Most people want a lean, muscular body. Weight loss through running is a fabulous way to burn fat and drop pounds in quick order. You burn 100 calories for every mile that you run, and even more than that if you’re overweight to begin with. Running helps you to shed pounds rapidly, and at the same time, you’re able to build up and tone your muscles.
These are four ways to capitalize on weight loss through running:
1. Run Often
Experts say that you should run for at least an hour and fifteen minutes every week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dedicating this amount of time can help burn calories, improve heart health, and drop the pounds. That time doesn’t have to be spent all at once in one single, long run – a series of fifteen-minute jaunts around the track can do the trick just as well.
If you’re feeling extremely motivated, it’s totally okay to run longer. You might set a goal to run sixty minutes a day, six days a week, but that’s something to aspire to – don’t expect that sort of performance right out of the gate. Weight loss through running is also a work in progress.
2. Lift Weights to Lose Weight
Do strength training twice a week, working the major muscle groups. Strengthening your legs, abs, chest, shoulders and arms will help build muscle mass, which in turn burns more calories during aerobic activity. Strength training is especially important if you’re dieting, because people who try to lose weight by dieting alone tend to metabolize fat and muscle. If you’re working out on a regular basis in addition to running, your muscle won’t be destroyed, and you’ll retain the trim, muscular form you’re looking for while shedding the excess fat.
Strength training in concert can help you to boost your resting metabolism, which helps with weight management and weight loss through running. It’s important to work out your whole body, not just your legs. Balanced strength training can increase your endurance, enhance your power output, and even enhance your speed.
Be careful not to lift weights that are too heavy, or to lift more often than you do aerobic exercise. That’s a way to bulk up, which is contrary to your goal of being lean.
3. Run Longer
Every time you run, try to increase the distance you cover. The farther you run, the more calories you burn, and the more weight you lose. Try not to increase your distance more than 10% per week, though. If you increase your distances too far, too fast, you’re likely to fall victim to injury and increased fatigue, which can sideline your entire training program.
Set goals for how far you want to run, and for how long. The longer you run, the more calories you’ll burn. A rule of thumb for calculating the calories burned per mile on a run is to multiply your weight in pounds by 0.75. By this formula, a person who weighs 150 pounds burns 112.5 calories per mile.
4. Run Faster
Running, especially running at speed, is a high-intensity exercise. The higher the intensity, the more “afterburn” you’ll get. In fact, a long-term study has shown that calories burned through running led to 90% more weight loss than calories burned through walking. That’s because the intensity is so much higher.
The intensity of your run can be affected by your speed and by the terrain. Rough, steep terrain will necessarily burn more calories during weight loss through running. To replicate the effects of rough terrain if you’re stuck running indoors, use a treadmill with an incline. The steeper the incline, the more calories you’ll burn.