Lose Weight Fast: How to Run the Weight Off
A 2020 report published by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association shows that 50 million Americans – or 15% of the US population – regularly runs. And, while the percentage of people taking part in races has slightly been diminishing during the past years, running has remained one of the most popular sports – for more than one reason!
This sport has low entry barriers, requires minimal equipment, and is accessible by everyone. While simple, running does yield an impressive number of health benefits, from improving cardiovascular fitness to promoting a spike in endorphins that produce the much sought-after “runner’s high”.
Alongside all of these benefits is the fact that running can help you burn many calories within a short timeframe and promote weight loss and management. Here is what you need to know about losing weight by running.
Running for Better Health: The Benefits of Running
If you are looking to lose weight, you can effectively do so by running. In fact, the number of calories you’ll burn will depend on your body size, pace, run intensity, and exercise duration. Nonetheless, studies estimate that the average runner can lose around 100 calories per mile.
Aside from helping you burn calories and shed weight in excess, this activity also has many health benefits, including:
- As shown by a 2014 study, running can reduce the risk of heart disease by 45% and look after your cardiovascular health.
- It can help you regulate blood sugar and facilitate its transportation to muscle cells.
- It can reduce the risk of cataracts and protect your eye health
- Can strengthen your bone structure, prevent knee damage, and reduce knee pain.
- Can release “happiness” endorphins, which can produce the famous “runner’s high” feeling.
- Running can improve your immune system
- Regular exercise can promote better sleep
Choose the Best Type of Running for Your Needs
Your workout’s intensity, duration, and speed can have a significant impact on the results it will produce. So, you should be clear on your goals to find the best style of running for your needs.
Here is the difference between high-intensity and low-intensity running:
- High-intensity running: during this high-intensity workout, your body will use carbs as the main source of energy because they are easily available.
- Lower-intensity runs: lower-intensity runs are usually and since they don’t require a burst of energy, your body will prefer to use fat as fuel because it burns more slowly and steadily.
Ideally, you should find the most beneficial combination of the two. Some types of runs to choose from include:
- Base runs are normal runs of around 6 miles and are completed at an average pace.
- Interval runs are usually short and more intense sprints
- Hill repeats are short interval runs usually done uphill
- Long runs are those between 15 and 20 km (10-12 miles) and aim to improve endurance.
- Recovery runs are slow runs that you complete after a more intense run and facilitate recovery.
- Progression runs allow you to increase intensity as you run and they mimic competition-style runs.
Depending on the type of run you have chosen, you will be able to enjoy specific benefits. Bear in mind that if you are trying to lose weight by running, consistency is key. In turn, finding a type of run that you truly enjoy can be the best beneficial choice to keep up your goals.
Opt for High-Intensity Running
As we have seen, the most beneficial type of run for your needs is the one that you can happily practice every day. Nonetheless, if you don’t have a specific preference and you are looking for the most efficient type of exercise, you should opt for high-intensity runs.
Generally, to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than the ones consumed, which you can achieve by limiting your calorie intake and burning extra calories via exercise. High-intensity runs require several muscle groups to work together, which not only promotes muscle strength and endurance, but it burns more calories per minute than any other type of running.
Even more importantly, high-intensity running – which includes uphill repeats and interval runs – continues to burn calories for over 48 hours after the workout. Studies have found that this “afterburn effect” can significantly contribute to weight loss.
Increase Your Weekly Running Frequency
Progressing in your running frequency and intensity is key to exponentially increase the calories burnt. Having clear long-term goals – such as running 60 minutes per day, 6 days a week – can help you have a clear aim you can build up to.
Naturally, recovery days are essential to allow your muscles to build mass in a safe and healthy way. Nonetheless, a rest day does not mean that you should do nothing. Instead, you can opt to enjoy a recovery run or practice another type of exercise – including yoga or strength training.
Finding a personalized program and combining different types of exercises can help you keep up your motivation, keep away boredom, and help burn even more calories. If you are looking to increase the time and distance run, make sure you do so by an average of 10% each day.
Warm-Up and Cool-Down Phases Are Important
Losing weight by running requires a methodical approach. So, an extremely intense but sporadic run will not give you the results you want! Aside from your running frequency and intensity, you should also understand how to approach this type of exercise. In particular, the warm-up and cool-down phases are vital to prevent injuries and prepare you for the aerobic exercise ahead.
While you might have limited time for your workout, warm-ups are essential to get your cardiovascular system ready, raise your body temperature, and secure the necessary blood flow to your muscles. It can also reduce your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness after the run.
Invest in Professional Gear
One of the main benefits of running is that it does not require significant initial investments and has low entry barriers. Virtually, anybody could get started without challenges! However, investing in the right gear can truly make a difference in your performance. In fact, thanks to the right equipment you can:
- Improve your comfort level, which allows you to run for longer
- Provide important support
- Wick away sweat, which allows you to remain dry
- Provide ergonomic support for your back and feet
- Prevent injuries
Accessories such as a waterproof phone bag can also help you have your handset always with you to listen to your favorite music and offer a safety backup when running in new locations. You can discover more essential running accessories at EcoGearFX.com.
Reconsider Other Aspects of Your Lifestyle
Losing weight by running is possible but without important adjustments to your lifestyle. Some of these include:
- Rethink your diet to support weight loss
- Focus on whole, unprocessed foods, such as veggies, fruits, grains, and nuts.
- Avoid added salts, added sugar, and trans fats
- Check the labels
- Listen to your body
- Live a more active lifestyle
- Focus on eating mindfully
Some other changes that you might consider for weight loss and health are adopting a vegan diet and swapping your desk for a standing desk.
Know What To Expect
Running can be the best ally on your weight loss journey. However, you need to understand what results to expect to keep your motivation up. Firstly, a reasonable and safe weight loss rate is about 1-2 pounds per week – which allows you to keep excess weight off for longer. Additionally, since you might build up muscle, your scale’s results might not be so satisfactory or representative of your achievements. Instead, enjoy the process and look at your body becoming leaner, stronger, and healthier!