Running is one of the most popular exercises to lose weight; however, you need to grasp the correct techniques so as to improve the efficiency of fat burning as well as avoid injury while training.
Those who practice running exercises to lose weight may have the same fear of getting injured and having to stay at home for months. However, a recent study by the University of Wisconsin showed that a very easy way to avoid injuries is to shorten the running strides.
Do you know: – Running: the Right Techniques to Lose Weight Fast
After analyzing 10 previous studies, the scientists conclude that running with small steps can reduce the risk of injuries as it reduces the impact of each running step, decrease the up and down movement of the body and lesson the amount of energy absorbed at the hip, knees and ankles.
However, does that mean we should shorten our running steps immediately? The answer is no. Running with a shorter stride will increases the number of steps on each journey and makes the body more tired. It takes approximately 32,000 running steps for an average person to complete a marathon, if reducing the strides, even just 5 to 7cms; the number of steps to complete the journey may increase by 1,200 to 1,500 steps.
And the result will be that your body will be affected or even get painful. Just a small change in daily running strides can also cause injuries if you do not strengthen the muscles serving to shorten the strides. Therefore, you should take the following tips to increase the safety of the running exercises.
1. Determine the current stride rate:
To do this, at first you run in a natural rhythm, then count the steps you make in 60 seconds. Or more easily, just count the number of times your right foot hits the ground, then doubling that figure. Normally, we usually run about 160 steps per minute.
2. Calculate the ideal stride rate:
Take the normal stride rate (number of steps per minute) and multiplied by 1.1. This is your target stride rate. Runners often get benefits from running with slightly shorter strides and faster than running naturally and “slightly” here mean 5 to 10% shorter than the stride they like. You should listen to a song with rhythms matching the target strides while running, or simply download a metronome to your device and follow the rhythm.
Nonetheless, one thing to note here is that you should not maintain the new running steps in the entire runtime. Within a week, just apply 10% of your running exercises with short stride rate. Each week thereafter, gradually increase by 10%. This is a gradual and step by step process so in the first month, you should practice indoors on treadmills to avoid the case that too much concentration on running strides may leads to accidents.
3. Increase strength and flexibility:
While getting accustomed to the new running method, you should simultaneously strengthen the muscles that stabilize the hips because at this time you need to increase the number of steps, thereby increasing movements of the hip, which can lead to injuries. You should also stretch your hamstring and hip flexor area frequently. If you reduce the length of the running steps, these muscles will work in a shorter range of motion. Over time, they will become shorter, leading to injuries. In these cases, yoga or Pilates will help resolve the issues.