It is possible to lose weight by running. But how often and how much you have to walk differs from person to person.
If you’re running to lose weight, it’s essential to start slowly, exercise, and eat healthily.
As soon as you do all of this and are comfortable with your training, you can gradually increase the intensity.
Not only is running suitable for your circulatory system, but it can also help you lose weight. How much you have to walk to lose weight depends on several factors. Among other things: your fitness level, your current weight, your target weight, and your diet. In the following, we have summarized how you can start running and how often you should go running to lose weight.
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Does Running Help You Lose Weight?
To lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit. This means that you eat fewer calories every day than you burn. Since many calories are burned while running, this type of exercise can help meet such a deficit. The exact number of calories you burn while running depends on several factors, including your weight, speed, length of runs, and age.
In a study in 2013, researchers compared the effects of running and walking. They found that runners lost significantly more weight. The study examined the physical activities of 45,000 walkers and runners over more than six years. The research team found that men and heavier women, in particular, lost more weight while running than they did while walking.
Here are some tips on how to start running to lose weight.
When you first start running, it is essential to take it slow. You shouldn’t overdo yourself at the beginning. This is the only way to avoid injuries or burnout. “It’s essential to give the body time to recover from the stress,” says Katherine Beals. She is a Professor of Nutrition and Physiology at the University of Utah, USA. If you start too quickly, it can also be a mental challenge for you. It could be that you don’t enjoy it anymore, says running coach Karen Dunn.
One way to start slowly is with the run-walk-run method. In this training method, you take turns running and walking. For a person who is new to running and trying to lose weight, there is a good exercise plan that Dunn recommends. You should take a day of rest between the individual training units. As soon as you get used to running for more extended periods, you can gradually increase the duration and speed. According to Dunn, a good rule of thumb: Do not increase the pace or the distance by more than ten percent per week.
|Week 1||Running: 5 minutes|
Running : 1 minute
|Break||Run: 4 minutes|
Race: 2 minutes
|Break||Run: 3 minutes|
Race: 3 minutes
|Week 2||Run: 2 minutes|
Race: 4 minutes
|Break||Run: 1 minute|
Race: 5 minutes
|Break||Race: 8 minutes|
Run: 3 minutes
|Week 3||Race: 10 minutes|
Run: 2 minutes
|Break||Race: 4 minutes|
Run: 2 minutes
|Break||Race: 20 minutes|
Run: 2 minutes
Race: 8 minutes
|Week 4||Race: 25 minutes|
Run: 1 minute
Race: 4 minutes
|Break||Race: 30 minutes||Break||Race: 30 minutes|
You will get better results if you pay attention to your diet in addition to running. “If I don’t change my diet, running alone won’t result in significant weight loss. You have to combine the two,” says nutritionist Katherine Beals. For a small study from 2009, overweight men and women exercised five times a week for twelve weeks. It found that those who also followed a healthy diet lost more weight. A further study, also from 2009, showed the same thing: Obese adults lost more weight in the long term if they followed a combined food and exercise instead of just a pure diet program.
If you reduce your caloric intake to lose weight, it is essential to make sure that you are still eating a well-balanced diet. Reducing calories too much can mean your body doesn’t have enough strength to exercise, says Beals. Here are some very general tips for a healthy diet:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Focus on whole grains
- Eat more healthy fats
- Avoid finished products
Integrate Strength Training Into Your Training Plan
Weight training reduces the risk of running injuries. It can also boost your metabolism so that your built muscles burn more calories even when you are resting. This was the result of an investigation from 2009. A research team found that regular strength training can increase resting metabolic rate, muscle strength, and total lean mass in men and women.
To start with strength training, you should first try out exercises with your body weight. These include, for example, squats, push-ups, forearm supports, pull-ups. Once you are comfortable with the activities, you can slowly add weights. The same applies here: first add lighter weights and then gradually increase.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one way to increase the intensity of your run. In this type of training, short time intervals are completed with very high intensity, followed by quick recovery units less intense. You can sprint for a specific time for such training, jog at a light pace and repeat the whole thing several times. HIIT training usually burns more calories than conventional training. This is especially true for the time after training.
Another small study found something similar. The researchers found that women who completed sprint interval training for six weeks lost an average of eight percent of their body fat. Her waist size decreased by an average of 3.5 percent. During this study, the women’s training consisted of 30-second sprints followed by a four-minute break three times a week.
So How Much Should You Run To Lose Weight?
Every person is different. Therefore, there is no specific prescribed running rule with which you can lose weight. The number on the scales shouldn’t be your only focus either. Some people who start running find that they look narrower and more trained, even if their weight hasn’t changed significantly. “I think over-focusing on the scales can never be beneficial,” says Katherine Beal. Running and eating a healthy diet offer many benefits beyond weight loss. For example, running can improve mood, improve heart health, and improve overall health.
It is necessary: Before you start a weight loss or exercise program, you should discuss it with a doctor. Above all, you should make sure to start slowly if you are new to running. Plus, if you don’t overdo yourself, you’re more likely to have fun running and stick to your training schedule. Also, pay attention to an accompanying healthy diet, which contributes to lightening the mood and the best possible training effect.