The Mardi Gras season will be ending soon and spring is quickly approaching. It's a great time to be more active by spending time outdoors enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine. For many of us our spring plans may include signing up for a local race or trying to take evening walks with our family or favorite pet. These activities can be great for weight management, as well as mental and cardiovascular heath. However, to avoid injury, don't forget to incorporate some cross-training.
When we think of cross-training, many of us will think of other cardiovascular exercises such as bike riding or swimming. While these exercises are great, we shouldn't forget about strength and flexibility training. Lower extremity injuries (like knee pain) can hold you back from your goals and keep you sidelined longer than you'd like to be. Incorporating a strengthening program can be very helpful at preventing these types of injuries so you can enjoy your favorite running or walking route.
For example, did you know that weakness in your hip and core can result in added stress and pain at your knee? Weakness in our core muscles and hips is a very common problem, especially in our sitting dominate lifestyles. The good news is there are some great exercises you can do to help improve your hip and core strength as well as your flexibility.
For me, my favorite cross training activity has been Pilates. When practicing, I can focus on my hip strength, stability, alignment, balance and flexibility…and the best part is, it’s super fun! On my rest days, I’m able to take things a little easier and focus on my mobility, flexibility and breathing. On other days, I enjoy challenging myself with harder, more advanced exercises.
Want more cross-training tips? Stay tuned to our Facebook page as Lauren and I are training for the Crescent City Classic.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line CROSSTRAINING if you are interested in getting some help creating your own cross-training routine.