As the weather gets colder and daylight hours get shorter, I find myself needing to find other ways to work on my physical fitness besides running. I do have a treadmill, which is great, but it gets rather tedious 3 times a week too. I also am finding that I have plenty of strength and stamina for running, but not for hauling laundry up and down the stairs or carrying my 4 year old on occasion. I have also been trying to work on my form, especially strengthening my core and retraining my shoulders that want to tighten at the end of every run. All this has brought me to the world of cross training.
A simple Google search for "cross training for runners" tells me that cross training will help balance my muscles, help maintain my cardiovascular fitness, especially if I can't run for some reason, and helps to reduce my chances of being injured by running. There are many different activities to choose from as well, from walking, cycling, swimming, to strength training, yoga, and cross-country skiing.
But what will work for me? During the warmer seasons, I walk with my kids in the stroller a couple times a week, but that's out during the winter too. I could join a gym, but with preschool tuition new this year, I just can't justify the expense. I used to do Jazzercise before becoming pregnant with my youngest, but the expense holds me back on this one too. I do a mommy-child swimming lesson with my daughter once a week, but that's not really a workout (great soak for my sore muscles though!). Of course, I do have those old workout tapes from college...
OK, I have more than just those old VHS tapes from college! Don't worry, my Tae Bo days are past me! I do have more recently produced exercise DVD's, several aerobic workouts, a couple that focus on strengthening the core and more strength training, as well as a yoga workout. So I'm trying to get outside for a long run on the weekends so my hubby is home with the kids, but it's actually light outside, a short run or two on the treadmill during the week, and an exercise DVD a couple times a week. It's still early in the winter, but I have high hopes for keeping up on my fitness. I want to do a 10k next spring or summer, I'm going to have to stay in shape to reach that goal!
What do you do to cross train? Do you cross train regularly, or are you more of a seasonal cross trainer like me?