Running to lose weight is an easy workout for those wishing to reach their weight loss goals. Weight gain is quite common these days since there are a lot of unhealthy snacks and foods that you simply cannot resist, not to mention struggling to find time to exercise because of family and work commitments.
The Benefits of Running to Lose Weight
Obviously, running for weight loss will help increase your health and quality of life through benefiting your muscles and organs. This type of exercise is a type of cardiovascular training (cardio).
Cardio is used to elevate your heart rate in order to train your heart and make it stronger, and train the muscles on the outside of your body. An elevated heart rate helps your blood flow and causes your metabolism to quickly reach its max potential in as little as 10 minutes.
Your metabolism is used to convert the calories from the food you eat (e.g. carbs and dietary fats) into energy that you will consume while jogging. The simple process of running to lose weight is:
- When running, you begin running cardio weight loss and require more oxygen.
- Your heart reacts by pumping blood faster.
- The lungs receive the oxygen and transfer it to fast moving red blood cells.
- Oxygen is sent to all areas of the body and is eventually breathed out as carbon dioxide.
- Metabolism increases through elevated blood pressure, using calories to burn fat.
All of this takes place quicker than it sounds, and all you have to do is try running for weight loss and lean muscle gain to know what it feels like to have a rush from cardio training (i.e. runner’s high).
Fat loss will allow more oxygen to pass through your body, assist with decreasing high cholesterol levels, and may even help prevent cancerous cells from forming. Each of these are caused by excessive fat on the body, which may result in obesity if you do not prevent it by trying to reduce your weight!
Lean Muscle Gains from Weight Loss Exercises
Some do not understand that in order to lose weight, one must gain lean muscle. Lean muscles require energy coming from the use of calories, and this requirement is 24⁄7. Assuming you eat sensibly, this process keeps fat from being able to return after running for weight loss and of course want to keep all that weight off.
Strength training helps a lot with lean muscle gains, but you can honestly achieve this goal of muscle gain through running as well. Running requires the primary use of your leg muscles to create the momentum necessary to propel the body forward.
However, your abdominal muscles and back muscles are also working to help keep your body in good posture. Additionally, your arms will alternate at the same time as your legs. As your body fat percentage begins to fall these lean muscles will start to appear. If the weather doesn’t permit you to go for a run try rope skipping or indoor rock climbing for these same gains.
What to Eat When Running to Lose Weight
Running to lose weight requires daily consumption of a lot of healthy nutrients – especially if you begin to run more than 10 miles a few days a week. This means you want to stay away from unhealthy snacks and empty calories from sodas, and focus more on complex carbs, lean proteins, and dietary fats.
These are the three macronutrients are needed for energy, muscle recovery and development and generally keeping your body healthy.
Complex carbohydrates are best suited for your diet since they are a great source for energy without high amounts of sugar. They usually contain plenty of fiber to increase digestive health, and should be eaten in higher amounts two hours prior to your training regimen.
Protein is needed for your muscles to recover from training, which encourages muscular growth even after a short weight loss run. This macronutrient is also important to your diet because it makes you feel fuller throughout the hours after your meal.
Drink a glass of water with your protein meals to keep yourself from wanting to snack. Dietary fats increase organ health and are used as a secondary source for energy through your metabolism. Your body is using the carbohydrates first in the form of glycogen, but they do not last forever.
Once glycogen levels have decrease your body turns toward body fat for the energy required to continue running. For more running dietary information check out my marathon training diet post.
Run, Eat, and Rest
Running to lose weight is easy for you to perform at your own pace and whenever you feel like it. You can easily step outside and run, or hop on a treadmill if there is bad weather outside, or if you want to be in the comfort of your own home.
Drink at least 2 ounces of water per pound on your body to ensure that you are hydrated for the next day running program. Rest is also very important, and can actually lead to weight gain even if you rest too long.
Once you get fit from losing weight, you might want to consider training to run a marathon. Running to lose weight is not a difficult task if you are committed to losing weight.