Jogging around your neighborhood offers myriad benefits, including fresh air, constantly changing scenery and the tangible results of the distance you've traveled. But if your neighborhood isn't conducive to jogging and you don't have time to visit the gym to run on the treadmill, jogging in circles in your home or backyard is an effective way to burn calories. It might appear a little bizarre to observers, but you can get a solid workout by jogging in a confined area.
When planning to jog in a circle to keep fit, select an area suitable to the exercise. The larger the area you choose, the less dizzy you'll get. For example, jogging in a circle in which the diameter is 5 feet is more likely to cause dizziness than jogging in a circle with a 20-foot diameter. Whether you plan to jog indoors or outdoors, ensure the space is devoid of obstacles or uneven terrain that could cause you to trip. The route doesn't have to be perfectly circular; running an oblong route through your basement is acceptable. A softer surface, such as carpet, rubber mat or grass, provides less impact, which is better for your joints. When you run in a smaller circle, your speed will be less than traditional running, which creates less impact for your joints.
If you're serious about giving yourself a solid workout by jogging in a circle, wear the correct attire as though you're planning a jog through your neighborhood or on a treadmill. Opt for lightweight, comfortable clothing that wicks away sweat and pick sturdy running shoes. If you plan to run indoors, consider the type of flooring and wear appropriate shoes, such as those with non-marking soles.
Whether you choose to run on a treadmill, track or in a small circle in your home, the benefits are significant. Running improves your level of cardiovascular fitness, burns fat, builds muscles throughout your body and increases your body's oxygen flow. NutriStrategy reports that running at a pace of 5 miles per hour will burn nearly 500 calories for a 130-pound person. When considering running in a circle versus a more traditional path, note that the more you turn and change directions, the more your overall speed drops. As a result, running in a circle will burn fewer calories than running the same duration on a track.
A key consideration in jogging in a circle is to change directions on a regular basis. Too much running in a circle in one direction can lead to dizziness, while turning constantly to one side will also put uneven strain on your feet, ankles and other joints. After, for example, 10 circles in one direction, turn the other way and run 10 circles in the other direction. If you enjoy increasing the incline on a treadmill, consider running in large circle on a hill, as half your lap will be uphill, which gives your body an extra workout.
When you jog on a treadmill, the machine's screen tells you exactly how far you've traveled. If you jog on a street, it's easy to drive your route and check your car's odometer reading. Wearing a pedometer while jogging in a circle is an easy way to track your progress. Clip the pedometer to your waist or shoe and check its output after you're finished.