Jogging in place may not be the most effective exercise, but it’s a convenient and simple alternative when you have no other options. For example, if you’re traveling and don’t have access to your normal workout equipment, jogging in place is an effective way to develop your cardiovascular fitness and burn calories.
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Any repetitive physical movements that raise your heart rate can be effective exercises if you perform them regularly. Jogging in place is a simple way to warm up your body. It requires little space and no equipment, so it’s a simple way to prepare for an intensive workout.
Warm-ups and Transitions
Many trainers use jogging in place as a warm-up exercise to raise your heart rate and stretch your muscles. For example, an aerobics instructor might direct students to jog in place for several minutes at the beginning of a class. It’s also an effective transition exercise because it is relatively gentle, which allows your body to recover between difficult exercises.
Normal jogging burns more calories and leads to greater physical fitness because it is more intense. When you jog in place, you only lift your legs. When you run, on the other hand, your feet push off the ground repeatedly. The added effort taxes your muscles more, so jogging provides greater fitness benefits. A 150-lb. person who runs 5 mph for an hour burns 544 calories, according to the American Council on Exercise.
Jogging in place won’t burn as many calories as normal jogging. But if normal jogging isn’t an option, you can make stationary jogging more effective by increasing the intensity. For example, lift your legs as high as possible with each step. The higher you lift your legs, the more difficult it is to perform the exercise. Consequently, you will burn more calories. You can also increase the intensity by holding a medicine ball in front of you at chest level while you run. The added weight makes it more difficult for you to lift off the ground, so you develop your muscles more and burn extra calories. Rotate your torso to make the exercise more difficult.