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If you're among the millions of people who watched The Biggest Loser each week, you saw the cast members participate in a varied exercise menu, in addition to cardio and strength-training. They hiked, they did yoga, they swam, and they played sports.
The lesson in what you watched is that it's not a good idea to get stuck in a rut with a single activity, week after week. A mix of different types of exercise stimulates your body and mind, helps you avoid injuries, and perhaps best of all, keeps you motivated.
Quite probably, some of the activities you like best - tennis, racquetball, volleyball, basketball, or dancing - actually complement conventional cardio because they involve intense bursts of muscle activity.
Those bursts force your muscles to react quickly, and that improves your agility and coordination. What's more, your muscles get a good workout in the process.
The Cross-Training Concept
Mixing and matching a variety of activities is often called "cross-training," and it's an excellent way to achieve all-around fitness. One specific benefit behind cross-training is the cardio benefit that carries over to other activities and sports.
The fitness you gain by walking or running, for example, will let you bike, swim, and hike farther or play tennis, racquetball, or basketball longer. Or if you strength-train, the muscle strength you achieve will give you power for other sports.
Cross-training brings more muscles into motion, and that contributes to building a stronger, healthier body. Find several different types of activities you enjoy, even some that get you outdoors. Consider joining a running group, cycling group, hiking club, swim team, or rock-climbing classes. Your options are endless.
Not only will you get in better shape, you'll start interacting with an entirely new group of people you would not have met before - people who can further motivate you and inspire you in your fitness endeavors and lifestyle change.
When it comes to fitness, variation through cross-training is the key to staying power and continued results. To become your own Biggest Loser, make it a point to live a life full of challenging, stimulating, and fun activities.
Courtesy of BiggestLoserClub.com
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