How does cross-training help me get more aerobic exercise?


Cross-Training can help you with aerobic exercise by shortening your rest periods between each movement you do. The best way to do this is to incorporate a circuit style workout together and doing one exercise to the next with minimal to no rest.

Cross-training is a great way to mix-up your routine and prevents the onset of boredom. Focusing on both strength and cardiovascular activities will keep your body strong. In addition, this form of training may help to prevent injury due to frequently changing the motion in which you are working.
A great way to envision this would be if you were training for a triathlon. When completing this form of training, you need to focus on different areas of your training, i.e. biking, running, and swimming.  Some days you will complete all three but some days you will just focus on one activity and the next day focus on another. This will allow you body the proper rest that is needed to ensure your success.

Cross-training is an excellent way of getting your cardiovascular exercise! It can be superior to performing just one aerobic exercise on a regular basis.

Cross-training can help reduce the possibility of any repetitive motion injuries that might be acquired by doing the same aerobic exercise, day in and day out. Even professional runners and cyclists, engage in some sort of cross-training activities as part of their training program.

Also, cross-training can help you become more aerobically fit to endure many different kinds of physically-taxing activities of daily living; As an example, a person who is accustomed to cross-training by regularly alternating between a stair-stepper, a rowing machine, and a treadmill, is likely less challenged by having to climb up a flight of stairs and running down a hallway, than someone who is accustomed to one specific aerobic exercise, such as cycling. This is because the body is an adaptive organism. It will eventually become efficient at any repetitive stimulus that we place upon it. If you keep challenging it with various aerobic activities and modalities that use the muscles differently, the adaptations will take longer, and it becomes easier to continue keeping your body challenged!  

Furthermore, with infinitely variable possibilities, cross-training can help you adhere to your aerobic exercise program. You can change things up often enough to stave off boredom and break through any performance plateaus! I will be posting a sample of a cross-training program on my Sharecare page blog. If you are interested, please visit my page at:

Eric Olsen

Cross-training allows you to tax your cardiovascular system more thoroughly than is likely with any single activity, and do it with less risk of injury. For example, you can walk or jog only a certain amount of time before your legs get tired and your feet start to complain. But you could run until your legs tell you you've had enough, then hop on your bike or into the pool and continue to exercise your cardiovascular system while "resting" the muscles you used while walking or running. This is a particularly effective way of exercising for those of us plagued by old injuries or arthritic problems. And just as cross-training has benefits in a single workout session, it also has benefits over the course of a week or longer. For example, someone who only runs probably can't -- or probably shouldn't -- run hard two days in a row. This can lead to injury or overtraining. Most runners thus stick to a hard/easy routine. But if you cross-train, you might run hard -- or walk hard, for that matter -- one day, then swim hard the next, resting the legs. This way your cardiovascular system gets a good workout both days, but with less risk of injury or overtraining. 

Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

More About this Book

Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

An easy-to-follow programme for lengthening and improving lives. More than an exercise guide, this text is an effective tool for making meaningful lifestyle decisions to benefit long-term fitness. In...

Continue Learning about Types Of Exercise Programs

Types Of Exercise Programs

Types Of Exercise Programs

From walking to engaging in team sports, exercise comes in many forms. Aerobics, stretching, weightlifting and endurance training are some of the types of exercise that produce health benefits and enjoyment. With each type of exer...

cise, proper technique and posture is critical in preventing injuries while achieving maximum health results.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.