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5 Reasons to Try a Triathlon

Posted 3/23/2015 by UHBlog

Make sure you're a tip-top triathloner by seeing your doctor beforehand.

Have you ever thought about trying a triathlon? Whether you’re a serious competitor or just an amateur enthusiast in search of a rigorous exercise regimen, a triathlon may meet most, if not all, of your exercise objectives.

Although there are exercise programs and physical fitness strategies available, here are five reasons why Robert Truax, DO likes the rigors of training for a triathlon:

1. You Set a Goal
While most individuals will not train with the idea of actually winning the event, merely completing all components of the competition may be victory enough. "Training for a triathlon not only gives someone the motivation to do something healthy, but it also provides a specific goal toward which to train," he says.

2. The Cross-Training Benefits
Training for a triathlon is a totally comprehensive workout encompassing an almost complete exercise regimen. Plus, it provides ideal cross-training.

"Running, swimming and biking allow you to exercise all the significant muscle groups in your body,” Dr. Truax says. “In assuming the different positions required by each element, you engage different muscle groups in different ways."

3. It's a Boredom Fighter
Boredom is one of the biggest threats to any workout regimen. With triathlon training, you constantly change your routine, which makes getting bored difficult. Every day you do something different. One day, you’re outside running or biking. Another day, you're in a pool or lake to swim. That variation helps keep your workouts interesting.

4. The Socialization
“One of the great advantages of pursuing any exercise regimen is the opportunity to get involved with other people, making it as much a social activity as it is physical,” he says. Plus, with a triathlon, you’re tripling your interactions. There are runners, bikers and swimmers – all individuals sharing similar interests – even if they are not training for a triathlon.

An additional triathlon advantage is that it’s appropriate for both sexes. Men and women can train together, combining similar interests as well as health benefits. Depending on their levels of maturity, triathlon training may also be suitable for kids. “When you think about it, these are three things – running, swimming and biking – that kids gravitate to in their everyday living," Dr. Truax says. Done with appropriate adult supervision, there is no reason for kids not to participate.

5. Overall Health Improvement
Although it may sound like stating the obvious, it still rings true. Training for a triathlon is an excellent way to improve your health and to stay healthy.

"Being as physically active as possible is the single best thing individuals can do for their health and training for a triathlon meets that criteria," he says.

Robert Truax, DO is a family medicine and sports medicine specialist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. You can request an appointment with Dr. Truax or any other doctor online.

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