By Dean Nicholls
Hands up who wants to be fit? Lots of hands! Now hands up who loves the gym? Less hands. There’s no two ways about it, exercise is an effort, and it can get repetitive and dull, especially when any visible pay-off takes months. This is exactly the reason many people give up after an otherwise brilliant start. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
To be truly successful in your quest to get fit and healthy, my advice is to mix it up a bit. Cross-training is widely accepted as a great way to get fit as its appeal lies in variety and flexibility – lots of different activities building towards that one goal – a healthy you.
If you get bored easily or don’t like the idea of hitting the gym or cycle track day after day, cross-training could be just the ticket.
For example, how about taking a walk? Mountain walking has multiple health benefits, not only cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance but mental health benefits too; the impact on our wellbeing of time spent in the great outdoors far outweighs time spent in the gym.
Not to say that a gym is pointless, far from it, but to spend the majority of time in a gym for the sole purpose of creating an aesthetically pleasing appearance seems to be beside the whole point, doesn’t it?
As a lover of fitness, food, exercise, and as a person who understands the connection between mind and body when it comes to a stimulating and sustainable healthy lifestyle; I will attempt many new activities as well as using tried and tested workouts.
This approach results in less boredom and more motivation, plus a thirst for new challenges. I recently discovered that a trampoline is a wonderful way to build cardio fitness, is great for leg and core strength and is, most importantly, loads of fun!
My advice is to do the activity that appeals to you most: whether it’s a sociable circuit class; Nordic walking; lane swimming; or dancing (really dancing like no one is watching). All movement for prolonged periods of time is beneficial.
If you like the sound of an exercise schedule where nothing’s off limits and everything’s beneficial, you really should give cross-training a whirl.