Summer is an ideal time to mix up your workouts and take advantage of outdoor activities. Plus, this year, due to COVID-19, gyms may have more limited offerings, and individuals have varying levels of comfort returning to health club workouts. So use this present opportunity to be intentional about cross training in summer.
Of course, cross training mustn’t be limited to a single season, but is best if practiced year-round. Whether you accomplish this through home workouts or at the gym, cross training is essentially varying your workouts so that you’re not doing the same thing, each session, for months. Benefits of cross training include:
- Better overall fitness (cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility)
- Reduced likelihood of injuries and overuse syndrome
- Greater motivation
- Enhanced adherence
It’s as simple as continuing to do some of your favorite workouts, finding new activities, trying new equipment and keeping an open mind and flexible attitude. You don’t have to force yourself to do activities you don’t like; but by cross training in summer, you expand possibilities for exercise.
Cross Training in Summer
- Keep doing some of your favorites. If you’re a runner, then certainly run. If you love to bike, keep it up. Cross training doesn’t mean you can’t do what you love; it just incorporates other activities or variations. With running, for instance, you can cross train by running in the pool or using Octane’s Zero Runner. While the motions are the same, the impact and overall feel are slightly different.
For biking, ride on trails outdoors and work on hills, take indoor group cycling classes or try the AirdyneX fan bike from Octane, where you benefit from total-body exercise with virtually unlimited resistance.
- Participate in new programs. If you’re typically an at-home exerciser, consider hiring a personal trainer to create new workouts for you, or sign up for a boot camp session at a local park. Try online yoga, enroll in tennis or pickleball classes, or take that Zumba or Pilates class at the gym.
- Enjoy outdoor activities. Workouts don’t just have to be strict 45-minute cardio and strength sessions at the health club. How about inline skating, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking or golf? Take a water aerobics class, swim laps or hike in the mountains. Run the stairs at a local school stadium, play beach volleyball or learn spikeball. All physical activity counts.
- Try new equipment. If you belong to a gym, find a machine you haven’t used before and try it. Ask a fitness staff member to get you set up if necessary, and then give it a fair chance. The Max Trainer offers a super-efficient 14-minute HIIT workout, and Octane’s LateralX lets you move front to back and side to side for a new spin on elliptical sweat sessions. Or try a new strength training machine or fitness accessory, such as a slam ball, battle ropes or suspension trainer. There are a lot of options to change workouts and challenge your body!
- Experiment with cardio programs. Cardio machine users tend to hit the Quick Start or Manual program and go. Instead, explore the console of machines at the gym or on the equipment you have at home, and deliberately select a different program. Octane ellipticals feature Workout Boosters to add variety, and the 30:30 Interval and MMA workouts increase intensity. On the XT-One cross trainer, try the Mountain Peak incline routine, or the distance goal regimen on the Octane Rō. And don’t quit after five minutes – give it time to get used to the workout before you decide that you don’t like it.