Running in place offers a convenient way to exercise nearly anywhere, from in front of your television to behind your desk at the office. Even though you're not moving forward like you would be if you were running outside, you're still raising your heart rate, burning calories and building muscle.
Secret to Losing Fat
The secret to reducing your body's fat isn't really a secret: it takes a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. To lose a pound of fat, you must burn about 3,500 more calories than you take in. Running in place offers significant calorie burn, up to 325 calories per half hour if you weigh 150 pounds, according to the University of Maryland Medical System. Continuing to run in place for several days while eating a low-calorie diet can help you lose fat. Consult your doctor about the exercise and diet plan before you begin to make sure it's right for you.
The only way to lose fat is to burn more calories than you take in. You can't target your belly fat specifically, but if you stick to your running-in-place and diet regimen, you'll eventually see results in your belly. No two people lose weight in the same places at the same time, so don't get discouraged if you see your hips shrinking instead of your belly -- as you continue to burn calories and lose fat, your belly will show the results.
How Much is Necessary
The more you run in place, the more calories you're going to burn, which in turn leads to more fat loss. However, you don't have to run every spare minute. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends you exercise vigorously -- such as running in place -- for at least 150 minutes per week, which translates into 30 minutes, five times per week. These 30 minutes don't have to be done at the same time. Instead, break them up into 10-minute increments if that helps you squeeze the 30 minutes of running in place into your schedule.
Stepping Up to a Treadmill
For the ultimate running-in-place experience, perform your exercise on a treadmill. It offers the benefit of not taking up too much space while letting you run in a convenient location of your choice. You step differently when you run on a treadmill, just as you would if you were in forward motion running outside. This lets you build up speed, which helps burn calories faster. For example, if you could run 10 mph and weighed 150 pounds, running on a treadmill would help you burn up to 640 calories in a half hour.
- Go Ask Alice: Go Ask Alice: How Many Calories Does it Take to Lose One Pound?
- American Council on Exercise: Weight Loss -- Diet vs. Exercise
- University of Maryland Medical System: Calories Burned Calculator
- ExRx.net: Fat Loss and Weight Training Myths
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans