Running can do wonders for your physical and mental health, but how effective is running for weight loss? Running style has a huge impact, as does the frequency with which you do it. We asked an expert to share his findings and the other factors to consider when turning to this activity as part of a weight loss plan.
There is no better feeling than putting on your running shoes and getting some fresh air and jogging around the park. There are few other activities that are easy to fit into a busy lifestyle. Equipped with some comfortable running shoes (check out our guide to the best running shoes for the top picks), it’s an affordable sport and doesn’t require fancy gear or a gym membership if you’re an outdoor runner.
There are endless benefits to running. It’s a highly potent activity that makes your heart beat faster and improves cardiovascular health. It can help lower blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, build strong bones (increasingly important for fitness for women over 50), and build more muscle. Furthermore, in addition to a healthy lifestyle, running can also be effective for weight loss – whether you want to know how to lose a stone or just want to exercise.
How Can Running Help You Lose Weight?
A high-impact activity like running can help you lose weight because it increases your heart rate and burns energy (which we often measure in calories). How many calories you burn depends on your pace, distance and body weight. For a more solid estimate, invest in a workout app or one of the best fitness trackers to find out how many calories you burn with each workout.
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While running can help you lose weight, it needs to be accompanied by an active lifestyle and a healthy diet. It’s a cliché in the fitness world, but it’s true nonetheless: there is no escaping poor nutrition. “Weight loss is basically about burning more than you use, but it’s important that you give your body the nutrition it needs to perform, recover quickly, and adapt to your exercise “says Idalis Velazquez, creator of the online strength and running program 30 Day Breakaway.
However, there are a few steps you can take to boost weight loss while running.
When running for weight loss, you should:
- Make sure you are in a calorie deficit– Use an online calculator or multiply your current body weight by 15 to estimate the calories you need each day. Then subtract 500 from your total to calculate a healthy amount of calories that will ensure you are in a deficit.
- Provide your body with a diet high in protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats– think of chicken, tofu, whole wheat pasta and bread, avocado, eggs and fermented foods.
- Eat the best Superfoods for weight loss– Boost your metabolism and swap the snacks you normally eat for foods like nuts and seeds, berries, yogurt, apples and oats.
- Try different types of running workouts– The combination of long runs with speed training helps you to use more energy and burn more calories while improving your running technique. You should also combine your routine with other activities, such as exercising. B. At home workouts and the best bodyweight exercises to build strength.
The best ways to lose weight
If you want to burn more calories, it is important to change your running routine every now and then. “A lot of people make the mistake of doing the same workout every time. They drive the same route at the same speed for weeks or even months, ”says Idalis. As your body gets used to exercising, it works less efficiently and therefore uses less energy.
Try to choose a mix of the following running styles:
- High intensity interval training– ideal for days with little time, as it enables you to do a high-intensity workout that burns many calories in a short period of time. You can do HIIT on the go or indoors on a treadmill (check out our best HIIT treadmill workouts for inspiration). You can also do hill sprints to add an element of strength to your workout. Run up a slope hard and fast for about 20 to 30 seconds. Then slowly jog or walk back up the hill and repeat several times
- Low intensity exercise– If you have more time and want to build endurance and burn fat, try low intensity runs. Your heart rate should stay lower than what you get with interval training (around 70% of your maximum heart rate) and you can see this on a fitness tracker as you exercise.
As a caveat, there is no type of running that is better for weight loss than any other. The best type is simply the one you enjoy the most and therefore more likely to endure you.
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Workouts to try for weight loss in addition to running
In general, weight training is so important for women because it builds muscle and compacts the natural loss of bone density that occurs with age. Any running program should include some basic strength and conditioning exercises. This will help you avoid a training plateau that will stop progress while you build strength and reduce your risk of injury.
Other exercises to lose weight and improve your running technique:
- Weightlifting with dumbbells or kettlebells– Strength and muscle building
- Resistance band workouts – strength and muscle building
- Body weight training– Strength and muscle building
- Pole Dance– Strength and muscle building
- Nordic walking – to improve endurance and general fitness
- hike– to improve endurance and general fitness
- Yoga for Beginners – to improve flexibility, balance and core strength
- Pilates for Beginners – to improve flexibility, balance and core strength
“Studies show that including weight training in your running program can improve almost every aspect of your fitness – including speed, running economy, and time to exhaustion – not to mention reducing the risk of injury and speeding up your fat loss,” says Idalis.
You can also do weight training and running on the same day. “In general, lifting weights affects running less than running affects lifting, so we always start training with strength training. If you find that running works better for you at first, that’s fine too. “
If you don’t have time to lift and run on the same day, you can do the activities on different days. However, Idalis recommends doing both every week and interrupting your training schedule with rest days between workouts.
Yoga and Pilates help build core muscles and stretch sore muscles, making them a great option for days of rest. While hiking and walking add to overall fitness and can be another great option for gentler workouts between runs.
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