Most people think that exercising in one type of activity is enough. Some are devout free weight enthusiasts, others are walkers, still others confine their workouts to the water. While any form of exercise is always preferred to staying in the couch and watching television, nothing beats the better overall fitness achieved if you cross train.

Cross training is a type of exercise regimen which combines different disciplines in one workout session. Instead of working out only your cardiovascular system through jogging, you include weight training to your workout. The best example of cross training is a triathlon. In this sport, triathletes compete in three disciplines: running, swimming and cycling. A total body workout is achieved since running exercises the core and leg muscles; swimming exercises the upper body and arms and cycling also exercises both arms and legs. The three workouts combined make for a great cardiovascular workout.

Aside from the benefits gained in terms of the workout the whole body gets when you cross train, it also has the added benefit of helping you progress in your training. Your workouts become more challenging and your body reacts to this challenge. With more intense workouts, you allow your body to get fitter and leaner. Also, it prevents the dreaded exercise plateau from happening as you strive to perform well and outdo your previous records. It also has the added benefit of making your workouts more fun, motivating you to exercise more and reap more benefits.

Because cross training exercises more muscles and different muscle groups, you avoid any overuse injuries that usually stems from focusing training only on one body part. With all around conditioning, your body becomes healthier and more fit. Individuals who are bent on losing the extra pounds they carry stand to benefit a lot when they cross train. Aside from the obvious calories burned through the sessions, individuals who cross train develop different muscle groups and as a result, the metabolic rate is constantly up, leading to more weight loss.

So when you're in the gym, don't just stop your workout at the treadmill, try your hand at the rowing machine and the stationary bike as well. Take advantage of boot camp workouts. Stretch after each session. Enroll yourself in a twice a week Yoga class. Do dance aerobics. Power walk one day and jog the next. If you want to try your hand at ballroom dancing, do so. If you live near a pool or beach, incorporate swimming or snorkeling in your regimen. You have to mix up your routines so you get the variety that you need to always keep your muscles guessing.

Finally, always make it a point to increase the intensity of your workouts. Challenge your body each time with more reps and sets or longer exercise periods. Try to lift heavier weights if you're up for it. The more challenging a workout becomes, the more your muscles are going to work to cope with the added challenge. You'll reap the benefits of stronger muscles and a better toned body overall.

Cross training is the ideal total body workout, highly recommended!

Before you go, read these TRX reviews and this post about a TRX promo code.

Author's Bio: 

Fitness training expert, sports nutrition nut, and happily married father of two.