Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise that a lot of people often do for weight loss and to keep fit.
Some women may go for an evening jog around their communities while some like the luxury of a treadmill either at home or at the gym.
If you are thinking about taking up running, it can be a great tool in the quest to lose weight naturally and improve your cardiovascular system.
By adding running to your daily lifestyle at least 3 times per week, you can create a larger calorie deficit to burn off those unwanted belly fats and add 3 years to your life. Some studies have also suggested that regular running could build strong bones and reduce the risk of arthritis.
As you can see, there are many benefits to putting on your jogging shoes to go for a mile run. According to Runners’ World, running burns 50% more calories than walking the same distance. Plus, for every mile, you run you can expect to burn an average of 100 calories.
But before you get started, there are a few important things you need to know to maximize your weight loss results.
What You Should Know Before You Start Running To Lose Those Extra Pounds
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In every situation, we always have some anomalies.
Running to lose weight is no exception.
Not every one that gears up and runs their hearts out gets the same results. Unfortunately, some people who start running find themselves putting on the pounds instead of getting rid of it.
Shocking but true!
In order to shed excess pounds, you must burn more calories than you consume. It is vital that you track how many calories you eat daily so you can know if you are creating the necessary deficit for fat loss.
It may seem a bit tedious but it is very important.
They feel tired and drained and automatically they assumed that all that sweat must be equivalent to a ton of calories burned from the run.
9 out of 10 times it is not so.
Even your cardio machine maybe giving you inflated numbers. According to Jay Cardiello, a Shape.com editor, most cardio machines overestimating your calorie burn by up to 42 percent.
Which is the unfortunate trap must runners fall in.
But do you know what is increased after a long run?
Oh yea, I just ran for an hour and burn 700 calories…
Dang, I m so hungry now. I can have a burger and some fries and I’ll be fine… YAY!
The above scenario is not an isolated case.
Research has found that many people like to reward themselves thinking that their bodies need more fuel. This is highly unlikely.
Unless you are some professional athlete with extreme training regimes, your muscles and liver will already have enough glycogen to power you through your running exercises.
Therefore there’s no need for a big ‘reward’ to make up for lost fuel. Rewarding yourself will just make your run null and void by canceling out the calorie burn you just worked so hard for.
So How Can Running Help You Lose Weight While Improving Your Heart Simultaneously?
There are quite a few things you can do to ensure that you get the most from your running exercises.
Below are some tips to follow that will help you to maximize fat burn while improving your heart, avoid injuries, get better over time and reach your fitness goals.
1. Start Off By Setting Small Goals
Maybe your objective is to run a 5K marathon someday.
The truth is, if you are just starting out, getting to the level of running a 5K will take some amount of time and consistent training.
So the best thing to do is to set small goals with regards to time and distance.
You could start off with small goals such as:
- Running a quarter mile without stopping in 3 weeks
- Running a quarter-mile in x amount of time in another 2 weeks
- Improve your distance to half a mile without stopping
Do you get the idea?
Continue setting small goals and accomplishing them until you get to run 5k without stopping and keep improving your time.
2. Make Sure You Have Proper Running Gear
When it comes to running, not just for fat loss but in general, it is very important to have the proper attire.
This is especially true if you are not running in a controlled environment such as on a track field.
If you are not dressed properly, you risk injuring yourself which will not only set you back from achieving your goal but can prove to be very painful.
For example, if you wear the wrong sock or shoe, you could get blisters all over your feet that make something as simple as walking very uncomfortable.
Clothing is also very important. You want to wear clothing that will keep you dry and comfortable during your run.
Go for fabrics that are breathable and will not retain your sweat. Try to avoid materials such as cotton because once they get wet, they stay wet.
3. Plan Your Meals Around Your Jogging Time.
In order to reduce or prevent that hunger pang that normally comes after running it is best to have your meals on schedule.
Try to have a meal at least one hour before you go for a jog.
This will ensure that you are not running on an empty tank.
Another important thing to do is to have a protein shake that includes some simple carbs such as a banana prepared for your post-run meal.
You want to have this shake within 20 minutes after your run.
This shake will help to replace some of the electrolytes you just lost and the protein will ease your hunger until you get to eat another meal which should be comprised of whole foods. This meal could be had an hour later.
4. Wear A Heart Rate Monitor
A good heart rate monitor will give you an estimate of how intense your workout or running really is.
They measure your cardiovascular capacity as well as physiological stress while you are very active.
The harder your exercise and in this case, the faster you run, the higher your heart rate will be.
Without a heart rate monitor, it is near impossible to know with absolute certainty how well you are doing in terms of improving your heart’s health.
When you wear a monitor, you can track your heart rate results (beats/minute) over a selected period of time.
What you should find is that the more you run, the longer it will take to reach at least 80% of your maximum heart rate.
This simply means that you are getting fitter and a running pace that used to challenge you when you just got started is no longer challenging.
So to keep improving, you will need to push yourself a tad bit more.
4. Get Some Rest
Quantity does not always mean QUALITY.
Don’t follow the crowd and get up every day to go for a run. Your body need to rest.
Resting is how your body get to recuperate from the stress that you placed on it.
There are also other benefits to resting which include increased concentration, memory function, and overall mood.
Medical experts recommend that you sleep for at least 8 hours at night so that your body can experience the full benefits of muscle recovery.
According to Bodybuilding.com, your growth hormone levels that assist in muscle recovery are at their highest when you sleep.
While not all of us can get 8 hours of sleep per night due to various factors, it is important that you at least ensure that you are resting from your running exercises.
A good pattern would be going for a run every other day, taking a day off between.
You’ll also find that by resting more, your sessions will be a whole lot more energized and fun because you won’t be drained and stressed out from the previous day’s run.
Running can be a great tool for fat loss when done right. If you want to get in shape and you are thinking about adding running to your lifestyle, make sure you follow the tips above.
Ensure that you are nourishing your body with proper food, get the right running gear, set small goals and make sure to get some needed rest after each session.