Lifestyle Design

Running To Lose Weight

Losing weight is perhaps one of the most difficult challenges we face.  Often it involves making huge dietary changes and incorporating a fitness or exercise routine.  The good news is that running to lose weight will amplify your weight loss efforts because out of all the types of exercise out there, running is amongst the top calorie burners.

How Many Calories Do You Burn?

How many calories running burns depends on how much you weigh, how far you run and how fast you run.  The farther and faster you run, the more calories you burn.  That being said, there are some general calculations you can make if you’re the type of person who likes to know the data.  To calculate how many calories you burn per mile you would multiply .75 by your weight in pounds.  So if you weighed 150 pounds the calculation would be .75 X 150 or 112.5 calories per mile.  Walking one mile would result in 79.5 calories.

Running to Lose Weight, Getting Started

Whether you’re a beginning runner or you’ve run before it’s important to remember a few things.

  • Start small.  Running, while it’s a great way to burn calories and lose weight, can be hard on your body.  Hopping up off the couch and running five miles may burn about 600 calories but it’ll also put you back on the couch for a week or so.  Start small and you’re sure to be successful and it’ll be easier to get back out there the next day.  There is no right distance to start with however many people begin with a mile. It’s a nice distance and it is possible to jog the entire distance.

However because it’ll only take you about 10 to 15 minutes to complete a mile jogging, running, or walking, and most doctors recommend about 30 minutes of exercise daily, three miles may be a better distance.  If you choose to begin with three miles, consider using a walk/run format.  With this type of format you may walk five minutes, run one minute for the duration.  As you get stronger physically you can increase the time you run and decrease the time you walk until you’re running the full three miles.

  • Wear good shoes.  Running shoes are incredibly important.  The right running shoe will support your foot and place you in optimal running form so you can avoid injury.
  • Consider buying a heart rate monitor and a stop watch.  A heart rate monitor will help you stay in your target zone, for optimal weight loss, and a stop watch will help you track how much time you run and how much time you walk.
  • Set goals.  While it’s important to start small, there’s nothing better than aiming for a large goal to help you stay motivated.  For example, if you’re just starting out and you’re employing the walk/run program then your ultimate goal may be to be able to run the entire three mile distance in three months.
  • Be safe.  Run with other people, stick to a planned route, if you’re running alone tell other people where you’ll be and when you’ll be back.  If you’re running alone, carry a cell phone and pepper spray and always follow the traffic rules.

Running for weight loss is a sure fire way to amplify your weight loss efforts.  It’s good for your heart and your waistline and by following a few of the tips mentioned above you’ll be able to lose that weight safely and quickly.

photo credit by mikebaird

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