Runners ask what activity should they do for the periods of light stress. The answer is, "What ever they want to do as long as it doesn't put a lot of stress on their bodies." For their light activities, some runners take days off and don't run or engage in other forms of physical activity other than their normal routines. Other runners run less distance, often at a slower pace. Still others engage in non-running activities such as cycling, swimming, walking, or lifting weights. Lifting weights is good for total body strength. We are all different, and we have different interests in choosing low-stress activities. The non-running activities are known as cross-training activities. Cross-training activities have one big advantage: they usually use our muscles in different ways than the muscles are used in running, thus giving the muscles a rest from the stress of running. Because of this broader use of our muscles, cross-training activities help us develop more well-rounded bodies.
The important consideration is that for runners who want to decrease their risk of injury, a day of light stress is a day of rest during which our bodies recover from the preceding day of heavy stress. This means that if we engage in cross-training on our light days, it should be at a lower rate of activity rather than our going "gung ho" with the cross-training. Athletes who are in intense competition, of course, will have higher intensity in their cross-training.
Here are articles from the web that further explain cross-training.
- Eight Benefits of cross-training
- Cross-Training Workouts
There are 1,440 minutes in every day. Schedule 30 of them for physical activity!
Regular exercise is a critical part of staying healthy. People who are active live longer and feel better. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. It can delay or prevent diabetes, some cancers and heart problems.
Most adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days per week. Examples include walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming for recreation or bicycling. Stretching and weight training can also strengthen your body and improve your fitness level.
The key is to find the right exercise for you. If it is fun, you are more likely to stay motivated. You may want to walk with a friend, join a class or plan a group bike ride. If you've been inactive for awhile, use a sensible approach and start out slowly.