6 ways to cross-train this summer

Silhouette of Two person kayaking in the sea

Summer is on its way, and with the upcoming change of seasons and the arrival of warmer weather, it’s time to transition from winter to summer cross-training. Every so often, you should enhance your running by doing other activities that use different muscle groups, and there are plenty of fun ways to do it. Here are five activities to try this summer when you’re looking for a sport that isn’t running.


Swimming is such a great way to cross train, for several reasons. First, it’s great cardio–an obvious draw for runners. Second, it is one of the lowest-impact sports you can do. That makes it a perfect sport for runners to try, as it will give your legs a break from pounding the pavement while still giving you a boost in fitness. Swimming is a sport you can do year-round (assuming you have access to a pool in winter), but in the summer it’s especially fun, as you can do it outdoors in the sunshine.

professional swimmer crawl underwater isolated blue background

Kayaking and canoeing

Kayaking and canoeing are another couple of great ways to stay active on your off-days. These are both great activities to try for leisure, but you can also push yourself if you want something a bit more demanding. Next time you’re at the cottage or out camping, hop in a kayak or canoe, pick a point in the distance and paddle away. Just like running, you can try a longer, sustained effort, or you can toss some sprints into the mix (30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy, for example).

stand up paddle boarding

Like kayaking and canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding (or SUP) is a great, low-impact way to paddle your way to fitness. This sport has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason: it’s super fun. So, go borrow and rent a paddle board and get out on the water. You won’t regret it.

in-line skating

We know the odds are pretty good that you haven’t in-line skated since you were a kid, but you should change that this summer. In-line skating is a seriously challenging sport, and it will put your legs to the test as you fly through the streets of your town. While there may be some impact with each stride, it’s going to be much easier on your body than running. Oh, and it’s pretty fun, too.


Cycling is yet another low-impact activity that will challenge your heart and lungs. Whether you want to ride long and easy or short and fast, you’ll be in for a good workout. Cycling can be fun solo, but just like running, it’s better in a group, so grab a few of your running buddies and head out for a group cross-training ride.


Yes, hiking counts as cross-training.You’re still on your feet, but you won’t put nearly as much stress on your joints as you would while running. Even so, you’ll still be in for a good workout, especially if you choose a hike with some steep and long climbs. Plus, what’s better than getting out into nature on a nice, warm summer day?

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