out at the following website: https://runkeeper.com and sign up for it for free.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go load my legs with analgesic cream and nap before karate class tonight!