• Running to Lose Weight: How to Get Started

    Thursday, April 27th, 2017

    by David Martin, Fitness Coach

    running-to-lose-weightDoes running really help to lose weight? The truth is that running to lose weight can be a healthy way to drop pounds and keep them off for good. The key to a successful running plan for weight loss is to start slowly and then gradually build up your strength and endurance over time.

    The most important thing to remember when starting a running program is to be realistic about your level of physical fitness. If you don’t overdo it when you first start out, you’ll have a better chance of sticking with a daily running program. Going for a jog every morning, when combined with a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein and fat, you will help you to achieve your weight loss goals over a period of weeks and months. Running to lose weight after pregnancy is often the best way for a woman to lose baby weight.

    Walk Before You Run

    If you are just starting out, be careful not to overdo it in the beginning. One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a running program is trying to do too much, too soon. The first thing you should do is assess your overall health condition. Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

    If you haven’t done much exercise in your life, you may want to start out with walking. As your muscles become accustomed to regular exercise, you can gradually increase your pace. Try to find a good walking pace to lose weight, and use a walking for weight loss calculator to track your progress. Many people find that they enjoy walking to lose weight instead of running.

    The best walking shoes to lose weight are ones that feel comfortable and give you good arch support. Remember that you can wear running shoes for walking, as long as they feel comfortable on your feet. If your arches become sore, you may consider buying a pair of stabilizing orthotics to give your feet additional support. Depending on the size and shape of your feet, custom orthotics for runners may be necessary.

    Choosing the right size running shoe is also vital. Running shoes that are too narrow or too wide for your feet can lead to blisters or sprained ankles. The lifespan of running shoes often depends on proper sizing. Weather can also play a part, with running shoes in Phoenix often lasting longer than running shoes in Omaha. How often to replace your running shoes is dictated by the wear and tear you put on them, as well as the weather conditions you are running in.

    Regular Exercise is Key

    In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. When running for weight loss, it’s important to stick with your training program. Those individuals who follow their running schedule week after week soon get the slim body shape they have been seeking.

    If you set realistic fitness and weight loss targets for yourself, you won’t become frustrated and give up. Most running to lose weight success stories happen because that particular individual set long-term goals and slowly but surely achieved their desired weight loss.

    One of the best ways to stick with a regular running plan is to choose a time of the day when you know you’ll have time for your workout. For some people, that means early in the morning before work or school. For others, it may be better to run in the evenings or even on your lunch break.

    You will probably be surprised at how quickly you can lose the weight if you simply stick with your plan and do it week after week. An exercise diary can also be helpful, because if you write down your workout details and how much weight you’ve lost, you can refer back to it and see how much progress you have made.

    Vary Your Running Routine

    running-up-hills-weight-lossAs time goes by, your body will begin to acclimate to your running program. It then becomes vital to incorporate interval running to lose weight into your training regimen. By varying the intensity and distance of your workouts, you will burn fat and increase lean muscle mass.

    If you live near the mountains or the ocean, it should be fairly easy for you to choose new and varied running routes so that you won’t get bored with the same scenery over and over. It’s also important to climb hills from time to time, as well as varying your distances.

    Try running 2 miles of hilly terrain one day, and 5 or 6 miles along the beach the next. Running in the mountains or on the beach can often be an exhilarating experience!

    Eat a Balanced Diet

    People who run to lose weight should eat a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Complex carbohydrates should make up at least 50% of daily calories, with protein at approximately 30%, and fat at around 20%.

    Exercise will boost your metabolism, so don’t be afraid to eat enough food to fuel your body’s needs. You’ll burn off those calories with your regular running routine.

    In fact, you may find that if you exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet, your body is able to reach a new state of equilibrium where fats are burned off more quickly and you are able to eat more of your favorite foods without gaining weight. This sort of “permanent metabolism boost” often happens to people who run regularly.

    Sports Drinks and Energy Gels for Runners

    sports-drinks-for-runnersMake sure you hydrate before you start your run, and take a water bottle with you on the road. Consider sports drinks that contain electrolytes and other vitamins and minerals to help replenish your body after your workout is finished.

    Sports drinks and energy gels are a good way to hydrate and replenish your body on the run. Containing fluids, carbohydrates and electrolytes, sports drinks and energy gels are a key part of an overall running nutrition program. Green tea also supports weight loss due to its thermogenic (fat burning) properties.

    Wear Comfortable Running Shoes

    Make sure you have comfortable running shoes with enough cushion. Remember that the top 10 running shoes of all time all have these features in common: they help prevent injury and make exercise enjoyable. Visit your local running shoes store or buy a pair online using a running shoes discount code.

    Barefoot running has become popular in recent years, and while it’s not for everyone, you may wish to learn more about it. Fans of barefoot running say that it is healthier for your feet because it reduces the risk of repetitive stress injuries. You may also want to consider running shoes you can wear without socks.

    With standard running shoes, your heel strikes first. With barefoot running (also known as minimalist running), the ball of your foot hits the ground first. Some say this is how human beings were intended to run.

    If you are wondering about the best way to transition from traditional running shoes to minimalist shoes, keep in mind that hard or thick shoes interfere with ‘proprioception,’ which means how your feet feel the ground. This is probably the most important and overlooked benefit of minimalist running.

    How to Succeed at Running to Lose Weight

    In order to get slim, you have to burn up more calories than you take in. Running to lose weight can be a great way to achieve a healthy body mass index, increase metabolism and take off extra pounds. It can also help give you firm buttocks, which everybody seems to want these days!

    How much running does a person need to lose weight? Everyone is different, but by setting realistic long-term goals and building up to them gradually, you can achieve the weight loss success you desire. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Get started on your own journey today!

    (updated June 26, 2015)