When people start looking for exercises to lose weight, running is often one of the first things they try because it’s simple enough to do and requires no equipment. However, if you’ve been running but are not shedding any pounds, you may be making some common mistakes.
In this article we will cover some of the benefits of running for weight loss, along with some common mistakes and suggestions for maximizing weight loss through running.
If you are running at a high intensity your body will experience an “after-burn effect,” burning more calories as your body tries to replace the oxygen deficit your running has caused. This means a more effective workout as you can burn more calories per workout.
Since the average person can run 2-3 times further than they can walk in the same amount of time, you can burn more calories in a shorter period of time in comparison to walking the same distance.
Since running requires no equipment and can be done almost anywhere, it makes this exercise very convenient.
If you’re not getting the results you are seeking by running for weight loss, then you might be making some of these mistakes:
After burning a lot of calories during your workout, you might feel very hungry. It’s important to refuel yourself by making healthy choices – eating junk food post-workout defeats the purpose of running in the first place. The excess calories as well as the blood sugar crash afterward will leave you hungry and craving more food. Instead, eat lean protein and healthy starches as your post-workout meal.
If you find you’re not getting the weight-loss results you want, have a look at the number of times you are running in a week. One 30-minute run per week will not help you burn enough calories to lose weight. If you want to lose weight you will need to run at least 3 to 4 times a week, in conjunction with a proper diet.
If you do the same level of intensity and duration each time you work out, your body will adapt to this level of workout. This means you will hit a weight-loss plateau. To avoid this, try increasing the intensity or duration of the workout.
Your body burns fat when you are running at a pace that is approximately 65% of your maximum heart rate. This “feels” like a 5 out of 10 if you count 10 as a maximal effort. The longer you can maintain this rate of exercise and remain in the fat-burning zone, the more calories you will burn.