Health and other benefits of running give enough reasons to start running for weight loss. If running to lose weight is on your mind, you are on the right track.
Running is actually one of the best ways to lose weight and believe me, you’ll never regret your decision. But there are certain things that you should keep in mind when you start running for weight loss. One, running is a form of exercise and you need to remain committed to it, if only you want to lose weight. It’s not that you’ll run for a week and you’ll shed a lots of weight. There’s nothing disheartening about this fact. And I am not telling this to de-motivate you but when you condition your mind beforehand about the discipline and regularity you need when running to lose weight, it becomes all the more certain that you will lose weight for sure! This may take anywhere between 2-4 months, depending upon your running schedule and the discipline you maintain with it.
The second thing that you should keep in mind while running for weight loss is that you need to control your diet too. That doesn’t mean starving yourself. It does mean eating healthy and sensibly. It makes no sense to eat junk and fattening foods and hope you’ll lose weight! This is actually not going to happen even if you run for the whole day! You need to burn more calories than you eat everyday! So, eat sensibly and run smartly!
Having known all that, if you now think, why run to lose weight when I need to do all the other things that any other exercise would require, then you must know the benefits of running. Once you know these reasons to run, you’ll never again think of dropping the idea of running and losing weight!
Benefits of Running for Weight Loss
Here are these reasons to start running to lose weight!
1. Running Burns Calories Faster
Yes, that’s what is stated in the findings of a six year National Walkers’ and Runners’ Health Study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California! The study compared men and women who increased their walking or running. The results found out that running needed more energy than walking. People who walked 11 miles for 3 hours a week lost weight equivalent to people who did jogging for 2 hours a week! So, when you run for similar time as someone else walks, you burn more calories. And when it is about shedding weight, burning calories matter the most.
So, you should start running for weight loss if you want to burn more calories in lesser time! This means, if you run more, you’ll burn more calories, and in turn lose more weight!
A word of caution: Middle aged and older people who are not comfortable with running should avoid it unless their physician affirms that running won’t harm them. They might, instead, walk, for longer. For example, they can walk for 40 minutes, 7 days a week instead of 30 minutes for 5 days a week! For you walking may be the best bet for weight loss and not running. Want to know why? Read Walking v/s Running for Weight Loss- What is Better?
2. Running for Weight Loss also Improves your Cardiovascular Health
Any vigorous exercise is good for your cardiovascular health. So, the question arises, is running a vigorous exercise? Of course, it is! Running is a vigorous exercise that helps keep your heart in pink of its health. How do you define a vigorous activity? It is one of those exercises that burns more than 7 calories every minute. Moderate exercises, on the other hand, burn only 4 to 7 calories per minute. Moderate exercise is what keeps you reasonably healthy but doesn’t contribute much in losing weight. If you want to lose weight, you need to do vigorous exercises like swimming and dancing and running! There’s a condition though, when you run or jog at a speed of at least 5 mph, then only it can be called a vigorous exercise.
So, you should start running if you not only want to lose weight but also want cardiovascular fitness!
A word of caution: If you already suffer from any form of heart disease, consult you doctor before starting any running program.
3. No Equipment Needed when Running for Weight Loss
The moment you decide that you should start running to lose weight, you can do so, if you have a good pair of shoes! That’s all, you don’t need any other equipment or gadget to start running. Wear your shoes and step out of your home to run and lose weight! It’s that convenient!
So, start running without wasting time. Run with just a good pair of running shoes, that’s all you need to run and lose weight in the process!
4. No Training Required when Running for Weight Loss
Not only is running an equipment free vigorous exercise that helps you lose weight, but it is also one of the very few exercises that needs no training and no trainer. Running is as natural to you as walking. There is no risk of doing it the wrong way. You are not running for marathon, you are running for weight loss! So, you need not follow any rules. Just wear your shoes and run to get a thinner you!
Start running for weight loss because you don’t need to waste time finding a trainer or even a companion. Let yourself be a free soul and run for losing those extra pounds!
A word of caution: If you have flat feet or some other kind of feet deformity, you might need to consult an expert or have training before you run long distances!
5. Running for Weight Loss also keeps your Knees Healthy
Weight-bearing exercises, like running, help prevent knee issues such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Some experts believe that repetitive weight bearing and motion are good for your joints. So, forget the myth that running will damage your knees. Osteoarthritis develop when your joint-cushioning cartilage starts breaking down due to overweight and genetic reasons. If you are not genetically predisposed to osteoarthritis, and have healthy knees along with healthy weight, then running won’t pose a risk for knee arthritis. The only concern comes when you are an overweight person. Obese people put more stress on knees while running. They have 4 times of their weight on their knees when running. To minimize the risk, instead of running with longer strides, you may do jogging with lesser force. Also, when you generally stay active and move around a lot, it helps defend you against knee damages. So, stay active and run smart!
Start running to lose weight and as an additional benefit, keep your knees away from getting any type of arthritis. If you weigh far more than a person who can run comfortably, initially jog instead of running and gradually start running by putting lesser stress on your joints and legs. For example, don’t throw your feet forcibly on ground, do it softly. Run slowly till the time you are able to run faster.
A word of caution: If you already have knee pain or any other discomfort in your knees, consult your doctor before you start running.
6. Running for Weight Loss also Kills Stress!
Running is a stress buster and this is not a new thing to learn- exercise is a stress buster and running is one of the best exercises when you need to relive stress! How? There are at least three reasons for this.
First, due to its cardiovascular effects, running stimulates brain chemicals that foster the growth of your nerve cells. Secondly, because it is a vigorous physical exercise, running increases serotonin levels in your brain. This works like an antidepressant. Third, running increases your heart rate which, in turn, releases endorphins and the hormone, ANP. These bodily chemicals reduce pain and induce euphoria which regulates your brain’s response to stress and anxiety.
In fact, mild clinical depression is treated with various strategies that include exercise rather than antidepressants.
So, start running if you want to beat stress. If you didn’t know, stress also leads to obesity and hampers your efforts of losing weight! So, when you run to lose weight, you relieve stress and vice versa!
A word of caution: If you are already on antidepressant drugs, do not stop taking them when you start running. Consult your doctor before stopping any drugs recommended to you.
7. Get Euphoria while Running for Weight Loss!
Yes, running causes euphoria! This is different from relieving stress. Even when you are not depressed but happy, you might want to get a high! Get it naturally! Runner’s high is not a myth. Running can actually make you high, you feel euphoric after distance running. The reasons are more or less the same that relieve stress after running or exercising. Running produces biochemical effects on your brain by releasing the chemicals, endorphins. Well running is not the one and the only way to get a high. Any intense or endurance exercise can do so. But then, what’s easier than running!
So, start running to feel euphoric and lose weight as a bonus achievement!
A word of caution: It’s not essential that you’ll get a runner’s high after every episode of running but it is not impossible either!
8. Running for Weight Loss may Prevent Cancers
If you think this has nothing to do with weight loss, you may be wrong. Obesity has been shown to increase a person’s risk of developing certain types of cancers that include postmenopausal breast cancer, colorectal cancer, uterine cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, gallbladder cancer, thyroid cancer, and esophageal cancer. Now, the good news is that many studies have also found out that regular aerobic exercises when combined with a low-calorie diet may help lose weight and prevent gaining weight in future. No obesity, no cancer (at least due to the reason of obesity!) Running is not only a cardiovascular exercise, it is also an aerobic exercise because it increases the rate of oxygen intake in the body.
So, start running to lose weight and to prevent cancer at the same time.
A word of caution: If you suffer from any type of cancer, consult your doctor before starting any new exercise including a running program.
9. Running for Weight Loss gives you Longer Life
Running can add, at least, 3 more years to your life! And this is when you run as less as 5-10 minutes a day! Runners, on an average, live three years longer than those who don’t run regularly. This is a finding that had been reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study concluded that running is responsible for 30% lower risk of death from any cause. It also said that running reduces the risk of death from heart disease or stroke by 45%.
So, start running for longevity! Also, lose weight by doing so.
A word of caution: If you had been inactive all these years, first start walking to reduce the risk of injury and then begin running. Starting a vigorous-intensity activity like running all of a sudden may put you at the risk of ankle sprains, muscle pulls etc. If not sure, read this, How to Start Running to Lose Weight – for Beginners
10. Running is the Cheapest Way to Lose Weight
Why is running for weight loss is the cheapest option to get in shape?
- You don’t have to pay the gym subscription (only if you don’t want to run on a treadmill!)
- You don’t have to buy any specialized equipment for running (only when you don’t intend to make it a digital event by using all those running electronics like running GPS, watches, heart rate monitors, activity trackers and so on!)
Isn’t that cool! You lose weight without losing your money! Just by running!
So, start running and lose weight, don’t lose your money!
Some Other Reasons to Start Running to Lose Weight!
The reasons to start running for weight loss doesn’t end here. There are many more benefits of running.
- You can be with nature when you start running. Obviously, you can’t run indoors!
- You increase your stamina on a constant basis when you adhere to running for weight loss!
- You can do it alone or in groups. In fact, you can bring your pet dog to run with you. It’s a different story as to who makes who running!
If those are not enough reasons for you to begin running, you can, in fact, discover your own reasons on the way, while running! The beautiful scenery, the fresh air, the rising sun (or the setting sun!), anything can become a strong reason for you to start running and lose weight! There is no dearth of reasons to start running for weight loss, just look around and within yourself!