Running outdoors or on a treadmill can be a powerful workout to slim down. The key to best results is maintaining proper form. In the gym with magazines and television, it is very easy to get distracted and slouch forward toward the console, making your calorie-busting cardio less effective. On the other hand, while running outside you get slowed down by cracks in the sidewalk or branches in the trail. An equally powerful workout for your abs is possible indoors or out, so choose which method you prefer and stay mindful of your form and speed.
Abdominal Workout While Jogging
It is common for many people to gain weight in their middle with age, and a healthy diet paired with exercise will help reduce it throughout your body. The key to working the abs equally both indoors and out is to activate your abs throughout your workout and maintain proper form. Not slouching and holding yourself upright during a run will engage these muscles. Hold your elbows close to your sides to work the obliques along your sides. Also avoid bouncing as your run and keep your head level to reduce impact.
Running Indoors Versus Outdoors
Running on a treadmill or outdoors can both be an effective workout for your abs. Proper form and keeping up the intensity by monitoring your heart rate and pace will get results in either space. Each type has its own virtues, though. A treadmill is safer, as the motion belt reduces impact on the knees, but it can be monotonous. Outdoors you deal with weather and terrain changes that keep you focused but could result in injury. If you get injured, no results will come, so go for the method that keeps you engaged and focused on your progress.
While either running style is effective to burn calories and to a limited extent tone muscle, it is important to add a more substantial strength-training component for best results. Add daily crunches, reverse crunches and bicycle crunches to your workout. Two sets of 20 repetitions of each will give your abs a solid workout.
Safety and Tips
As with any workout, learn to listen to your body's stress signals. If you have joint concerns or substantial weight to lose, consider a no-impact, non-weight-bearing exercise such as swimming or cycling to build your strength and stamina before advancing to running. Also speak to your doctor if you have either of these or other health concerns.
Grace Bordelon is a public relations professional, teacher and writer. She owns her own boutique public relations firm that specializes in the advertising, gaming and software industries. She also teaches at a major design school for fine artists, commercial artists and graphic designers. Bordelon holds a B.A. in international economics and an M.A. in English from Bard College.