This article was originally printed in the September 2015 issue of the Circle C Ranch Newsletter in Austin, Texas.


Even if you faithfully work out multiple times per week, if you’re not mixing up your fitness regimen, you might not be seeing optimal results.

“When you only do one fitness activity — like running or weight lifting, for example — and you only work on the muscles involved in that sport, you may discover that you are far less fit than you think,” says Todd Schlifstein, DO, a sports medicine rehabilitation doctor at New York University Medical Center’s Rusk Institute.[1]

The answer? Cross training.

Cross training is typically defined as an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness. There are many benefits to cross training, not the least of which is being able to try many types of exercise to see what you like best and gives you the desired results.

Here are some of the main benefits to varying your workout:


A good cross-training program will incorporate cardiovascular fitness (anything that gets your heart rate up), strength training, flexibility, and balance and agility work. Even if you don’t belong to a gym, you can achieve all of this from home even with no equipment. You can take a brisk walk outside, then search YouTube for bodyweight exercises (for strength), yoga (for flexibility) and Pilates (for balance and agility). Working out doesn’t have to be complicated!

Enjoy trying new things and reap the additional benefits of cross training!


[1] WebMD, “Get Stronger and Leaner With Cross Training”

[2] HopeChannel, “Benefits of Cross Training”

[3] HopeChannel, “Benefits to Cross Training”