Cross training: how to fit it into your busy life

Cross training… just hearing about it makes me feel cross!

It's like doing a hurdle race, finally jumping the last hurdle and then finding out someone put up a néw hurdle! That's how I felt when I heard running isn't enough. You have to do cross training too!

I blame my mom


Luckily I have found a way to fit cross training in! As (bad) luck would have it, we've got this huge garden. And during Spring en Summer this garden requires a lot of work. I've never liked gardening, for which I blame my mother of course. When me and my sisters were children, she made us help out in the garden. I was a terrible help, and quite lazy. And now I'm getting my come uppance!

But I've found a way to combine two things I don't want to do: cross training and gardening. Because it turns out gardening is a form of cross training!

Cross training by gardening


I was delighted to find out that by gardening you're working all your major muscle groups! Think legs, buttocks, arms, shoulders, neck, back and abdomen! Like with every work out, you have to keep at it for at least 30 minutes. So 30 minutes of gardening is 30 minutes of cross training.

The benefits of this form of cross training are:

  • Increased flexibility

  • Decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels

  • Lower risk for diabetes

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Gardening keeps your weight nice and balanced

  • Stronger joints

  • It's relaxing and quiet, as long as you stop cursing the weeds

And I've looked it up, and found that assuming a body weight of 70 kg, you burn 280 calories per hour.

Cross training: biking


Another way I've found to fit cross training into my daily life is by using my bike instead of our car. Every Thursday I ride my bike into town, to visit the library and treat myself to a cup of coffee. I don't particularly like riding my bike, but the thought of that nice, hot cup of coffee keeps me going. That, and knowing that the coffee will taste that much better because I got it by doing cross training!

So if you're like me, and you are totally turned off by having to do cross training, do what I do: just fit it into your daily life! Do what you have to do anyway, and use it as a cross training opportunity.

That way it's not such a hard cross to bear. (sorry, about the terrible puns)
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13 comments:

  1. I have a black thumb, I'm so not a gardener, so I totally understand where you are coming from with the whole 'maintaining the garden', I'd rather do something else.
    But gardening is a workout. We removed some hedges a few weeks ago, and although it was loads of fun, man I was sore the next day.
    This reminds me that I need to mow, mowing takes forever (like an hour)... and the grass is green and getting long from all the rain we have, joy... not.
    But I can totally see why some people enjoy gardening, you have a feeling of accomplishment when you get something done.

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  2. Hi Matila, mowing the lawn is a great work out! It really helps me with the gardening, knowing that I'm doing my body a favor!

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  3. I am with you I find the only way to bike ride is to promise myself something at the end...of course that can defeat the whole point of the ride!

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  4. I have a fairly large vegetable garden. While I was getting it all set up this year, I counted it as cross training. I don't know why I stopped thinking of it that way. I'm out there pretty much every day. Weeding never stops!

    Unlike you, I absolutely love it. :-)

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  5. I weeded in my yard this morning, in addition to some traditional cross-training (!) in the form of weights, and all I can say is that I'm glad I just weeded the day before yesterday, too, because those weeds sneak up on you quickly!

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  6. I have spent a lot of time gardening. I hadn't been thinking about it as exercise.

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  7. Visiting from the SITS Sharefest! What a great way to look at things! When my kids were little, I used to push our stroller downtown, pick up groceries and then push it back up the hill to my house. Definitely cross training!

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  8. Great ways to fit in cross training! My kids and I bike a couple miles to Sonic for an ice cream cone after dinner at least once a week. I used to think it was just for the kids. But I've since realized it motivates me just as much as them!

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  9. Depends on the treat!

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  10. Lucky you! I really want to get bitten by the gardening bug! But so far gardening still bites.

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  11. Yes they really do, don't they! Gardening really reminds me of doing housework that way. You only see it, when you don't do it.

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  12. Yes, that will get you some nicely toned arms!

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  13. What a great way to spend time with your kids, get an ice cream ánd work your body!

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