Running in Place – If You Have to

by Jessica B. | May 1st, 2012 | Running

Some days end up like today, I had every intention to go to the gym, but it just didn’t happen. My kid got sent home sick from school. I had a pile of work to fight through. There wasn’t a free hour in the day to get out of the house. But I didn’t want to feel guilty about missing my daily workout, especially with beach season right around the corner. And since I still haven’t decided between a treadmill or an elliptical trainer, I have nothing to work out on at home.

But because I find exercise videos to be difficult to get through, I just laced up my running shoes and turned on the latest episode of Revenge. And then I ran, for about an hour, forward and backwards and in place in front of my television. I am sure it looked silly, but no one was looking.

Does running in place or in a circle do anything? Of course. You are moving. It is certainly better exercise than sitting on the sofa. I find if I run in place for too long, I end up with some very sore calves, so I prefer to move around a bit, but if it weren’t for the sore musculature, the exercise is as good as a slow jog outside. But when you have sleeping kids upstairs and a husband away on business, outside isn’t an option.

Running in place won’t get you ready for a race. Even if it is great exercise, running in place will not help you if you plan to run a race. The range of motion is different. You aren’t landing on your feet in the same way. It isn’t the same exercise. While running in place is better than nothing, it isn’t the same as running.

Mix it up. Don’t be surprised to find that running in place is terribly monotonous. You will need to be watching TV or a really great movie. When you start to get bored, and you probably will, try doing jumping jacks, side jumps, grapevines, skips, run down the hall, anything to change direction.

Time yourself. Plan to keep moving for an hour or so. Watch the clock and put on your TV show/movie. Keep moving, be it running, jumping or whatever you find to do for the entire hour. Hopefully you will be able to make it through.

Stretch your calves – Running in place works different muscle groups. Make sure to stretch your calves and other muscles you feel might be strained after your hour is up.

Wear your running shoes – It might be obvious, but put on your running shoes. Your feet will take a pounding, protect them.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.