Smooth Fitness Blog

Use Cross Training to Beat the Heat and Stay Fit This Summer!

July 22nd, 2010

My home is in the North East.  As you may already be aware, we’ve been hit with a major heat wave.  The effect of this heat on the body has been multiplied by extreme humidity.  This oppressive weather has affected anyone attempting to exercise outdoors, including my outdoor fitness boot camp classes.  The participants in my class have had a difficult time keeping up with the recommended activities due to their bodies’ inability to cool itself.  My solution to this problem was to offer an alternative to the outdoor classes.  On days where the weather makes it difficult and unsafe to exercise outdoors, I move the class inside.  As you may imagine, this creates a different exercise experience.  In some ways, this change of focus makes the workout more effective.  By challenging your body with new things, you are cross training.  Cross training utilizes different workout techniques and philosophies.  In the past, many people thought that cross training was something only associated with athletes.  Now fitness enthusiasts recognize this as the method to help everyone get the most out of their exercise routine.

I recommend that instead of using the hot weather as an excuse to skip your workout, use it as incentive to allow cross training to super-charge your workout!

Consider using the following exercise options to keep cool while giving your workout the change it needs.

1) Indoor Group Fitness Classes
There are many indoor exercise classes that are both exciting and effective.  These classes may include components of dance, martial arts, cycling, weight training, and yoga to mention a few.  I recommend that you try many different types of classes in an attempt to vary your cross training style.

2) Indoor Exercise Equipment
Indoor exercise equipment is an outstanding alternative to outdoor exercising.  There are machines that mimic almost any motion you can perform outdoors.  Cardiovascular exercise machines such as treadmills, ellipticals, and bicycles are a great way to simulate your favorite workouts.  It is also a good idea to use your indoor workouts as a chance to introduce yourself to strength training machines.  Strength training machines are designed to help you target and strengthen any muscle desired.

3) Circuit Weight Training
My personal favorite type of exercise is what I refer to as cardio resistance training.  This is a method of exercise that utilizes muscle building resistance training exercises with little to no rest between sets.  This limited rest will maintain your heart rate in its cardiovascular zone.  By maintaining an elevated heart rate while performing resistance training, you are getting two workouts in the time it takes to do one.

4) Exercise Videos
This is an excellent method if group fitness classes are not for you. If you would rather exercise at home, but prefer not to utilize exercise equipment, exercise videos may be the solution you are looking for.  There are numerous exercise videos that will provide both variety and motivation to your workouts.  These exercise videos may be purchased in DVD or downloadable form.

5) Indoor Organized Athletics
Organized athletics are a great way to have fun while staying in shape.   Some very effective and widely available indoor athletic activities include basketball, indoor soccer, racquetball, and swimming to mention a few.  These athletic activities help to provide a complete workout by utilizing various muscles and energy systems.

Don’t let the heat derail your fitness goals.  Instead take the workout indoors and try something new.  You may find it gives your workout the lift it needs.
By: Jim Bompensa

Jim Bompensa has been a health club owner and manager, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and nutrition specialist for the nearly 15 years. He is currently the owner/operator of Body Physics Fitness Center in Haddonfield, NJ. Jim has appeared and contributed on ABC and NBC in Philadelphia, PA as well as Designing Spaces on TLC.

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