Take a Fitness Tip from Alanis Morissette

By , SparkPeople Blogger
In a recent interview for Women's Health magazine, Alanis Morissete talks not only about her emotional song-writing, but also her fitness routine. (Who knew that she's finished a few triathlons? Go her!) One of the tips she shares is great advice for any exerciser, whether you want to lose weight, prevent boredom, or just increase your overall fitness level.

When asked how she stays fit on the road, Alanis says, "I'm a cross trainer. One day I'll go bicycling, and the next I'll do some kickboxing or go for a long walk. Basketball and volleyball are my favorite sports. I dance, too. Doing the same thing every day is not right for my temperament."

I have to say, she's on to something (and it's obviously working for her, as she's in great shape)! Put simply, cross training means participating in a variety of different forms of exercise, either within each session (for example, biking for 15 minutes and then running for 15 minutes) or day-to-day (for example, running 2 days a week, cycling 2 days a week, and swimming 1 day a week).

Not only does cross-training help prevent you from getting stuck in a workout rut, but, it also surprises your body's muscles so that you can prevent (or overcome) plateaus, and take your fitness to the next level. It can also help prevent injury, since doing the same movements over and over again can result in muscle imbalances or overuse injuries.

Photo Source: Screen capture from www.WomensHealthMag.com

Are you a cross trainer like Alanis or stuck in a workout rut? Tell us below!

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It's good to mix the activities.I do only 15 minutes a day. 5 minutes of treadmill, 5 minutes of bike and 5 minutes of excercise. This is a routine and I think is a good start. The rest is dancing to music I know for endless hours. Report
I tried mixing it up but instead I felt I was jumping all over the place. So I've gone back to my three trusty cadio workouts. Report
throughout the years, I find cross training has allowed me to stay focused on the end result without becoming bored with my workout routine..keep up the great work. Report
I am Cross Trainer! I think I have ADD so, I have no choice. ;) Report
I usually tend to do more cross-training though in the winter it changes to more running then anything else just because there is only a treadmill and a bike at my workout center. In the summer though I like to bike, run, rollerblade, swim, play tennis, and the list goes on. Definitely try to keep the body guessing. Report
Concentrating on one routine is hard enough right now. Mixing it up....maybe later on. Report
Alanis Rocks! Literally! Report
I have gotten into an exercise rut, so I started running and am doing a Bodyflow class (yoga, pilates, and stretching) tomorrow, along with weightlifting, eliptical, rollerblading and other activities throughout the week. Cross training is key for me! Report
Alanis was on Nip/Tuck and her body is smokin'! I don't consider myself a cross-trainer, but I'm definitely not in a rut - I'm just in love with the treadmill :) Report
I absolutely love Alanis. She's a great inspiration for me. I'm happy she's also an inspiration for me to exercise! Report
I am definitely a cross trainer.. I think if I didn't go to different classes and mix up my routine, I would not go to the gym and enjoy it as much as I do. I spin at least 3 times a week, and for the other weekdays I either do Les Mills' Bodycombat, Bodypump... and if I don't feel like doing that, I try something new! Report
Is that what I have been doing? Training with personal train 2x a week. Yoga class 3x week, walking dogs everyday. Report
I think what you're calling "cross-training" here is just common sense: just as it makes sense to eat a varied and balanced diet, in my mind it is equally logical to have a varied and balanced exercise regime.

The mainstays of my workout routine are Body Combat classes (martial-arts inspired workout with some strength training), Yoga, Bellydance and I also supplement these with the occasional Salsa class, a bit of weight training (though I probably don't do quite enough - probably lift weights about once a fortnight), crunches, running on a treadmill, swimming, and just WALKING wherever I can, whenever the (lousy Scottish) weather allows. I like to mix things up! Report
Alanis is wise! I too am a cross trainer. No way could I do the same thing every single day. I love workout DVDs but since I get bored easily, I can't exactly buy a new one all of the time. So I use Netflix -- they have tons of exercise DVDs. I also use my cable's On Demand service; they have just about everything, including Pilates, yoga, dance, walking, kick boxing and strength training. I also use the streaming videos and articles on SparkPeople and use my Wii Fit.

Usually I do a combination of videos/DVDs unless I'm doing one that's particularly long. No way I can get bored! Report
omg i love Alanis Morissette, you have no idea LOL
now I love her even more Report
I will fall in love with something so I will only do that then I get bored and then I find something new... so now I try and do different things each day so I keep it interesting and more fun... plus the added health benefits of doing it like that. I can't believe Alanis and I do the same things!!!! I love her!!!!! Report
I love cross training. I don't do it intentially, but it just happens. I'm in school, and my classes end around 12 each day. Luckily, my campus provides 3 different gyms with different atomospheres and different work out equipment. Every day after class I work out, but depending on my mood I'll do the elliptical [my fav] or bike... or swim. Our pool is olympic sized, so its like I'm training to be Phelps, haha. Anyway, I work out differently everyday, because everyday I'm in a different mood. It keeps things exciting. Report
I apperaciate this blog, I go to gym and do the treadmill 30-45 min. weights and pulleys 20 min. along with couple crunches,stationary bike 20-60 min. Stability ball with floorleg exercises. Depending on my moods unfortunatly with all of the above, I try to mix them up and alternate days. I really have not kicked it up into anytype of a cardio level, I know if I did it would be better,but at least I'm doing something.But I will admitt I have had days where I fall off the wagon so to speak. I find SP to be very encouraging to press on towards my goals. Report
Yes I cross train. Thank you for this blog, I was always a little fuzzy on what exactly cross training was. Now that I know what it is, I can say that I DO cross train! I mostly do exercise videos, but now that I have several, they are different from one to the next workout session. I also throw in an hour or so walk/run session every week or two, and I play tennis when I can get someone to play (I was doing it once a week for 3 or so weeks then my friend stopped playing with me). I also have a stationary bike, which I don't use very often but it's available when I get bored enough of everything else. And I was doing swimming aerobics with my sister. I am always looking for ways to spice up my exercise. I do get bored quickly if I don't change it often. I now realize this is why I have never been able to keep up with it! Because I'd pick ONE video that I would expect myself to use indefinately! Report
I don't cross-train as much as I probably should. My workouts at the gym consist of ~20 minutes cardio and ~40 minutes strength training. Some days, rather than go to the gym, I walk for 3 miles. Report
I am a cross trainer I get bored so easily. I learned this the hard way but no less I learned this lesson. Report
I am a cross-trainer. Mainly I walk (on the roads by my house) Hike, I'm very close to some great in the woods hiking, I have a stationary exercise bike in the basement that I use.. and I also pepper in some occasional Tae Bo and belly dancing.
Actually, since I've started walking and hiking (hiking in particular) I've noticed a big difference from when I was using primarily if not solely my bike.
I don't get bored working out.. and I find that my body responds better to a variety (as does my mental and spiratual health!) Report
I'm stuck in a rut in the worst way right now. I'm trying to find a fitness buddy because I am no longer able to motivate myself to do anything. Report
I cross -train because I really like exercise and it's more rewarding to cross-train. Report
Oh yeah I cross train. I swim, I do aquafit (water aerobics), I go to the gym, and I do various fitness DVDs. Obviously not all on the same day though I do like to mix things up in a day (so on a gym day I'll do strength training and sometime on the elliptical, treadmill and stationary bike) Report
I definately cross train. I swim, run ,cycle, play tennis, strength train, treadmill, stair stepper, play ball games and frisbee with the kids- anything and everything that will stop the boredom of daily exercise. Now we're getting a dog-woohoo!! Report
I think I mix, I don't think I would call it cross training, but it works for me and I have not yet gotten bored with my routine.
I like Alanis and her music, good for her. Report
I actually don't cross train too much. I do strength training and cycling. Cycling is my favorite. I can change my route and I love piling up the miles. That keeps me motivated. I do walk occasionally. Usually when I'm pressed for time I'll walk because that usually means it's starting to get dark and I don't have headlights on my bike yet. I can walk with a flashlight in my neighborhood, hit some hilly areas and get home before total darkness hits. Not that my neighborhood isn't safe, but it can be hard to see uneven pavement. Our sidewalks can be a little broken up and have some tripping hazards. It's an old neighborhood. The last thing I want to do is pull a boneheaded move and get all scraped up from not being able to see the terrain. Report
i wish i could get up and exercise as easy as all of you... but im not a very confident person... you guys totally rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Report
I would like to do more cross training but unfortunately I have a problem with balance due to vision and hearing impairment. I alternate my workouts every other day between the xlglider and weight training. Report
I prefer crosstraining too but right now, since my health has been somewhat "down" due to my multiple sclerosis, I am starting with just walking every day. In the past, crosstraining kept me focus and I was not bored! Ultimately, I want to incorporate swimming, bike riding and weight training. Report
Well, I admit that I don't cross train enough. I really enjoy running and it's a very accessible sport - no gym membership or fancy clothing required, just a really good appropriate pair of running shoes. I also do Bikram yoga since it also gives you a great workout and doesn't involve any spiritual aspects that other forms of yoga include. I know I should do more weight training and strength training. Fortunately, those, too, are accessible and inexpensive. And heck no, I had no idea Alannis Morrisette did triathalons. Way to go! Report
Like many others, boredom causes me to cross-train. I try to take advantage of every machine that I can at my gym. (There are a few exceptions.) I also enjoy taking advantage of the outdoors! Beach walks/jogs, cycling in our state park, sholving snow in winter! All different muscle groups- all different types of exercise! Variety truly is the spice of life! Report
Oh, absolutely, YES. I run, walk steep inclines, bike hard, swim, hula hoop, dance, ice skate and rollerblade - depending on my mood. For me, even a week of doing the very same thing every day gets boring, so, like Ms. Morissette, I keep changing workouts to keep it fresh! I can see where some need or want the consistency of a predictable routine, but it just doesn't work for me.

The way I have been "mixing" it up is by doing different exercise videos. If I try too many things I know I will lose focus. Report
Never thought I'd be able to say I have something in common with Alanis Morrisette, but I'm right there with her. I don't mix it up QUITE as much as her, but I would get bored quickly (and then stop exercising) if I did the same thing all the time, so I do try to change things around. Report
I think about mixing things up, but my exercise routine is literally only a few months old. Riding an exercise bike about 50 minutes a day, 5 days a week is more exercise than I've done in years. Will it be considered cross-training when I drop it to 4 times a week and walk on my commute to campus on the other days? Ha ha! No seriously, I'm afraid to change the routine because I know how easy it would be to go back to my old ways of doing nothing but walking. Report
I tend to stay in a rutt! For me it's routine... if I can do the same things over and over... it becomes a habit. Once I change things up... I tend to lose focus.

co-leader of Calling all Goonies... the best team EVER! Report
I have to start doing this = I get so bored with the tread mill, but it is the only thing in the house. In Texas it is so hot during the day and evening with such high humility I prefer to do things inside where I am more consistent. Report
She is awesome not only a great singer songwriter but an in shape and happening kinda girl I think she's great.

Calling all Goonies Report
I alternate my workouts all the time. I am not one to do the same thing every single day....even my house and garden work is altered... Report
I'm glad that I miss up my exercise workout. It's great advice. Report

I am glad I am back . I love swimming, walking and some bicycle ride. but i am still not a t home yet. then, we will prepare something Report
I like to alternate between the treadmill, the bike and the eliptical stepper machine when I go to the workout room so that I don't get bored. That is during the week. On Saturdays I go for a walk and on Sundays I go swimming (as long as weather permits). I also have workout videos I can use. Report
Well I swim, hike, and sometimes do Ballet. I have also just started adding flippers and paddles to my swimming to help change up the workout. Plus, I find that hiking is different each time if you hike in a different place. Nature is never the same! I do Geocaching so I am always exploring new parts of nature. Some days I am skipping over rocks and other days I am climbing hills! Report
I rotate between turbo jam, core secrets, dance workouts, and walking...I'm going to try running soon as well. Report
I walk daily plus aerobics 1 day per week and yoga one day per week. I love it. Report
For cardio, I'm only able to ride my dual-action exercise bike or three-wheeler due to a brain injury that left me paralyzed in my right leg. But I do change up my strength training exercises to break the monotony. Report
I get so bored doing one certain thing over and over. So I call myself an emotional, but faithful exerciser.

Go Alanis... just another reason to like her! Report