Last Updated: January 14th, 2021
Imagine this…you are running late for your office and have only 15 min to squeeze in your daily run. You cannot go out and don’t want to miss out on the workout. You start jogging in place, wondering the entire time, whether it is as effective as your normal run, are you burning sufficient calories, will you lose any fat? Put rest to your thoughts and read the actual answers below…
Is running in place good?
Running in place is good because it gives you an excellent cardiovascular exercise if done at the right intensity. As you run in place your body needs an increased level of oxygen as the heart rate increases. Once your heart rate reaches your target heart rate or 55-85% of your maximum heart, your body starts to burn away fat very effectively. So, with running in place also, this is your target.
So far so good…but how to make running in place effective…it is simple if you follow the steps provided below…
How can you make running in place effective?
Running in place can be a very effective cardiovascular workout.
However, you have to reach your target heart rate.
Now, what is your target heart rate?
Target heart rate is the heart rate at which you can maximize your weight loss without overstraining your body.
It is generally 55 – 85% of your maximum heart rate.
Wow, now what is maximum heart rate?
Maximum heart rate or MHR is the upper limit that your cardiovascular system can handle during your running (or any other physical activity).
It is calculated roughly by subtracting your age from 220.
If you are 20 years old, then:
MHR = 220 – 20 = 200 bpm
If you are 35 years old, it will be:
MHR = 220 – 35 = 185 bpm.
Now, your target heart rate will be,
in the first case,
200* 0.55 = 110 bpm to 200*0.85=170 bpm.
and in the second case, it will be,
185*0.55 = 102 bpm (approx.) to 185*0.85= 157 bpm (approx.)
So, to make your running in place effective, keep a watch on your target heart rate.
Once you reach there, stay there for 20 to 30 min and you will be able to maximize your weight loss without causing any harm to yourself.
Also, if you are looking for some serious weight loss, then read this article. It has two simple plans for effectively losing weight through running.
How to measure your target heart rate?
Well, the concept of target heart rate is simple as you can see from the previous answer.
Also, it is incredibly easy to calculate it, until you realize that you are running on the roads and not in front of a computer.
So, how to calculate it, when you are on the run (every pun intended) 😉
Well, that is also very easy…
You have two ways to do that. Use any of the below methods:
Method #1: To check the pulse on the wrist
- Place two of your finger of the right hand on the radial artery located at the thumb side of your wrist.
- You may have to do a little bit of finger adjustment until you feel the pulse.
- Once you feel that, count the pulse for 15 secs.
- Now multiply it by 4 and you get your bpm or beats per minute.
It may sound complicated but it is not. Try 2 to 3 times and you will figure it out.
Method #2: To check the pulse in your neck
Here you are trying to check the pulse of your carotid artery.
The carotid artery supplies oxygen to your brain and its pulse can be felt on either side of the front of your neck.
Here is how to do it:
- Place your middle and index finger just below the angle of your jaw.
- If you cannot feel it, try to adjust your fingers until you feel it.
- Once you can feel the pulse, count it for 15 seconds.
- Now multiply it by 4 to get the exact bpm or beats per minute.
However, some people may not be very keen on probing and poking themselves.
For them, an easier choice will be to check it in their fitness watch. If you don’t have one, don’t worry.
Amazon has a buffet of quality fitness watches like Letsfit Fitness Tracker HR which are dirt cheap and comes with a heart rate monitor.
It will cost you only a couple of bucks and will save you all the above trouble of soul searching, a.k.a pulse searching. Also, they generally last for years.
Is running in place as effective as regular running?
No, running in place is not as effective as regular running.
Don’t get me wrong…running in place is still a very effective exercise for your cardiovascular system.
However, with regular running, there is something more involved – your forward motion, and this changes everything.
When you are running in place, it is more of an up and down motion for your legs.
There is not much stress applied by your glutes and the rest of your body is not as involved.
So, the number of muscles that come into play is way less than that of regular running.
Another problem with running in place is boredom.
Yes, it is hellishly boring after 5 min and every part of your body will want to stop.
So, you may not be able to sustain it for a longer duration.
However, when you are running the entire dynamics changes.
You are moving forward and your entire body is involved.
All the muscles of your body, your tendons, and your bones come together to make this movement happen.
Also, mentally and physiologically it is more enjoyable as you are continuously moving forward – there is a sense of change involved.
So, you can sustain this for a longer period of time and you will be able to reap its full benefit.
Can you lose weight by running in place?
Yes, you can lose weight if you run in place, however, it will all depend on the frequency and the intensity of your workout.
Also, your weight loss will not only be due to your physical exercises, but it will also depend on the kind of diet you are having.
If you indulge yourself, just because you are working out, then all the efforts will go down the drain.
And you will never be able to lose any weight.
Worse, you may start to put on weight and lose your exercise motivation forever.
Can running in place increase endurance?
Yes, running in place does increase your endurance.
Although the rest of your body is not as involved as running, your heart doesn’t know that you are running in place.
Well, your heart just knows that your body is demanding more oxygen so it better pump faster.
With your regular and persistent effort, your endurance improves.
Also, here is an article that I’ve written which provides you step by step details on 17 different methods of improving your running endurance.
Does jumping jacks as good as running?
No, jumping jack is not as effective as running.
If you run at a moderate pace, you will burn more calories than jumping jacks.
Doing jumping jacks vigorously, you may burn around 500 calories per hour.
However, this will be dependent on your age and gender.
You will burn this amount of calories if you run at a 5 mph speed which is a very slow speed.
Most of the runners are way faster than this, even if you are a beginner.
So, effectively, you will burn a lot more calories with running than jumping jacks.
In fact, if you can reach 4 miles a day with your running, then that is the best.
How long to jog in place for a mile?
You should jog in place at least for an hour for a mile.
Basically, your jogging can be compared to 5 mph and may burn up to 660 calories in an hour.
This is equivalent to running a mile.
So, in short, jog in place for an hour for a mile.
How long should I run in place?
There is no clear cut answer to this.
It will completely depend on your goals.
Also, you cannot achieve anything significant if you only jog in place for a min or two.
To see a substantial result you should jog in place for up to 1 hour and that too 6 days a week.
Other than that, you will only be wasting your time and energy and will not be seeing any real result.
And if you keep on doing this, you will get demotivated soon and will eventually stop, thus hurting your progress.
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.
Valian, Virginia. “Running in place.” Sciences 38.1 (1998): 18.
Sheehan, R., 2006. Running in place. Tourist studies, 6(3), pp.245-265.
Cho, Misuk, and Ilsub Jun. “The effects of running in place on healthy adults’ lumbar stability.” Journal of physical therapy science 26, no. 6 (2014): 821-824.
Cho, Misuk. “Effects of running in place accompanied by abdominal drawing-in on gait characteristics of healthy adults.” Journal of physical therapy science 27, no. 1 (2015): 87-89.
Viander H, inventor; Tunturipyora Oy, assignee. Exercise treadmill for walking or running exercises. United States patent US 4,664,371. 1987 May 12.
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