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Whether you’re tired of doing the same old repetitive, boring exercise, or you just want to look foolish. Running backwards, or retro-running is an excellent way to get cardio, fresh air, and mood enhancing endorphins. And unlike jogging retro-running is good on the joints, will promote creativity, and will draw attention if that’s your thing.

This is how:

 

Retro-Running Will Improve Your Fitness

Avoiding the Plateau Effect

Studies have found that after about six weeks your body adapts to your workout schedule, making it harder to lose weight.[i] This is called the plateau effect because your gains and losses level off. Changing up your exercise is an effective way to involve some new muscles forcing your body to adapt again avoiding the plateau.

Burning More Calories by Running Less

When you retro-run, your heart rate beats faster improving your cardiovascular health short term. This is also ten times more effective at burning calories at walking speed and six times more efficient at burning calories at a jogging pace. [ii] [iii] This means you can burn more calories in a shorter period. Running backward will have you running quickly forwards to your fitness goals.

Strengthen Different Muscles

Retro-running involves muscles you probably don’t exercise that much if you’re a regular jogger. It is known for toning and strengthening calves, shins, and quads. [iv] It is also ideal for assisting better posture which comes with a myriad of benefits.[v]

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Less Impact on Your Joints

As indicated before, retro-running relieves the impact on your joints. When you land on your heel while jogging, it is slapping against concrete. If you do the exercies repetitively the vibrations which shoot up to your knee with damage the joint. Running backward doesn’t have these issue because we land on our toes which provide a gradual impact. Our weight and kinetic energy are slowly dispersed along your whole foot.[vi]

Think about driving a car, when you suddenly stop, passengers are shaken, and you damage the breaks. However, if you slow up to a stop, passenger are unmoved, and the car is left undamaged.

Additionally, retro-walking burns more calories per step. So like a car, jogging requires you to drive more miles to reach the same location.

Cognitive and Psychological Improvements

Changing up Your Routine Makes You More Creative

Routines restrict us from flexible and open mindedness. These are crucial skills for coming up with new thoughts.

Routines can also stress us out, as we struggle to meet the standards we’ve set for ourselves. This stress can make us fixated on completing the routine and damage myelin sheaths which are necessary for our brain to function quickly and come up with great ideas.[vii]

Therefore, retro-running changes up your workout routine to set a different standard of how you should work out. You won’t see exercise as a grueling morning task. You can see your workout as a period where you can try things that excite you, a timeslot to implement the new physical activity.

It’s More Fun to Do

Retro-running is weird and different, and it can be a lot of fun to do. We also perceive time as moving quicker in moments of joy,[viii] making your workout speedy and a painless task.

It Will Make You Better at Sports

If you or your child plays sports like football, tennis, or baseball, running backward might be a valuable skill to master. A study in 2003 found that some repetition is good to learn motor skills and habits.[ix] Running backward in the outfield, or shuffling on the court are vital skills to grasp to perfect these sports. Running backward as a cadio exercise provides the repetition to become accustomed to these movements.

You Will Become More Open-minded

Retro-running looks silly. You might get few glares if you are rewinding along the main boulevard. However, being too accustomed to social norms isn’t only uninteresting, but it can make you narrow-minded. Open yourself up to new experiences and different ways of doing things, because as people watch you, they might start reconsidering what customs they follow without question.

Cautions

You Can Easily Run Into People

Running this way without eyes on the back of your head will be tricky. Try doing this on a treadmill, a running track, or on a road where there aren’t a lot of people and objects.

Your Shoes Will Definitely Get Ruined

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Use old shoes, because they are created to run forward (believe it or not). They are going to wear out quickly as you put pressure on under reinforced areas of the shoe.[x]

Falling is Likely

Balance might be a little tricky, you are using different muscles in strange ways, and you aren’t looking where you’re going, so tripping over things might be more frequent than you like. Therefore, take it slow and try to use well-maintained yet underused areas to avoid human-made obstacles as well as humans.

Don’t Run With Your Head Turned For Too Long

Turning your head is inevitable as bumping into things might be undesired, but don’t do it too frequently as it can cause structural problems.[xi]

Conclusion

Retro-running is a strange and fun way to get the exercise you desire without falling into monotony and routines. Just make sure you watch out for pedestrians, and are wearing the proper footwear like these sneakers and you might achieve your fitness goals; the ultimate finish line.

Watch this retro-running race rewinded:

 

[i] Dr. Mercola. The Many Benefits of Walking Backward. Mercolacom. 2012. Available at: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/12/14/walking-backward.aspx#_edn5. Accessed March 9, 2017.

[ii] Speck J. This Exercise Burns 6 Times More Calories Than Jogging. BrightSide — Inspiration Creativity Wonder. 2017. Available at: https://brightside.me/inspiration-health/this-exercise-burns-6-times-more-calories-than-jogging-255910/. Accessed March 9, 2017.

[iii] Terblanche E, Page C, Kroff J, Venter R. The Effect of Backward Locomotion Training on the Body Composition and Cardiorespiratory Fitness of Young Women. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 2005;26(3):214-219. doi:10.1055/s-2004-820997.

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[iv] Dr. Mercola. The Many Benefits of Walking Backward. Mercolacom. 2012. Available at: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/12/14/walking-backward.aspx#_edn5. Accessed March 9, 2017.

[v] Speck J. This Exercise Burns 6 Times More Calories Than Jogging. BrightSide — Inspiration Creativity Wonder. 2017. Available at: https://brightside.me/inspiration-health/this-exercise-burns-6-times-more-calories-than-jogging-255910/. Accessed March 9, 2017.

[vi] Dr. Mercola. The Many Benefits of Walking Backward. Mercolacom. 2012. Available at: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/12/14/walking-backward.aspx#_edn5. Accessed March 9, 2017.

[vii] Paul A. Why Morning Routines Are Creativity Killers | TIME.com. TIMEcom. 2012. Available at: http://ideas.time.com/2012/02/01/why-morning-routines-are-creativity-killers/. Accessed March 9, 2017.

[viii] DiLonardo M. Time Does Fly As We Grow Older. tribunedigital-chicagotribune. 1994. Available at: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1994-02-06/features/9402060210_1_psychology-professor-adult-school-year. Accessed March 9, 2017.

[ix] 6. Ofen-Noy N, Dudai Y, Karni A. Skill learning in mirror reading: how repetition determines acquisition. Cognitive Brain Research. 2003;17(2):507-521. doi:10.1016/s0926-6410(03)00166-6.

[x] Dr. Mercola. The Many Benefits of Walking Backward. Mercolacom. 2012. Available at: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/12/14/walking-backward.aspx#_edn5. Accessed March 9, 2017.

[xi] Dr. Mercola. The Many Benefits of Walking Backward. Mercolacom. 2012. Available at: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/12/14/walking-backward.aspx#_edn5. Accessed March 9, 2017.

Image Sources:

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/injuries-sports-running-knee-injury-on-327819464?src=BvzjM-pCxGI-b2HUJyPxpw-1-8

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/trenton-nj-july-2-thunder-center-202655572?src=1nfCX7e1H7cBm0xOk8QuOQ-3-96

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/falling-screaming-businessman-formal-wear-over-214875505?src=n5fMOfPmREjtJVLI2rWT6g-1-5

The Hearty Soul
Health Network
We believe in using natural ingredients to be as healthy as possible. We believe dieting will never work as well as a lifestyle of healthy habits will. We believe you can treat pain and disease without relying on addictive drugs. We believe being happy is a big part of a healthy life.
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