Is jogging in place good for weight loss?

Jogging in place, also known as marching on the spot, is a form of cardiovascular exercise that involves jogging or marching in place without actually moving forward. It’s a simple, low-impact exercise that can be done just about anywhere with no equipment required. But is jogging in place an effective way to lose weight?

Quick Answers

Here are some quick answers to common questions about jogging in place and weight loss:

  • Yes, jogging in place can be an effective form of exercise for weight loss when done regularly and at a moderate to high intensity.
  • Jogging in place burns calories, with faster jogging burning more calories per minute than slower jogging.
  • To lose weight through jogging in place, it’s important to jog most days of the week for at least 10-30 minutes per session.
  • Jogging in place is considered a moderate intensity form of aerobic exercise that can increase your heart rate and help improve cardiovascular fitness.
  • Along with jogging in place, having a balanced diet that creates a calorie deficit is key for weight loss.

Calorie Burn from Jogging in Place

One of the key ways that jogging in place can lead to weight loss is through burning calories. The number of calories burned while jogging in place depends on a few key factors:

  • Your weight – Heavier people burn more calories for the same exercise than lighter people.
  • Exercise intensity – Jogging faster and more vigorously burns more calories per minute.
  • Duration – The longer you jog in place, the more calories you’ll use.
  • Fitness level – Those who are more fit and have a higher VO2 max burn calories faster.

Some estimates suggest that a 155 pound (70 kg) person may burn around 300 calories jogging in place for 30 minutes. A 200 pound (90 kg) person may burn closer to 390 calories.

To get a rough estimate on calories burned jogging in place, you can use this formula:

Calories Burned Jogging in Place = (weight in lbs x 0.075) x (mins jogged / 2)

Based on this formula, a 30 minute jogging in place session for a 180 pound person would burn around 337 calories. Doubling the session length to 60 minutes would burn about 675 calories.

Calorie Burn Comparison to Other Exercises

How does jogging in place compare to other forms of exercise for calorie burn?

Exercise Calories burned in 30 minutes (150 lb / 70kg person)
Jogging in place 225
Walking (3.5 mph) 135
Elliptical machine 270
Jogging (5 mph) 295
Swimming 255

As you can see, jogging in place burns significantly more calories than lower intensity exercises like walking but fewer calories than higher intensity exercises like running outdoors or using cardio machines. The calorie burn can vary based on the intensity of your jogging.

Jogging In Place Intensity for Weight Loss

To get the best weight loss results from jogging in place, it’s important to jog at a moderate to vigorous intensity for most of your session.

According to research, jogging or running below 6 mph is considered moderate intensity exercise while speeds over 6 mph are vigorous intensity.

When jogging in place to lose weight, aim to work in the moderate to vigorous range. Here are some tips:

  • Warm up for a few minutes, then increase your pace to brisk jogging.
  • Maintain a pace that raises your heart rate to 60-80% of your max heart rate.
  • Jog fast enough that you can still speak but not sing.
  • Aim for a level of exertion around 6-8 on a 10 point scale.
  • Take brief 1 minute rest intervals as needed to maintain jogging pace.

Using fitness trackers like heart rate monitors or smartwatches can help you monitor your exercise intensity. Apps and fitness equipment may also provide calorie burn estimates to track your workouts.

How Often to Jog in Place for Weight Loss

Along with exercise intensity, the frequency of your jogging in place workouts also impacts weight loss results.

For optimal fat burning and body composition changes, aim to jog in place most days of the week for at least 10-30 minutes per session.

Here are some jogging in place frequency guidelines for weight loss:

  • Beginners: Jog 3-4 days per week for 10-15 minutes building up to 20-30 minutes.
  • Intermediates: Jog at least 5 days per week for 20-30 minutes per session.
  • Advanced: Jog 6-7 days per week for 30-45 minutes or split into multiple short sessions.

Be sure to take at least 1 day of complete rest from jogging each week to allow your body to recover. Start slow if you are new to jogging in place and gradually increase length and frequency.

Sample Jogging in Place Schedule for Weight Loss

Day Workout
Monday Jog in place – 30 minutes
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Jog in place – 30 minutes
Thursday Jog in place – 20 minutes
Friday Jog in place – 30 minutes
Saturday Jog in place – 20 minutes
Sunday Rest

This sample schedule has 4-5 jogging days per week with a variety of session lengths totaling around 2.5 hours of jogging. This would provide excellent calorie burn for weight loss over time.

Adding Variety to Jogging in Place Workouts

While jogging in place provides an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise, adding some variety into your workouts can lead to greater fitness gains and prevent boredom.

Some ways to mix up your jogging in place for weight loss include:

  • Intervals – Alternate intervals of faster jogging with slower jogging or marching.
  • Hill sprints – Mimic sprinting up hills by driving your knees high.
  • Lateral shuffles – Move side to side across an imaginary line.
  • Backward jogging – Jog backwards for increased lower body work.
  • Arm driven jogs – Exaggerate your arm swing to increase upper body work.
  • High knee variations – Lift your knees higher to engage your core.

Aim to switch up your jogging in place variations every 3-5 minutes during a session for enhanced benefits. You can also add short bodyweight strength exercises like lunges or squats between jogging intervals.

Cardiovascular and Other Fitness Benefits

Along with being an effective calorie-burning exercise for weight loss, jogging in place also provides other fitness benefits like:

  • Improved cardiovascular fitness and VO2 max
  • Lower resting heart rate
  • Increased lung capacity
  • Strengthened bones from weight bearing exercise
  • Toned leg and core muscles
  • Improved balance and coordination

The American Heart Association recommends aiming for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity cardio like jogging in place for optimal heart health. Meeting this guideline can also help manage weight.

Sample Cardiovascular Benefits

Metric Before Jogging in Place After 6 Weeks of Jogging
VO2 max 35 mL/kg/min 41 mL/kg/min
Resting Heart Rate 72 bpm 62 bpm
Blood Pressure 130/85 mmHg 120/80 mmHg

As shown, regular jogging in place can lead to impressive boosts in cardiovascular fitness. A higher VO2 max and lower resting heart rate are key health markers.

Additional Weight Loss Tips

While jogging in place can be helpful for weight loss, exercise alone often isn’t enough to take off all the weight. Combining regular jogging sessions with these other weight loss tips can help enhance your results:

Focus on your diet

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than you burn. Pay attention to your overall diet by reducing processed foods, added sugars, and refined carbs. Emphasize lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Be in an overall calorie deficit

Use a calorie tracking app to ensure you consume fewer calories per day than you expend through exercise and normal activity. A moderate daily deficit of 500 calories can lead to 1 pound per week weight loss.

Increase protein intake

Eating more protein can help reduce appetite, change body composition, and minimize muscle loss when dieting. Aim for around 0.7-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Lift weights and build muscle

Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. Doing some form of strength training or bodyweight exercises can boost metabolism. Maintaining muscle while losing fat optimizes body composition.

Get quality sleep

Those who regularly get 7-9 hours of sleep per night experience better appetite control for weight loss. Lack of sleep raises hunger hormone levels.


Jogging in place can be an excellent form of exercise to help you lose weight. It provides a solid calorie burn, gets your heart rate up, and improves fitness when done regularly at a moderate-to-high intensity. Combine your jogging in place workouts with a proper diet, calorie tracking, and other healthy habits for optimal weight loss.

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