Running has long been regarded as one of the finest kinds of cardiovascular exercise since it is very inexpensive, does not require a gym membership or a lot of equipment, and most of us already know how to do it. But does running help you lose weight? And, if you can’t bear the thought of pounding the pavement, are there any other exercises that are just as effective? Should you suck it up, tie your shoelaces, and hit the treadmill?
Running burns calories …
There’s a reason you’ll see sidewalks full of runners on a bright day – a 150-pound person can be expected to burn. 350 calories for every 30 minutes they run, if they do about a 10 minute mile. It’s more than a brisk walk (154 calories), elliptical (214 calories), or an intense yoga session (297 calories) done at the same time. In addition to burning calories, running has been shown to improve your mood, decrease anxiety and depression, and reduce stress.
But does running burn fat?
According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Fitness, runners who walked more than 3.1 miles per week while adopting specific dietary modifications lost 12.3 pounds of body fat over the course of a year. Those who run less than 3.1 miles per week while maintaining a healthy diet lose 7.83 pounds on average.
Running, as you might expect, has been demonstrated to burn a large amount of fat. However, this does not always tell the complete story.
A calorie deficit, which occurs when your body burns more calories than you consume, is the primary factor in fat loss. For example, if your body requires approximately 2,200 calories per day but only consumes 1,800, you will be in a calorie deficit.
If your body requires 2,200 calories per day and you consume 2,600 calories, you will have a caloric surplus. When you eat too many calories, your body stores them in fatty tissue, generally known as fat.
Regardless of metabolic parameters, the most crucial part of fat loss is consuming less calories per day than your body requires. At this point, the body will begin to seek out alternative sources of energy, specifically the energy stored in your fat cells.
Here’s some good news if you despise running
Running does, in fact, burn fat. But don’t worry if the only thing that scares you away is an angry bear chasing it. There are numerous additional exercises that will help you burn fat, and some of them will burn even more calories than running. According to the findings of this study, one of these approaches, High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT), is particularly effective in burning fat throughout the body.
If you prefer to exercise at home, we’ve selected the best exercise bikes and weighted jump ropes to help you improve your cardio.
There’s more good news if the prospect of cardio makes you squirm. A new study published in the journal Sports Medicine discovered that strength training alone can result in a 1.4 percent reduction in body fat – the same amount as cardio or aerobics.
Strength training will boost your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, by increasing your lean muscle mass. This is the quantity of calories burned by your body while resting, without any additional exercise or movement. Muscle requires more energy to sustain than fat, so having more muscle means your body requires more calories merely to function. (Do you lift at home? Check out the top adjustable dumbbells on the market right now).
It’s important to remember that eating less calories than your body requires leads in a calorie deficit. With muscle mass added, the daily calorie intake that was previously causing you to be in excess may now be causing you to be in deficit. You’ll want to make sure you’re consuming enough to encourage pec and quad growth, so get assistance from a dietitian, sports nutritionist, or professional personal trainer.
Your body composition will change as you gain muscle. Although you will lose inches and fat, the number on the scale may not change as much. But keep in mind that you are growing muscular mass, which is a healthy thing! If you keep a weight diary, one of the best smart scales can provide a more precise picture of what is going on in your body.
Strength training is also beneficial for bone health, injury prevention, and pain relief, in addition to fat loss and beauty. Furthermore, the more powerful you are, the easier it is to move about the world. That doesn’t imply you should stop doing high-intensity, adrenaline-pumping exercise — you’ll want to do enough to keep your cardiovascular system in top shape. Your weekly aim should be 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity.
Here’s what you should do if you enjoy running but aren’t seeing results
If you’re trying to lose fat but aren’t losing weight, start measuring your calorie intake (what you consume) and production (how much you move). Calorie counting applications and activity trackers can provide you with ballpark figures. Regardless of how far you’ve traveled, you may (unknowingly) be consuming too many calories.
If you haven’t already started a strength training routine, now is the time. Strength training, in addition to improving your BMR, is an essential aspect of any runner’s routine, regardless of experience or skill level. Strong legs, hips, and abdominal muscles are necessary for proper running form, range of motion, and injury prevention.
Should you start running to lose weight?
Running, in conjunction with a well-balanced physical exercise program and a strict diet, can result in fat loss. If you enjoy running and want to shed some weight, slap on a pair of sneakers and go for it! Even if reducing weight isn’t one of your goals, running can improve your physical and emotional health in a variety of ways.
If you despise jogging, don’t do it; there are lots of other ways to burn fat without ever setting foot on a treadmill. Keep a calorie deficit, begin a resistance training program, and pick a cardiovascular exercise that you enjoy.