Running for Weight Loss: How and How Much to Run to Burn Fat?

Running for Weight Loss: How and How Much to Run to Burn Fat?

If you want to start running to lose weight, you must follow a few rules.

During running, the body spends a lot of energy. With regular running workouts the metabolism is accelerated, calories are burned faster, and the digestion improves. In addition, running strengthens all the muscles in the body, saturates the circulatory system with oxygen, decreases blood cholesterol, and improves the performance of cardiovascular system.

It's not a secret that running is one of the simplest and most affordable methods of losing weight. At the same time, some people say they run regularly, but can’t see results. The thing is that running for weight loss has many nuances to consider, if you want to get the desired effect.

So, let's figure out how and how much to run to burn fat

7 rules of running for weight loss

1. Run for more than 40 minutes

First 40 minutes of running are supplied by carbohydrates (namely, glycogen - a complex carbohydrate stored in liver and muscles). And only after glycogen storage is depleted the transition to fat-burning phase takes place. That is, to lose weight you need to run for least 50 minutes at an average pace. Perhaps this is the first thing you need to know about this. Therefore, if you are a beginner, you will hardly be able to master 40 minutes at once. For beginners, all experts recommend alternating slow running and fast walking.

For prepared runners, the ideal weight loss method is a long-distance run of at least an hour duration, at a monotonous speed, and heart rate below 150 BPM, which corresponds to low-intensity running.

2. Eat healthy

Often, people believe that runners can eat what they want: “You, runners, can even eat a whole cake and burn these calories during a workout.” Unfortunately, it’s not true. To reduce fat deposits, you need to spend more energy than you consume. This means that any amount of physical activity works for fat burn only in combination with proper eating.

3. Be sure to eat after exercise

Another misconception - if you refuse from post-workout meal and remain hungry after training, you can burn more calories. If you want to use running for weight loss, do not exhaust yourself with starvation. The word “diet” doesn’t mean starvation. A sports diet is a healthy set of foods, their combination and quantity, and avoiding junk and high-calorie foods including fast food, soda, chips, mayonnaise, flour, sugar, overcooked food, snacks on the go and so on. Include In your diet various cereals, fresh vegetables and fruits. Drink plenty of clean water, at least 2 liters per day.

4. Work out regularly

Easy jogging once a week is pleasant, but useful for weight loss. To get rid of extra pounds, run at least 3 times a week. A perfect option is to go jogging every day. Winter, rain or wind are no more a good excuse to cancel training. Modern sports equipment allows you to train in any weather conditions.

5. Alternate different types of training

Long-distance run, interval training of high intensity (for experienced runners), cross-country running, strength exercises, general conditioning exercises - there are many ways to diversify training.

Related: 6 Types of Running Training to Improve the Results

6. Enjoy your workouts

Only by enjoying the process can you quickly achieve results. If every run is a psychological and physical torture for you, then the body will very soon start to resist this stress. It may result in injuries, depressions and invincible laziness. To cope with this, you can use your favorite music in headphones and bright fashionable running outfit.

7. Be patient

Having decided to start running for weight loss, you must clearly understand that the process may take up to 3 months, if you do it with no harm to your health. The term is individual for everyone and depends on many factors: the number of extra pounds you have, the metabolic rate, the number of workouts per week, the absorption of nutrients in the body, metabolic disorders, the desire (or unwillingness) to adhere to a diet.

How to run for weight loss

How to run for weight loss

  • The body burns glycogen for the first 40 minutes. Thus, the first 40-45 minutes of running is a “warm-up” for those who want to burn fat, as fat will burn in the next 10-20 minutes. Run for an hour at a comfortable pace, not too fast and not too slow.
  • Never ignore restoration. You won’t progress without proper rest and muscle restoration. There must be at least one rest day per week. Do not include more than 2 high-intensity workouts per week. At least 50% of your workouts should be long-distance run (lasting for at least 60 minutes).
  • Use cross-country running for 50 to 90 minutes. Such a run requires enough physical preparedness. It combines steady run at a reduced heart rate and interval stretches into the mountain with an increase in heart rate. Thus, you burn a huge number of calories. This technique will give you better results, as the weight can reduce by 30-40% more compared to ordinary stadium running. This option is not suitable for beginners.
  • Control your breathing, do not close your mouth while running, as you do when walking. Try to inhale with your mouth and nose at the same time: so, you can get more oxygen with each inhalation and help your muscles last longer without acidification.
  • Watch your heart rate. Aerobic exercise is effective only if the heart rate is within the target zone. The calculation is the following; 220 minus your age. The heart rate during training should not exceed 80-90% of this value. The heart rate for a long-distance run should never exceed 170 BPM. If your sports watch shows the pulse has already risen above 160, slow down.
  • Pick the right running shoes. To runners with excess weight it is especially important to use sneakers with reinforced cushioning. This is extremely important for joints integrity. If you have excess weight, you shouldn’t even try running like professional athletes (from the front of the foot). Land on the middle of the foot and choose park paths or stadium with soft coating for your training.

Contraindications to running for weight loss

Before you start running to burn fat, plan a visit to a therapist to find out if you have any contraindications. Overweight people, as a rule, have more contraindications than others. People with heart diseases, hypertension, bronchial asthma, and peptic ulcer should avoid running. It is recommended to pause workouts after cavitary surgical interventions. It is not recommended to run a lot, if you have varicose veins stage 2 and more.

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