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Cross-training for fitness

Posted Sep 12 2008 10:39am

Every time you exercise vigorously your muscles are injured, and the harder you exercise, the longer it takes for your muscles to heal. You are not supposed to exercise vigorously again until your muscles stop hurting. You can exercise hard on one day and easy on the next few days, or you can train in two sports. This is called cross-training, and it can make you very fit and help to prevent injuries.

Each sport stresses specific muscle groups. Cycling stresses the upper legs, while rowing stresses your back and upper body. If you cycle and row on the same day, you stress your upper legs and upper body on the same day. To reduce your chances of injuring yourself, you should take the next day off, or at least exercise at a very low intensity. If you cycle on Monday and row on Tuesday, you allow your muscles 48 hours to recover from each sport. Pick two sports that use different muscle groups and do them on alternate days. You can then exercise more intensely in each sport and achieve a higher level of fitness.

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