I like to exercise, I joke with my friends that it is my anti-depressant—hello, endorphins (in my best Trolls Poppy voice). I have historically been a runner. I picked it up in high school as a way to train for basketball, then in college it helped with my weight. Once I hit medical school it helped my mental health, now I do it because it gives me time to think and just be with myself (even when surrounded with my running buddies). About 2 years ago, I was in a workout rut after having my 3rd child. My husband humored me and we got a Peloton bike—a bike, what is this? Well I did my first ride with Denis, and yes, I was hooked.
About 8 months later I started running again—I ran the Army 10-miler, I didn’t PR but I did do pretty well. The longest I had done leading up to the 10 miler was about 8 miles. Where did this come from—oh yeah, that little thing called cross training.
There are many benefits of cross training. Even Runner’s World recognizes them. All the way from injury prevention, to increased speed and rejuvenation. Women's Health recognized increased calorie burn, persistence with workout, and increased happiness—you had me a calories, but I’ll take happiness as well!
So what it is it? Cross training is a complimentary activity to help strengthen parts of the body that you do not use when you are in your main sport. For example (sticking with the running theme), runners typically use their arms and legs—very unilateral motion. Runners tend to have weak hips and glutes.
Here is a list of cross training activities if you are a runner.
One common theme you will see when you talk about cross training is injury prevention. Sign me up—no one likes to be side lined from anything, especially an athlete from their sport. So cheers to the little think called Peloton that I stumbled upon. I will continue my runs with friends, my bike, and like tonight my full body boot camp—in hopes that maybe we will be able to start road racing again!
…until next time, #IrishDoc07