Becoming Fit And Slim –Running For Weight Loss – Part 1

A Guide On How To Run And Lose Weight

1. Getting Started

Not only is it possible to lose weight by running, but running actually makes it easier to lose weight and be fit and slim. We lose weight by burning up calories (the fat) and running is universally recognized as one of the best (if not the best!) and most perfect way not only to accomplish this, but to KEEP OFF those dangerous unwanted pounds!

Running does not only burn up calories, ripping away that belly fat, but it also “revs” up your metabolism – it Running For Weight Loss
gets it going at a faster rate! But it does not stop there! Even after your run is over, your metabolism still keeps on working at that higher rate, reminding me very much of that The Energizer Bunny star of over 100 Commercials: “He just keeps going and going and going”. Yes, with running you keep on burning more calories, even though you have stopped running!

And don’t panic about running as your weight loss exercise! About the only thing it requires is some discipline and consistency. If finding the time is a major concern, you are going to be able to find the time to do so and it won’t be onerous or arduous. Apart from anything else, it is most “natural” to run, very easy to do, can be done almost anywhere, at any time and is neither costly nor restrictive. It is one of the most vigorous, dynamic, intense and all encompassing activities in which you can engage, and is thus is a very effective exercise activity if you want to lose weight.

Additionally, you do not have to worry about working up turbocharged speeds. Studies show that the number of calories burnt during fitness running does not depend on the speed of the runner, the most important factor in weight loss being the weight of the runner. For a “lighter” person running a particular distance in a certain time, the “weight loss” achieved is less than that achieved by a “heavier” person running the same distance in the same time. The “fatter” you are, the more your weight loss is going to be! And isn’t that what you want?

When running, the average person “burns” about 100 calories each mile, while for other exercise activities such as walking, bicycling, normal swimming, etc., the number of calories ”burnt off” is significantly less in a corresponding amount of time. Fitness running therefore provides, in many cases, a superior method of losing weight. Your choice therefore for running as a means of losing weight, becoming fit and slim and achieving health and wellbeing, is not only something that you can do, but is an excellent one overall!

Detailed information for running beginners can be found elsewhere on this site. For your initial comfort, it is essential that you realize that you do not have to start off on the first day by running 4 or 5 miles! In fact, with running, you have to start very slowly – which means that you do not run at first but you walk! The objective here is to allow your body to get used to this new physical activity and to help build up your stamina.

Most beginners make the serious (and often very painful!) mistake of trying to take off like a rocket – of going at it very hard and with a great intensity. However, this will lead to a great deal of pain and soreness and perhaps even worse – some serious injury like a torn ligament and from the way you feel, you will not have to be told that that approach was a mistake!

Some soreness and pain and breathing discomfort do occur when you start to run, but they are manageable and bearable, and do not immobilize you because of their intensity. Starting slowly and easily, allows you to continue through all the discomfort, instead of quitting in agony and disgust! So you take it “slow and easy” at first.

So you start by walking 20-30 minutes, a few times a week and after a few weeks of doing this repeatedly, and observing decreasing states of soreness, pain and discomfort, you start doing some faster walking intervals. You walk quickly for 2 or 3 minutes, alternating these “high” activity levels with slower walking periods.

When you have done this walking routine for a few weeks, you will feel ready to run. Your tendons will have become much stronger and your muscles will have developed more flexibility. The next step is to slowly speed up your brisk walking to running.The soreness and pain should have largely gone away, and you can now begin to incorporate running in your routine.

You do this by a combination of running and walking – you “warm up” with a walk for 5-10 minutes, and then jog for a minute or two, alternating these with walking rest periods. To avoid injury, it is also important that you do some stretching exercises both before and after the run. Start and finish your run with a brisk walk. Proper running shoes are also essential. The importance of this will not be discussed here but advice on this matter is provided elsewhere on this site.

To lose weight effectively and efficiently, the recommendation is to increase physical activity levels (running) progressively to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. Some suggest that for maximum benefit, this could be upped to about to 200-300 minutes per week, or for about 60 minutes five days a week. Extensive guidelines for the entire process of starting to run, can be found elsewhere on this site.

Here you are now ready to start on your serious running routine for weight loss and become fit and slim. A word of caution here however. Your running should not be just for the purpose of losing weight. There are many different reasons why people run and you can get a lot more satisfaction out of your running if you broaden your running perspective rather than if you are just looking at the scales.

While you can be happy at losing weight for example, your pleasure can be increased if your clothes fit better or you can get into smaller sizes, particularly if you are not losing as much weight as you would like or you are not losing weight at all! You might just be losing fat while gaining and toning up your muscles. Look also at how you feel. You should feel an increased energy level and be much calmer and relaxed.

Here follows some helpful advice with respect to things you should do, precautions you should take or common practices that you should observe. These will serve to guide you along the way to losing weight by running. However, so as not to further ravage the attention span of readers at this point, these will form the subject matter of future posts, Parts 2, 3 and 4.

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