A Summary Guide On How To Run And Lose Weight And Be Fit And Slim
No matter what your program is for losing weight and becoming fit and slim, it involves recognition and the application of two critical factors, namely exercise and proper dieting. Getting sufficient rest is also an important factor which often tends to be overlooked. Those pounds (fats, calories) are â€œput onâ€ because you eat and therefore if you want to reduce their numbers, you have to eat in a way (proper dieting) which will mitigate this.
Likewise, in conjunction with not putting on those unhealthy pounds, you need to get rid of (burn off) those bad ones that are already there (and to which you refer as being â€œoverweightâ€), building up muscles instead. Exercise, which should be a routine activity, provides the means for this as well as assisting in the control of those calories you take in by eating.
It is essential however before embarking on your weight loss program (exercise and dieting), that you consult with your physician to determine whether or not you are healthy enough to undertake the dieting and the kind and level of physical activities such as running, which your program might require. This is advisable in all conditions (and is extensively discussed elsewhere on this site) but is especially so if you are an â€œolderâ€ person (40+?) and/or have not been â€œphysically activeâ€.
In addition to â€œmedical clearanceâ€, running also requires some â€œrunning gear clearanceâ€ in the form of a good pair of shoes and this, like your physical condition, you must be careful about. An improper pair of running shoes can quickly and effectively cut short your running plans and/or cause irreversible future damage to joints and limbs. If you are not sure what is â€œrightâ€ for you, consult and get help on this from a specialist shoe store. With these two â€œclearancesâ€, you can be ready to run, lose weight and become fit and slim!
However at this point it is fair to ask why running ? Why not some other form of exercise? The short answer is that it has been shown that running is one of the most perfect ways to lose that excess weight and provides, in many cases, a superior method of doing so. It is also a relatively rapid, inexpensive, and for many people, a convenient and easily accessible way to losing weight.
At a very simplistic level. all you have to do is outfit yourself with a comfortable pair of running shoes and relevant clothing, arm yourself with determination and resolveâ€“ and yes, liquids too! – kick up your perseverance several notches, go out the door, turn right or left â€“ and begin to run!
Understanding the â€œbasicsâ€ (why you do what you do!) behind what you are about to attempt (losing weight by running) is also helpful as such knowledge will better arm you with the wherewithal to get through some â€œrough passagesâ€ which will emerge as your running routine becomes extended. You will more likely be able to embark upon and/or maintain an activity or course of action if you are aware of the reasons for and the consequences of doing (or not doing!) so, particularly in circumstances which might not be encouraging, favorable or which cause you some physical discomfort.This will also ensure that you temper your weight loss expectations (these will undoubtedly be high!) with a level of reality!
Weight loss is associated with â€œburning upâ€œ calories and weight gain is associated with â€œconsumingâ€ (taking in) calories. The foundation principle of any weight loss program therefore is that to lose some â€œpoundsâ€ (weight) you have to â€œburn offâ€ more calories (â€œfatsâ€) than you â€œtake inâ€ when you consume food material.
A balanced and complete approach therefore to achieving this is to: a) maintain a healthy, low-calorie diet and, b) undertake some form of cardiovascular exercise to â€œburn offâ€ those unwanted calories. The common assumption is that you will lose a pound for every 3,500 calories that you are able to burn off. Relevant literature suggests that you can get rid of a pound of belly fat in one week if either through exercise or food intake control you decrease your daily caloric intake by 500!
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 â€œlighterâ€ person running a particular distance in a certain time, the weight loss achieved, is less than that achieved by a â€œheavierâ€ person running the same distance in the same time. It is worthwhile noting also, that as you lose weight and become more fit and slim, you are able to run faster, and that different people have different quantitative measures of all of this.
Relevant literature suggests also that when running, the average person â€œburnsâ€ about 100 calories each mile, while for other exercise activities such as walking, bicycling, normal swimming, etc., the number of calories â€burnt offâ€ is significantly less in a corresponding amount of time.
Although in the beginning, weight loss is relatively rapid, over time, the rate of weight loss decreases, and the runnerâ€™s weight plateaus out, and is stabilized. When and how fast this process takes place, depends on such factors as heredity, the â€œenergyâ€ you put into it, the â€œintensityâ€, the amount of running done, how much the runner eats, amount of rest, etc.
The question of how often you should run also arises. Note however, that how â€œoftenâ€ one should run depends on such varying factors as the reason for your running. Is it to be competitive or do you run for health purposes? Are you going to be running marathons or short/medium distances? Are you training as a sprinter?
Factors such your age and level of fitness; the time you have to devote to running; the intensity of your workout; the track, surface or route on which you intend to run (is it going to be hill running? Trail running?); your fitness goals; how your body adapts to your running training; Are you running for weight loss? etc., etc., have to be taken into account. The frequency itself at which you run, will also change with time and what might be adequate for this year, might not be so for the next.
The fact that injuries so frequently occur among runners from â€œburnoutâ€, overtraining or overuse (of muscles) would suggest that there might be at least an upper limit beyond which runners should not venture, as in doing so, they would run the risk of serious if not persistent and nagging injuries, but as well, â€œdebilitateâ€ their bodies.
On the other hand, you should not run so infrequently that your efforts fall below a minimum level of activity required by your muscles and tendons to strengthen and for your endurance level to increase; that is, you should not descend to a level at which you are not really indulging in â€œexercisingâ€.
As with all forms of exercise, you become stronger and your endurance level rises when you run with some consistency. However, as is also the case with any form of exercise, your body needs sufficient rest to recover from the stress which running puts on it.
Consequently there will have to be a â€œdelicateâ€ balance between how often and how â€œhardâ€ you should run and when you should â€œrestâ€ or reduce frequency and intensity to allow your body to recover. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests an exercise routine of five (5) times a week for periods of 60 to 90 minutes.
If you are a running beginner, it is advisable not to start your running-for-weight-loss program by running. Resist the urge (and the urge will be very strong at first!) to just â€œgo out there and runâ€. Start by walking first and gradually build your way up to running at a slow pace, increasing this as you build up stamina and your muscles strengthen and become toned. The relevant literature also suggests that if you take longer runs at a slower pace, you will burn more calories than if you take shorter runs at a faster pace.
Do not try to lose weight too quickly as this is unhealthy and will do more harm than good. If you in the early stages, develop good exercise, eating and rest habits. This will later stand you in good staid and greatly reduce the quick and early return of those pounds you did shed!
Now to what you actually should do if you are running to lose weight and become fit and slim!
Â· Consistency is critical if you are to lose weight by running. Having a training schedule serves, among other things, to â€œorganizeâ€ you and your running activities and makes them routine â€“ which gives the disciplined approach needed to succeed in your efforts at weight
loss through running. Having a routine will help to keep up your motivation to run as well as lessen your chances of sustaining many of the common injuries with which many runners become afflicted!
Â· Proper dieting is essential and you therefore have to pay very close attention to what (and sometimes too, how much!) you eat. Establish a proper dieting program of healthy, low fat foods which are high in nutrients. Avoid foods rich in oils and fats, junk foods, spicy foods etc. While carbohydrates (â€œcarbsâ€) should form the greater part of your diet, it should include foods with enough proteins, good cholesterol and vitamins.
Â· Note that the number one food group for good nutrition is fruit and therefore your diet program should include them as much as possible with lots of vegetables, foods rich in fibers, lean meats, nuts, and broccoli, freshly made fruit juices, milk, green tea, nutritious energy drinks etc. – your fitness and health depends on this!
Â· Run regularly if you are to lose weight by running, You do not want to overdo it, but at the same time, you will not lose weight if you run only very infrequently. Do not allow many days to pass without engaging in some routine running activity. Almost everyday activity (with the proper rest!) in the early stages is preferable, but if this is not possible, shoot for 3 â€“ 5 days each week. As you become more fit and increase your intensity (pace) and distance, you can reduce this a bit.
Â· Take longer and slower runs. Statistics from the Weight Loss Control Registry that studies people who have successfully lost weight and maintained their weight loss, indicate that in order for you to successfully lose weight in a healthy manner, you must consistently burn 2,800 calories through exercise each week. You can best achieve this level of weight loss if you take taking longer and slower runs of 20 to30 minutes instead of making shorter, exhaustive fast-paced runs.
Â· Combine your running routine with some strength or â€œresistanceâ€ training. Go to the gym and â€œpumpâ€ some light weights, pull springs, etc. .Running uphill is also very beneficial. Doing this kind of training will both burn calories at a higher rate and build lean, strong and solid muscles. A great benefit from this also is that the risk of the usual running injuries is significantly reduced.
Â· Vary your running routine workout with interval training or speed training. Mix your high intensity periods (running) with brief periods of walking This burns up a lot of calories quickly and can significantly contribute to your weight loss and your becoming fit and slim. As well, it increases your muscle mass, improves your metabolism and causes more calories to be burned throughout the day.
Do some cross training. This means adopting an overall training routine which includes running, but also several other forms of exercise and exercise equipment, such as treadmills, etc. This â€œcross trainingâ€ ensures that your physical development and strength take place all around and are not limited to those muscles you use when you run. It would mean for example that instead of running 5 days per week, you run 3 days per week and the other 2 days, say, you do your â€œcross trainingâ€.
Â· Hydrate frequently as liquids, especially water, play significant parts in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You should take as much liquid as possible, particularly if you live in a temperate climate and sweat a lot. It is suggested that your liquid intake range between no less than 4-5 liters daily. It should be higher for temperate climates.
Â· Keep records or journals of your activities. Write down your physical goals and degree of achievement as well as what you eat and drink. In the first instance you will be able to
track your levels of physical improvement, while in the second instance it will give you a chance to see the effects of particular foods and allow you to make adjustments in your diet regime if this is necessary.
Â· Be sure to get adequate rest. This is essential if you are going to run and lose weight, become fit and slim and maintain your fitness and health. Your muscle fibers get broken down when you run. By giving them rest, they repair and build up, replacing your â€œfatâ€ with toned muscle. In addition, rest acts as an injury prevention mechanism. Taking a day or two off to rest is essential to allow the muscles and joints to repair themselves for the next run, becoming more agile and gaining strength in the process.
Â· Have patience and be prepared to spend time. There is no quick fix for physical fitness. Losing weight will not happen overnight nor come easily. You must exercise patience and self control and not try to hurry the process because you can injure yourself in the process, suffer setbacks and become discouraged.
Â· Keep your expectations moderate and set yourself realistic weight loss targets. For a â€œshort termâ€ weight loss goal, one half to one pound a week might be realistic, while for aâ€ long termâ€ goal (3 months, say), a weight loss of 6 to 8 pounds is achievable.
Â· Prepare for â€œdown timesâ€ during your running to lose weight and be fit and slim. your motivation to run can often take a negative turn and you begin to â€œshorten upâ€ and â€œcheatâ€ on your running routines, or, in the worst case, you give up altogether, which latter often happens. Be aware that a certain amount of â€œdown timeâ€ is quite common, expect it to happen and therefore you must prepare yourself for it. The matter of motivation is a crucial element in your desire to lose weight in this way, and extensive tips to deal with this phenomenon are provided elsewhere on this site
Yes – combine healthy dieting and adequate rest with your fitness and health running routines, and you will be well on your way to achieving significant weight loss, becoming fit and slim and attain true fitness and health. Once you have reached the weight level you have planned for yourself, maintain a healthy lifestyle by continuing to eat healthy foods, maintaining a balance between calories consumed and calories â€œburnt offâ€, getting adequate rest â€“ and yes, continuing a running routine! This will help keep the weight off and ensure you remain fit and slim! It will also literally and figuratively, keep you on the road to fitness, health and WELLBEING!