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This article discusses running for weight loss and the fact that it might not be the most effective solution for you.
Running is experiencing somewhat of a mini revival in the world these days. Just look on the shelves of any magazine stands and you'll find a wide choice of running publications. Ten years ago there was probably just one - Runners World.
Many of these budding runners want a hobby that helps to improve their fitness at the same time as assisting them in losing weight.
It's a great concept, but unfortunately many more people fail to use it properly than those that manage to use running for weight loss successfully.
Why do so many people get it wrong?
Lets deal with the basics first. We'll use an example beginner who’s called Diane. She's 36 years old, 182lbs, 5ft 6", hasn't exercised in many a year and wants to lose a stone for her friend’s wedding in 3 months time. She's decided that she wants to use running for weight loss, despite the fact that she hates it and hasn't done any running in her adult life.
These are the 3 things that will let Diane down.
Firstly she'll set herself an unrealistic weight loss target and start to quickly get demotivated once she doesn't achieve these goals.
Secondly she'll get herself ready for her first run and set off... running. Because she's so unfit, she'll get tired within a very short amount of time, so she needs to stop and rest. Her chest will start to pound, her throat will tighten and feel as though it's on fire and her legs will quickly become like 2 lead weights that she has to carry along like a ball and chain.
And thirdly she'll lose motivation because...
- The pain she felt during her first run was so off putting that it worried her to go through it again.
- Her joints will begin to get sore and uncomfortable which will mean that she has to rest and miss her scheduled running days which in turn throws her routine out entirely.
- She'll feel down about the poor level of fitness she has and feel like quitting and finding an easier way... and so the cycle continues.
This is the way it should happen...
Diane sets herself some very reasonable weight loss targets perhaps one pound a week which she will achieve through small changes to her diet and using running for weight loss.
She plans to get out running at least three times a week.
On her first 2 weeks she is only going to walk her running route because she hasn't exercised in a long while. Plus doing this means she can enjoy the whole process, maybe listen to her favourite music on an MP3 player or go with one of her friends and chat.
On week three, she has decided to run for 30 seconds and then walk for 3 minutes and repeat for 30 minutes to see how that feels
On week 4 she felt really good and noticed that her fitness wasn't as bad as she thought so she decides to run for a minute and rest for 2 minutes for a total of 30 minutes.
She continues to progress this way until after 9 weeks she can manage to run for 30 minutes without rest. She's not the fastest, but this is what she would like to work on next.
This scenario shows how most people approach running for weight loss and also how it should be tackled. It is a very good way of both improving your levels of fitness and burning calories at the same time, but you have to give it a chance to work, weeks rather a few days.
Why not give running for weight loss a try, it could be the solution for you.