How to lose weight fast – Why running BACKWARDS can increase calories burnt

Expert explains why enjoying exercise is important

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Never heard of reverse running? This trend has been around for a long time but it’s finally coming back into the spotlight again. Running backwards might not be the norm but it is definitely something worth considering (if you can get past the odd looks from passersby!). chatted to Fiona Hawker a fitness instructor at Curves Gym to find out why YOU should try reverse running.

Running is one form of exercise that is totally free and can be done anywhere, so it’s accessible to pretty much anyone.

If you’re trying to lose weight, running is the perfect form of exercise because it burns more calories than any other mainstream kind of exercise.

According to the NHS, regular running can reduce your risk of long-term illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control.

All of this is true for regular running, but reverse running apparently has even more benefits.

Reverse running might look weird, but fitness instructor Fiona says it is a more effective form of exercise than regular running and could help you lose more weight than running forwards.

Fiona explained: “Running backwards could increase your calorie burn as it takes around 30 percent more energy than running forwards.”

This technique, which is also known as retro-running, could therefore help you lose more weight if you do it on a regular basis.

Running backwards isn’t just great for your waistline, it can improve your physical fitness more than regular running would.

Fiona said: “Running backwards is a lot more demanding and requires more effort to move from one point to another so it results in greater muscle activity and better heart and lung function.

“Adding backwards running into your regular training routine also helps with muscle balance particularly in your quadriceps and hamstrings.

“There are also benefits to improving posture as running backwards requires you to run in a more upright position and involves a considerable amount of coordination and balance.”

Your first thought when considering running backwards is probably safety and practicality, but you don’t need to worry.

Reverse running can be a great form of rehabilitation and it can also reduce the risk of injury.

Fiona explained: “When you run backwards, you hit the ground with less force which reduces the stress on your knees.”

Of course, facing the opposite way to the direction you’re running has its problems.

Fiona warned: “To avoid injuries and accidents, there are some factors to consider before embarking on your reverse running journey.

“Start by finding a suitable surface – a running track is a great place to start as there are no uneven surfaces and those around you will be more aware of you.

“To perfect your technique, start by walking backwards to get into your stride then keep your body upright with your shoulders over your feet, and your arms close and low to your body.

“As you run, push off from the ball of your foot and step back but without lifting your feet too far off the ground, land softly and keep your core engaged.”

Start off small – nobody expects you to do a 5km on your first try.

Fiona suggested: “It might be a good idea to incorporate running backwards into your warmup and cool down for three to five minutes or during your run by adding in intervals of reverse running of about 30 seconds to one minute at a time and gradually building up.

“You might even want to start with a friend and alternate running in reverse and forwards so that you can look out for each other while you perfect the technique and gain confidence.”

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