This post is the result of a recent gym experience of mine. For a bit of back story, I used to run track in high school (technically I racewalked - go ahead, you can laugh) and one of the things that has stuck with me through the years is running form. In particular, keeping your chin up and level. While I was on the elliptical at the gym, I noticed my gaze tended to head downward to focus on the timer on the machine. Ugh, I really hate that timer. It constantly reminds me how terrible my stamina has become over the years.
The problems with tucking your chin downward while doing cardio: it can cause fatigue and tightness in your neck, and you never want to be tense while exercising. It can also effect your shoulders and back.
I tend to follow the chin up rule for anything that I do in the gym.
Some of the positives about keeping your chin up:
You don't focus on the time!
You avoid the uncomfortable fatigue and tightness.
It can actually help to release tension and strain.
If you are having difficulty keeping your chin up, here is a tip:
Find a cardio machine that has a tv on it. I used to think that a tv would be distracting and it wouldn't keep me focused on my workout, or that I was cheating myself in some way, but it does quite the opposite. It keeps my chin up and my gaze forward. I barely think about the time as it goes by if I'm focused on a show.
As a result of my chin remaining up, and a lack of concern for the time, I find that I move a little quicker and I can last longer.
(I usually find myself watching HGTV or sports of some kind)
And if there is no tv...find something else to focus on in the gym. They usually have a tv somewhere, or watch a trainer to see if you can pick up any tips. If all else fails, you can surreptitiously glance at the cute guy (or girl!) you noticed earlier :)
Of course, there is a lot more to running form then just your chin. Try this website (making this my article of the day):
Runner's World http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-267-268-8210-0,00.html
I like the explanations for each of the important body parts.
Chin up and keep moving!