September 01, 2001

Doing the same workout all the time can be tough on your body, not to mention your motivation level. Cross-training can prevent burnout and injury, and it can ensure a well-balanced exercise program that includes endurance (three to five times a week), strength, and flexibility training (both two to three times a week).

Finding moves that complement what you do is key, since the idea is to give overworked muscles a breather while you work on neglected ones. We turned to Carol Torgan, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and a spokeswoman for the American College of Sports Medicine, for suggestions on which exercises to pair with seven popular activities.

If you…TryWhyAlso tryWalk or runWeight lifting, yoga, or PilatesTo prevent imbalances among the muscles in the fronts and backs of the thighs, as well as to stretch hamstrings and hipsLower-impact cardio alternatives like biking and swimming to reduce the load on the legsTake kickboxing or step classesWeight liftingTo prevent muscle imbalancesLower-impact options like water aerobics or cycling, plus yoga or Pilates for flexibility, balance, and core strengthPlay tennisHiking, walking, jogging, or inline skatingTo balance tennis' stop-and-start action with sustained moderate-intensity cardioYoga or Pilates for shoulder, arm, back, and hip flexibility, and for core strengthBike or SpinWeight lifting, walking, or joggingTo build upper-body muscle and maintain and build bone with weight-bearing cardioYoga or Pilates for flexible hip, thigh, and back muscles (which can improve bike position) and for core strengthWeight-trainSwimming and yoga or PilatesTo burn calories and strengthen your heart with cardio, to build core strength, and to keep muscles flexibleWalking or jogging for weight-bearing cardioDo Pilates or yogaSwimming, biking, or joggingTo burn calories and strengthen your heart; also to maintain bone density (jogging in particular helps here)Weight lifting once or twice a week (some Pilates and yoga classes focus more on flexibility and balance than strength)SwimWalking, jogging, or strength trainingTo build and maintain bone with weight-bearing cardioYoga or Pilates for shoulder, back, and hip flexibility, and for core strength