Sunday, April 7, 2013

Crossing Over To The Other Side

Lest you think, otherwise, which I don't think you would - this piece is about training in diverse ways. Cross-training is not a buzzword these days; it is the WAY to go for enhancing your personal physical fitness (and hopefully, health). All the gamut of exercises, equipment and approaches point to one significant direction - be holistic.

If you are seriously training for a marathon, you would benefit from including a mixture of aerobic, strength, stability training and rest. Vary your speed, surface and surroundings. If you are running, mix in a medley of surfaces like road, path, grass and trail. For strength training, you should include strength work(weight-bearing exercises, hill-work) for your major muscles, core-stability and core-strength work (balancing work, pilates, yoga, circuit-training), and muscle-balancing workouts (stretching, massages, and manual adjustments).

Photo-credit: Running Shots
Nutrition-wise, this also extends to consumption of the six major nutrients and herbs. This means consuming more good fats, like cold-water sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. More daily protein intake to compensate for a larger exercise diet, as well as before sleep (stimulate Growth Hormone secretion) can reap benefits. Avoiding food allergies are also critical to better gut health. As we age, food allergies become more pronounced and can prove to be debilitating to our health if we succumb to our palettes than our priorities. Sleep becomes a significant factor to our success or failure of our fitness and health interventions.

You can approach all these changes and interventions in manageable portions. Split a long workout into two: morning and evening. You can do a core/strength training session in the morning (before work), and an aerobic/anaerobic fitness session (after work). Mixing different disciplines into your weekly menu, has shown to be useful for those who experience injury and fatigue. Muscle imbalances caused by prolonged use of the same muscles can lead to injury. Relaxation should follow tension, or your efforts can be compromised. Remember the equation: work + rest = training.

Variety may be the spice of life, provided it is purposeful and useful. Tie these approaches in a systematic way, so that you can measure your progress on a regular basis. Marry the scientific with your intuitive side, and you will enjoy continued progress and improvements. 
Photo-credit: Running Shots

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