If you lack a treadmill and the weather is lousy, you can run in place. All that running, with no movement forward may be too reminiscent of work for some, but you'll still burn calories and get in shape.
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How many calories you burn depends on how much you weigh, how long you run and how vigorously you run. However, there are limits to how “fast” you can run in place without propelling yourself forward. The calorie calculator for running in place at My Fitness Pal provides for only one running speed: a 5 mph jog.
If you weigh 120 lb. and jog in place for 30 minutes, you will burn 218 calories, according to the My Fitness Pal website. Double the time and you double the calories.
A 150-lb. person jogging in place for 30 minutes burns 272 calories.
A 200-lb. person jogging in place for 30 minutes burns 363 calories.
The surest way to burn calories when working out is to vary and gradually increase the intensity of your workout, according to University of Mexico, a tactic that is hard to do while running in place. Also, running in place uses fewer calories than running on the treadmill or outdoors because you have a restricted range of motion; use different, smaller muscles and use your arms less.