Running for weight loss

Running is a great tool which is used for many different reasons. But today, I only want to discuss the benefits of running for weight loss. Can you lose weight swimming? Yes. Can you lose weight cycling? Yes.

So why should you run? Well, quite simply, it is the most readily accessible form of exercise for beginners. There’s no need for a gym membership and there’s no need for fancy gear – just a pair of trainers and comfortable exercise clothing.

Weight loss requires a simple calculation – burn more calories than you consume (eat & drink). Running helps you to lose weight by increasing the number of calories you burn. Which in turn, help you to stay in a caloric deficit without spending too much time in the gym (I actually prefer to run the roads than the treadmill).

Basics of weight loss

It goes without saying, if you’re starting out, you’re going to have to make a few changes to your lifestyle and diet.

Lifestyle changes

First things first, there are a few things within your lifestyle to address.

  • Sleep more – Sleep is important for both energy and recovery of the muscles. It also plays a big part in weight loss!
  • Drink more water – Water, much like sleep is also important for the recovery of your muscles. It does this by transporting nutrients to the muscles and other cells around the body.
  • Walk more – Walking more is going to help increase your energy expenditure, which directly impacts your weight loss.

Dietary changes

Of course, diet is also important for reaching your weigh loss goals. Make sure to make the following changes to your diet:

  • Avoid Trans Fats – Not all fat is bad fat, but trans fats have been altered in such a way that the body cannot properly digest them.
  • Eat more vegetables – You’re parents/guardians always told you how important it is to eat your greens. That’s because they contain vital vitamins and minerals to help your body function at its best. They’re also low in calories (with the odd exception)!
  • Cook your food yourself – It goes without saying, take-out food is usually pretty unhealthy and greasy. When you cook things yourself, you can avoid all the oil and grease and prepare a healthy meal for yourself (and your family). It’s also character building!

There are plenty more nutritional tips on my website, you can check them out here.

Running – Where to begin

I know, there’s a lot of information on the web, so I want to give you a quick breakdown on where to begin.

  1. Buy some running shoes or trainers – There are many running shoes on the market. I would recommend going to a sports shop where they can perform a gait analysis and recommend the right shoe for you. Decathlon and Sweat Shop can both help with this – along with others.
  2. Get Dressed – Put on your exercising clothes and get your running shoes on
  3. Get Running – Walk outside and jog slowly for 5 minutes. If you feel it’s too easy, run a little faster for 5 more minutes. again, if it’s too easy, up the pace. Do this for 15-20 minutes.

So, that’s it? Yes, that’s really all you need to get started.

If you’re into tracking your running, there are also some applications and devices which can help. I’ve listed some of UK favourites below:

  • Strava – An application for tracking, sharing and analysing your runs.
  • MapMyRun – you guessed it! An application for tracking and mapping your runs
  • Fitbit – An activity tracker, famous for tracking steps and challenges between friends.

I hope today’s blog post has helped you in some way. For more advice, look at my other health and fitness blogs.

If you would like to get some more direct advice or would like to enquire about personal training, send me a tweet at @CalvinWPT or reach me on Facebook.

From your local Online Coach and Personal Trainer in Stockport, Manchester. Let’s achieve your goals together.

Calvin W PT
Personal Trainer & Online Coach

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