Get Started Running To Lose Weight And Get Fit

Running To Lose Weight

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Running to lose weight can be a touchy subject. It seems most people either love or hate to run. Running not easy. Running is strenuous. Running is physically demanding. But, running does one thing very well that we are all looking for… It burns calories. A lot of them.

It’s a well known that the key to losing weight is burning more calories than your take in. Finding ways to burn as many calories as possible, in the shortest time is the golden ticket to fitness. Well, running is one of the most effective ways to burn calories quickly. 

Health Benefits Of Running

Running regularly almost always has a very positive effect on you physically and mentally.  Here are some of the results you can find after running on a regular basis:

  • Increased circulation. More blood flow makes for a healthier heart and respiratory system.
  • Speeds up and normalizes digestion.
  • Improves mood and will help overcome depression.
  • Increased stamina for everyday activities.
  • Strengthens leg, back and core muscles without the bulk of weight training.
  • Improves sleep.
  • Most importantly, it burns calories like a furnace.

Mental Results From Running

Mental effects of runningRunning boosts you both physically and mentally.  When you run, your body starts to release endorphin which is the bodies natural anti-depressant. It will help reduce depression, anxiety and even panic attacks.

As long a you don’t over do it, after a run, you will immediately feel better, with less stress, and a more positive outlook.

Another result that comes from the mental conditioning of running is better sleep. Improved sleep makes your body less stressed and less anxious.

Physical Results From Running

Putting more strain on your body may not seem like something that will improve your physical condition. Soreness in muscles and joints is common for beginning runners. But this is usually goes away after a short time.

In as little as a week, you will notice that you can go farther, faster. You will also see that you are less tired, and the soreness will disappear.

Getting Started With Running

getting started running for weight lossIt’s not important how far or fast you run when getting started. What matters is that you get started. Any activity is better than none and the first step is always just that. 1 step.

If you can only go to the end of the street, then that is your starting point. Tomorrow go a little farther. Celebrate your progress at all levels. Take pride in your effort. You are doing more than you did yesterday. Yay You!

Don’t try to run a marathon. You will be discouraged. Your goals should be based on what you are capable of. Not what others are able to do. They are on their own journey. Not yours.

Remember, there is no shame in any effort you are making. The effort itself is your success. What matters is that you stick with it and push yourself to always be making progress.

Walking Is Okay Too!

If you just cannot run any more, it’s perfectly okay to walk. Try to keep it as brisk as possible to get the most out of it, but remember, you are still moving forward.

Many experts say that walking can be just as good for you in some health aspects.

While it does not burn as many calories, it does burn a lot more than sitting. So if running isn’t right for you, then walking will still help you lose weight and feel better.

Staying Motivated To Run For Weight Loss

As you continue to run and calories are burned, you will notice that you are losing weight. Thus, you will be carrying fewer pounds. This will make running easier.

If this sounds unrealistic, get a half gallon empty milk jug and fill it with water. This will weight about 5 pounds. Put it in a backpack and go for a quick run.

You will discover that 5 pounds makes a HUGE difference.

I did this during my weight loss journey and it helped keep me motivated. In fact, I did this for almost every weight loss mile stone. Every 10 pounds I would add another gallon jug of water to my back pack for a day. When you realize what hauling around 2, 3, or even 6 gallons of weight feels like, it is very inspiring.

How To Start Running

Getting More Out Of Your Run

I will be the first to admit, that running can get boring. I like to run on a track, but also like to run on roads and paths as well.

It is very important to stay motivated and to always be adding something new to your running routine.

After you have been running for a few weeks, you may want to add some hills to your route. This will help to include different muscles in your workout as well as mix up the scenery.

It can also be helpful to run on different surfaces to lessen the impact on your joints. I like to run on grass, dirt or rubber tracks more than concrete or asphalt. My knees and hips thank me. But getting out on the road now and then give me some variety.

How Far Should Your Run For Weight Loss?

running for weight lossAs with all weight loss goals, you have to remember that they are your goals. Set them based on your abilities.

When starting out, running for more than a few minutes will probably be very difficult. If you set your distance goal too far, you will not achieve it. Especially if you have never been a runner or haven’t run for a long time. While running for a mile may be a popular goal, it is more of a challenge than most realize.

This is why I like to see people get started on the local high school quarter mile track. 4 laps is a mile, but you can easily set your personal goals where they will work best for you.

Try running half a lap at a slow pace. Focus on your end point and make an effort to get there. Then, walk half a lap.

For you, it might only be the straightaways and then walk the corners. Just get started. Pick a point, and get there.

Success is not found in a set distance. It is just a little farther than you went last time.

Don’t Forget To Stretch Before And After

Stretching can make a big difference in the success of your running. Taking a few minutes before and after your run will help your muscles recover faster and reduce the soreness. If you are just getting started on your weight loss journey, take a look at the stretches you can do everyday to improve flexibility.

Before and after running, here are a few specific stretches than you can do. They should only take you 2-4 minutes.

  • Bend at the waist and touch your toes. (30 seconds)
  • Lunge forward on one foot, and stretch the other leg out backwards. (20 seconds for each leg)
  • With your hands on your hips, bend your body to the side and hold. (20 seconds for each side)
  • Cross your arm over your body and hold with your other arm. (20 seconds per arm)
  • Lean your head back and push your abdomen foreword, bending your back. ( 30 seconds)
  • Place your hands behind your neck and push your elbows backwards. Twist your body to one side and hold. Repeat on the other side. (20 seconds per side)

Just Get Started!

No matter where you are on your weight loss journey, running can really make a difference. Burning more calories and giving your goals to pursue.

Make the most of your time and effort, but don’t push yourself so hard that you don’t look forward to the challenge. You will reach your goal, just get started and keep going!

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