Why Running is the Most Effective Sport for Weight Loss
Exercise in any form should be performed on a regular basis, getting your heart rate up and sweating is always beneficial for your body and mental health.
All types of exercise are a higher barrier to entry than running though. Running can be done at any time, anywhere and even better, burns the most calories per minute than any other workout.
All running takes is the clothes on your back and some running shoes. With a simple step outside you can get a great workout in. Let’s look into the reasons running is so effective and how you can get started on your running journey.
How to Start
Though it is a lower barrier to entry, running takes a strategy to see the true weight loss benefits. You should find your purpose and goals for why you are starting to run, find your motivation so it can be a long term habit. Once it is a habit it will feel easier and become a part of your routine.
The intent at the beginning is to just get moving, the more you get your endorphins going the more you will want to run! The idea of a runner’s high is not a myth, there is a euphoric feeling that comes when your blood is pumping, valuable hormones are released.
So to start, set specific goals so you know why you have embarked on this journey!
Effects of Running
Research shows that the more miles you run the healthier and happier you are. Exercise truly is medicine and scientific research shows 150 minutes of exercise per week will leave you living a better life. So what are the true benefits of running?
1. Running makes you happier– a 2012 study published by the Journal of Adolescent Health proved that just 30 minutes of running during the week for three weeks boosted sleep, quality and mood as well as concentration.
2. Running helps you lose weight– Not only do you burn calories while running but studies show there is “afterburn” which is where you burn more calories in the three hours after exercising than you would normally.
3. Running will keep your brain functioning at peak levels, even as you age– A 2012 study published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review concluded that exercise helps defeat age-related mental decline, like task switching, selective attention, and working memory.
4. Reduces risk of cancer– It does not cure cancer, but the benefits of running help your cells rejuvenate in a healthier manner.
5. Running adds years to your life– Studies show that when you start a different type of exercise, they live longer. Running itself has proven longevity in your life.
A running plan is a set idea of how long you will run each day for a set amount of time. It is typical to have a plan that goes for a six to eight weeks, and sometimes even longer. You can find great options on the internet.
The best way to go about your plan is to start with one to three miles during the first week and work up to six or seven. If you have never ran before you can even start with a lower goal.
Go for an initial run to see how far you can go and then start to set achievable yet testing goals for your running plan.
Is walking better than running?
Walking does prove many of the same benefits, but the amount of calories burning and weight lost will be significantly more when running. The cardiovascular benefits you receive during running are more valuable as you are breathing harder and training your body to withstand more intense exercise.
Walking is always valuable and should play a part in your daily routine, a walk is good for the soul. But in the running vs walking debate, a run will help you lose more weight and be in better shape.
Running competitions and long term commitment
If you have goals to stick with running for a long time, then committing to participating in a race of sorts would be a great way to stay motivated. A 5K is a great place to start, it is 3.2 miles and usually has a fun theme. It is a great way to get friends to participate in your hobby as well.
IF you feel more advanced then a 10k is a good way to go as well, it may take a little more training but it is a great goal to have. Long term a half marathon could be a great achievement. Incorporate races in your running plan so you can have something to look forward to!
Time to Start Running!
Now that you have the tips and tricks to start your new hobby, its time to hit the pavement or treadmill. Set your intentions right and you will be dropping weight in no time. Let us know how your progress goes and the best tips to becoming a great runner.