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Running for Weight Loss - Essentials Guide

By Born Tough on

1. Running for Weight Loss

Running is by far the most popular physical exercise in the world. It is an excellent exercise for those who do not enjoy working out in a gym. Running is one of the most convenient ways to lose weight.

What is it about running that makes it a good workout? It incorporates complete physical movements and has a variety of health benefits.

After conducting an investigation in 2012, Paul Williams of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab discovered,

“Runners were healthier and leaner who participated in the same amount as any other sort of exercise.”

Swimming, cycling, or a similar activity help people to lose more fat, but not at the rate running does compare to other exercises.

Running is the preferred method to lose weight over other types of exercise since it is easy to follow and requires no special equipment, except for a pair of good shoes.

However, there is a strategy to doing a run. While you can begin running at any time, a poor form can delay your progress and may even put your weight loss goal at risk.

Many people find it difficult to lose weight and even more difficult to maintain weight after losing excess fat. The majority of people who lose weight regain it after two to three years. A lower rate of calories burned can also be the reason for regaining weight after returning to a normal eating pattern upon finishing a weight loss program. Extremely low calorie diets and quick weight loss plans are not recommended.

The majority of people who lose substantial amounts of weight and manage to stay thin are active in sports or other physical activities.

Members of the National Weight Control Registry participated in a study, they had all dropped at least 30 lbs and maintained weight loss for at least one year. 90% of these individuals claimed that they exercised on a regular basis, an average member burning more than 2,600 calories each week during their workouts.

2. How Many Calories Does Running Burn?

A pound of fat has around 3,500 calories. Running one mile burns approximately 100 calories on average. If you want to shed one pound of fat, you should run 35 to 40 miles each day to lose one pound every week, which means running five to seven miles everyday.

According to Harvard Health Publications:
“In 30 minutes, an individual weighing 57kg (125 lbs) will burn 300 calories if they run at a speed of 6 mph (10 minutes per mile) for 30 minutes.”

“The same pace and distance run by a 70kg (155 lb) person will burn 372 calories, whereas running the same pace and distance run by an 84kg (185 lb) person will burn 444 calories, and so on.”

3. How to Start Running to Lose Weight

  • When you are just getting started with weight loss running, it is essential to start slow.
  • Starting too quickly and too early can be mentally and physically exhausting.
  • Paying attention to your diet will increase the chances of seeing positive results. If you want to lose weight, you should limit your calorie intake while still eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
    • Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits.
    • Whole grains should be prioritized.
    • Reduce your intake of processed foods.
    • Remove all extra sweets from your diet.
    • Consume fats that are good for you.
  • Running intensity can be increased by including a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) session; this involves highly intense, repetitive motions followed by periods of recovery. HIIT workouts, especially after training, have been shown to burn more calories than regular exercises. You can sprint for a set amount of time, then run at a slow speed and repeat the process.
  • It is important to add strength and stretch training, it allows your muscles to burn more calories even when you're not exercising intensely and also to reduces the chances of injury when running.

4. How does HIIT Running Help with Weight Loss

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) encourages

"loss of belly fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass."

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, moderately active people who participated in seven sessions of high-intensity interval training over a two-weeks period saw significant increases in fat burning. Although not every run should be an interval session, at least one high-intensity interval training session per week should be included.

5. Benefits of HIIT Running to Lose Weight

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) aerobic workouts can also help build muscle mass if you do it with the right techniques and weights.
  •  For diabetics, a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio workout can also help to lower blood sugar levels. As reported in a study, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) reduces blood sugar levels in diabetes patients while also improving insulin resistance when compared to regular exercises.
  • Oxygen consumption capacity is increased as a result of a HIIT aerobic session. According to a study, performing a high-intensity workout for 20 minutes every day for five weeks increases an individual's oxygen intake by 9%.
  • HIIT cardiovascular workouts do not often require using any special workout equipment.
  • High intensity involves pushing as hard as you possibly can and giving the workout everything you've got within a short amount of time, such as 30 to 40 seconds, and then lower the intensity for a shorter period, typically 15 to 20 seconds. After this, you repeat the process again.

6. Best HIIT Exercises for Weight Loss

One of the most significant benefits of high-intensity interval training is that HIIT workouts can be adjusted to include any type of exercise. Whether you want to jog, cycle, swim, lift weights, or do weight training, you can incorporate your favorite activities to make them into a high-intensity interval training session.

6.1. Burpees

  • Get in a semi squat position.
  • Maintain a neutral spine.
  • Put all your weight on your heels, squeeze back your shoulders, buttocks pulled out and arms forward.
  • Squat thrust and put your palms on the floor. Legs extended behind to support the lower body. Keep your toes flexed.
  • Flex your elbows, reach the ground with your chest, then squat thrust back up.
  • Frog jump by bringing both legs close to your palms then leap from your squat by extending your hands above your head.

6.2. Mountain Climber

  • Get into a plank position. Hands should be apart slightly wider than shoulder-width with your core engaged. Keep your elbows directly below your shoulders.
  • Bring your right knee in towards your chest.
  • Reposition the right leg and bring the left knee in towards your chest.
  • Reposition your left leg.
  • Do this without elevating your hips.

6.3. High Knees

  • Stand straight. Face straight ahead with your legs shoulder-width apart.
  • Jump, raise your right knee, and rest on your right foot.
  • Jump, raise your left knee, and rest on your left foot.
  • Do this repeatedly and quickly. Like spot jogging but with higher knees.
  • Do the exercise with your arms stretched in front of you and your knees touching your palms.

6.4. Jumping Lunges

  • Keep your legs shoulder-width apart.
  • Legs in front, spine straight, knees flexed and down.
  • Your right femur should be parallel to the floor.
  • Step forward with your right legs, keeping your left femur parallel to the floor.
  • Before touching the ground, put your left leg forward.
  • Repeat with higher intensity.

6.5. Bicycle Crunches

  • Lay on your back and raise your head. Place your hands behind your neck to support your head.
  • Keep your legs off the floor with the knees bent
  • Extend your right leg out. Keep your foot off the floor.
  • Turn your arms and shoulders to touch your right elbow to your left knee.
  • Inhale and return to the start.
  • After extending your left leg, twist your upper torso to touch your left elbow to your right knee.
  • Inhale and return to the start.
  • Repeat with higher intensity.

7. A Healthy Diet for Runners

Running requires a lot of energy. To maintain a healthy diet, you need to add carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to your diet to ensure that you are consuming enough antioxidants and micronutrients.

According to a study from the Institute of Medicine, people should consume 45 to 65% carbohydrates,10 to 35% protein and 20 to 35% fat. Runners should follow a balanced diet, counting the calories to ensure they are consuming enough for their running program.

Especially if you are in training and are on a longer run, you will need more calories.

  • Stock up your fridge with real food.
    • Vegetables (greens especially)
    • Fruits (fresh juices)
    • Nuts
    • Beans
    • Organic meats
    • Eggs
  • Eat plenty of salads
  • Low sugar intake.
  • Being on a diet doesn't mean you can’t have a cheat day. You can have your favorite cheeseburger to fulfill the carbohydrates consumption.
  • Drink detox water
  • Take green tea on an empty stomach with lemon or honey in it.

8. Takeaway

Running is arguably one of the best weight loss exercise, but it can be time-consuming. To burn large amounts of fat in less time, it is best to make your simple running routines a bit more intense through HIIT running workouts. In addition to fat burn, you will get amazing health benefits through HIIT running. Take your fitness level to the next level with HIIT running.

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