Running for Weight Loss
Many people choose to go running for weight loss since it is an excellent way to burn calories, improve your metabolism, make your exercise more efficient
Benefits of Running for Weight Loss
The top benefits of running for weight loss include controlling your appetite, improving your metabolic speed, burning off calories, saving time, making exercise more convenient, and even improving your dietary habits.
When you participate in a high-intensity exercise, such as running your body’s metabolic speed increases. In other words, it naturally burns more calories and keeps your body in an elevated state of fat-burning, even long after your exercise is finished. Over time, you can increase your resting metabolic rate through running, which will keep your “machine” operating more efficiently, even while you work, eat, relax and sleep!
For people who want to lose weight, the primary goal of running is to burn calories, which will eventually result in shedding that nasty weight. If you try a run-walk strategy, the results are even more noticeable. Elevating and dropping your heart rate, and interrupting strenuous exercise with periods of rest, can help your body boost its calorie-burning ability by being more reactive and dynamic. Aside from this, running is also known to be an antidepressant in nature!
Protects Heart Health
Running is an excellent way to keep your cardiovascular system in shape. Increasing your heart rate can work to strengthen the blood vessels and arteries, essentially giving your vascular system a workout, while also helping to keep your resting heart rate and blood pressure lower, which reduces strain on the cardiovascular system over the long term. Regular exercise in the form of running can also help lower cholesterol and lower your risk of diabetes.
Burning Carbs vs Burning Fat
When you exercise, the ratio of carbs and fat your body uses for fuel can change depending on the speed, duration, and intensity of the workout. Think of it in this way:
- For high-intensity running, the body relies more on carbs simply because they’re a quicker source of energy. They provide your body with the burst of energy it needs when launching something like a sprint. It’s like putting a match to paper: it burns hotter and faster but then is quickly over.
- For longer, lower-intensity runs, your body gradually shifts from carbs to fat. While fats may not be as immediate a fuel source, they are more sustainable. In this sense, burning fat is more like lighting a candle: it burns steadier and longer.
If your goal is to burn fat, it would seem reasonable to work out at a slower but steady pace, right? Not necessarily. While exercising at a lower intensity will allow you to burn a greater proportion of calories from fat, working out at a higher intensity means that you’re burning more calories overall.
An important part of your running training involves no running at all. Runners who lose weight and keep it off make strength training part of their regular routine.
Not only will you burn calories while you’re strength training, but your increased lean muscle mass will improve your running performance, so you’ll be able to run faster and longer, and burn more calories when running. Strength training also helps prevent running injuries, so you’ll be able to maintain your commitment to exercise by staying injury-free.