Running for weight loss: Is it possible?

running for weight loss
Image Credit: SvetaOrlova/ DepositPhotos

In these times of Coronavirus pandemic with increasing number of people staying at home, workout sessions have taken a backseat. People are finding it difficult to dedicate time for regular workouts. Eventually, lots of people are gradually moving towards sedentary lifestyle with accompanying symptoms like weight gain, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, depression etc.

It is vital to have your regular workout sessions to keep your weight under check. And one of the best ways to cut down your body fat is through running. Eventually, running for weight loss can be a very effective and simple strategy if done correctly. It is free, effective and comes with plenty of advantages. You can run virtually anywhere, on a sidewalk, in a park or any open area.

Running for weight loss – Top tips

When running to lose weight it is best to focus on time intervals as opposed to distance, while maintaining a steady pace. The pace can later be turned up for increasing the intensity of the workout and burn additional calories. However, running for losing weight can be easily done anywhere but you will have to keep a few factors in mind.

Clothing and shoes

When you want to reduce fat by running, you will have to ensure that you choose the right clothes and shoes. You will surely desire to wear loose-fitting clothes, which permit flexibility. During warm weather, shorts and a t-shirt or tank top are okay, and during winters, sweatpants and a sweatshirt are the way to go. You will need proper fitting shoes with supportive soles and arch support.

Stretching and brisk walking

Whenever you are running for weight loss, never forget to flex up your body. Always, stretch before you start running to lose weight. Remember to walk briskly for five to seven minutes before and after running for warming up and cooling down your leg muscles. In fact, between your walking sessions, you should aim for at least thirty minutes of running time. If you are not able to run for thirty minutes, try to do it for at least fifteen minutes and then walk for five minutes afterwards. Always push yourself to go longer until you reach the thirty-minute mark consistently.

Run regularly

When it comes to running for weight loss, you should follow it rigourously. At the initial stage, you need to start out running almost three times a week and then gradually increase it to four or five times a week. In general, the more you work out, the better the results will be. But you always need to make sure that you listen to your body. When you need a break, you must take it. Giving your body a little bit of rest will prevent injuries.

Strength training

While running for weight loss, you also have to give importance to strength training. Cross-training is important for a few reasons: Firstly, this will make you a strong runner and reduce your risk of injury. Running is quite hard on your joints when you do not have strong muscles to support them; specifically glutes, hamstrings and quads. Secondly, lifting will assist you in losing weight. It will help you burn more calories and induce fat loss.

Benefits of running

Running always helps people to reduce fat and here are some of the major benefits which you should consider.

Leads to improvement in metabolism

Running is an excellent high-intensity workout that keeps the body energized even when you are not running. It also means that your body is working to burn calories even when the exercise has finished. It keeps metabolism at an optimal state even when you are doing activities other than running or exercising.

Helps in burning calories

Running helps in boosting your ability to burn calories by being more active and dynamic. Another important and useful advantage of running is that it is meditative and works as an antidepressant. This helps you relax and have a feeling of liberation.

Beneficial for your heart

Running paves way for a healthier heart and helps in having a healthy cardiovascular system. As a matter of fact, running increases your heart rate that puts the arteries and heart vessels to work, which keeps them healthy. Running regularly will assist you in keeping ailments like high cholesterol and diabetes at bay.

Suppresses appetite and maintains negative energy balance

What is it that you crave for after a long run? It is always a glass full of water or any other refreshing fluid. Research shows that brain is automatically inclined towards low-calorie foods, which is rich in water content, after a run because of the thirst experienced by the body. Negative energy balance results in weight loss.

Inculcates healthy eating habits

After a long run, your muscles get tired and your body needs healthy nutrients for recovery. Your body also feels much better when this is fueled with healthy low-calorie food rather than foods which are rich in fat and empty calories.

Takeaway

Running can definitely help you in your weight loss strategy. With the right focus and dedication, running can help you burn calories and keep your weight in check. Combine it with proper strength training and healthy eating to take your fitness to next level.

References

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7331592_Evidence_of_negative_energy_balance_using_doubly_labelled_water_in_elite_Kenyan_endurance_runners_prior_to_competition

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