Running to Lose Weight: How to Get Started

Running is one of the best weight loss exercises on the planet. How to give it a fair shake.

We have lots of reasons to hate running. For some, it’s just boring… out there by yourself, no one to talk to, the rhythmic thud-thud-thud of your feet hitting the road, out of sync with your strained, sweaty breathing. Many of us can’t look past this vision of running to see the enormous calorie burn, mental clarity and peace it brings. Maybe running isn’t for you. But don’t make up your mind until you’ve tried these ways of easing into the exercise and making it fun.

Play it Safe

One of the first mistakes wannabe runners make is overdoing things from the beginning. You may be hearing a starting pistol in your mind, but the rest of you may prefer lazily lounging in front of the television. The best way to maintain momentum is to start your quest at the right pace. Plan on running short distances every other day at first.

Stay Fed and Hydrated

Bring along a large water bottle whenever you run. If you over exert yourself and become dehydrated, you’ll be tired, sore and unhappy after your run. Bring along a small snack as well to prevent hunger from cutting your run short.

Tune into Your Pace

It’s also important to run at the most efficient speed. You can judge this by the rate of your breathing. Many recommend talking while running to help you see if you need to shift tempo. If you can’t see yourself out there talking to yourself while you job, why not bring alone the iPod and sing along to the music? It’s just as effective. Whenever you find yourself gasping for breath, slow down a bit, even if it means walking for a while. Always keep moving, but don’t over pace yourself

Run With Resolve

Regardless of your ultimate goal, having a purpose for every run will motivate you to bring on the burn. Start by aiming for 20 to 30 minutes of nonstop running several times a week. Once you’re comfortable with that pace, you can add a day or increase the duration. You can also focus on the distance of each run. The trick is finding a balance so that you aren’t crawling at the end just to reach that last mile. Remember, you want running to feel good so you’ll keep doing it.

running for weight loss

If you become bored with your routine, there are countless ways to put the bounce back in your step. You can add hills to your course, do sprints at the end of a brisk run or incorporate interval training. This involves boosting the intensity of your workout for one minute then slowing to a moderate pace for two minutes. Do this near the end of your run, or mix in several 20-second high-energy dashes from start to finish.

Keep Things Interesting

Consistency may be fundamental for long-term success when it comes to running, but variety is vital for boosting the amusement factor. If you aren’t having fun, your daily runs will become nothing more than ghastly memories. Running with a partner, exploring new environments, meeting weekly objectives and training for a cause-based marathon will keep your inner fire burning.

Running is a major stress reliever, and it’s great for your heart, lungs, joints, muscles and bones. If you want to reap the rewards of being a runner, you simply need to have patience and discipline. Create a schedule, stick to it and don’t punish yourself for having some off days. You may not always meet your goals, but success isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey.