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Benefits Of Running In Place

Benefits Of Running In Place

February 22, 2020 / Patrick Zavorskas

When I was a young child, an effective way in which my gym teachers had to aid in burning off my excess energy was by running in place. It seemed that at almost every gym class I had in elementary school started with a quick warm-up of jogging in place, usually done next to a brightly-colored cone that was deemed my station. As a little kid, I was not concerned with counting my calories, seeing how much I had burned off, or even cared about how much exercise I was getting within the day - I more so cared about how fun or how exciting the activity was - and whether or not I could run around for a little bit and be myself. 

Nowadays, in being more health-conscious, I tend to become more aware of what I am doing to my body and what I put into it. Though many of my days do not follow the same schedule as they did when I was a child (sadly no more recess and designated naps times), I try to be conscious about the amount of exercise I can get in during the day. In researching various ways to keep up with my exercise, one of the many rumors that have come out is the benefits that come from running in place. 

When I think about running in place, I more so think of it as a way to get in some exercise if you cannot get to the gym or do not have a treadmill readily available. While jogging and running in place does help in burning calories, you certainly do not get as many of the benefits you get from being at the gym. However, here are the benefits of running in place that I have found:

Benefit of Running in Place #1: The Effects on Burning Calories

When you jog or run in place, you don't burn nearly as many calories as you do when you jog or run in motion. When you run outside, you deal with different terrains, which require more endurance, restraint, and resistance. For example, running uphill is more strenuous than running in place, needing more energy and physical demand. It is said that a 150-lb person running in place will only burn about 272 calories in 30 minutes. If they had run outside for 30 minutes at eight-miles-per-hour, they would actually have burned 425 calories comparatively. 

Benefit of Running in Place #2: Convenience

Running in place provides a convenient alternative to the gym when other workouts cannot be done. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests completing 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week to maintain your current weight. If you want to lose weight, you would need to increase the minutes of your workout. Jogging in place provides an easy, convenient, and effective way to exercise, in which it can be done anywhere at any time. 

Benefit of Running in Place #3: Intensity

Whether running or jogging in place or outdoors, you can increase your intensity during exercise to find different results. If you run or jog in place, try increasing your efforts by bringing your knees higher to your chest. You can also try adding weights to your workout for added resistance. When running or jogging outside, increase your stride length, speed, and even your incline. While both are effective when it comes to intensifying your workout, modifying your outdoor run in this way places a greater demand on your body than lifting your knees higher. 

What Does Running In Place Do for Your Body?

While running in place, you are working your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. You are also engaging your core to help in stabilization and balance. By swinging your arms, you can also engage your upper body. It is important to know that there is a negative to running in place that can affect these muscles and their joints. When you run in place, the movement is absorbed and forced through the toes and ball of the foot - as opposed to the heel and mid-foot when running forward. This movement can affect the knee joints. The glutes will not be as involved because the hip is not being placed in an extended position (leg outstretched behind the center of gravity). The hamstrings cannot also be activated as much because of the lack of forward motion and hip extension. 

Is Running in Place Effective?

When considering running in place, it is good to know that it is a good start or warm-up to your routine. It is not beneficial in a workout alone but is an alternative when your workout cannot be done and other options are not there.

 

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-Patrick