What’s one of the most effective and easy full body workouts? Running. When practiced regularly, with the proper form, footing, and shoe, running has countless benefits—from increased cardiovascular health to weight loss. However, advance runners know that not all running is created equal. What happens to the body during a sprint differs from what happens while in a light jog. Running up or down a hill also affects the body differently. Here we break down each type of run and how accurately you can expect it to change your body.
1. Jogging. Jogging can be an incredibly rewarding activity—especially when practiced outside. Jogging in the great outdoors can increase mental health and overall well being. Jogging causes the body to incorporate oxygen into its system better which is cancer preventative. It strengthens the immune system, cuts down inflammation, and reduces body fat levels.
2. Sprinting. Perhaps the most challenging type of running, sprinting requires that you run as fast as you can for a short period, repetitively in bursts. Sprinting brings the heart rate to its maximum speed. Reoccurring sprints can increase one’s maximum heart rate which allows you to workout more efficiently. Other reasons sprinting is good for the body include that it burns calories, builds muscles, improves metabolism, and reduces stress.
3. Endurance Runs. An endurance run is also known as a long-distance run. If you’re training for a marathon, endurance running should be a priority. Endurance runs stimulate the heart and strengthen your bones, making you less injury prone. Want to lose weight and keep it off? Run long distances. Another benefit experienced by frequent marathon runners is mental toughness. With every mile, you’ll naturally learn better-coping skills which in turn increases confidence and reduces depression.
4. Interval Runs. Interval training is where you alternate between sprinting and recovery runs. In the past, interval training was only practiced by athletes, but today, it’s common in boutique fitness workouts, such as IGNITE at the Bay Club. Speed bursts help one be in better cardiovascular shape and allow you to work out for more extended periods of time. If you’re easily bored, especially on a treadmill, interval training can mix things up and ensure that the workout is exciting.
5. Incline. To make your run more difficult, increase the incline. When running on a treadmill, using a slope rises calorie burning and muscle building. An incline run is more intense and is crucial to maximize weight loss. When you run up a hill, it activates the abdominal muscles, so if a flat stomach is one of your fitness goals, consider upping the incline on that treadmill. Because gravity is trying to pull you down, the body has to work harder, which activates the muscles up to two or three times more than they would on a flat surface.
6. Decline. Running down a hill or on a decline has the opposite effect of running on a treadmill. You have to absorb the force of your body and control it from tumbling down the decline. This impact can be harmful to the body and increases the risk of injury. A decline on a treadmill should be performed with caution—consult your favorite Bay Club trainer for more on this type of specialized run.
7. Recovery Run. The next time you’re sprinting on a treadmill (perhaps at the Bay Club’s new class IGNITE?), do your best not to stop after a sprint. Many people jump off the treadmill abruptly ending the workout. But, it’s best to run for 10 more seconds and then slow your speed to a jog. This recovery run adds mileage, slows down the body, increases blood flow to the legs, and helps clear lactic acid. By challenging the runner to continue moving in a fatigued state, recovery runs improve overall fitness.
Not all running has equal effects on your body, and speed, shoes, and other factors can also influence your run. Find out if you’re doing all the correct things, here. Please be sure to consult a trainer or fitness professional before starting a running routine.