Why is cross-training important for runners?

Increase flexibility and strengthen supporting muscles to prevent injury.

Mixing up your workouts is imperative to correct muscular imbalances. Bonus, the variety of exercises prevents boredom and burnout.

It’s a common problem—runners can’t get enough of pounding the pavement, cyclists don’t want to get out of the saddle and swimmers, well let’s just say it’s tough to keep them on dry land. Athletes tend to dedicate all the time they have to one sport. As athletes rack up the miles focusing on their discipline, they run the risk of suffering an overuse injury.

As such, the best way to minimize risk is to train supportive muscles groups. In other words, by mixing up your workouts you'll recover faster, prevent injuries and improve overall fitness by cross-training.

Switch it up Try a new activity to boost calorie burn. If your primary exercise is: Jogging/Running Try Yoga Why? Keeps muscles and joints strong and flexible Golf or Tennis Try Swimming Why? Moves joints through a full rotation and stretches them Cycling/Spinning Classes Try African or Jazz Dance Why? Impact is good for your bones and improves posture Walking Try Swimming Why? Stretches you and works your upper body Aerobics Class (e.g., dance, step, kickboxing) Try Biking on Trails Why? Low impact is easier on joints. Adding hills works your upper body and improves balance. Swimming/Water Aerobics Try Walking Why? Especially on hills, weight-bearing exercise adds impact to build bones and improves lower body strength.