Running for Weight Loss

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runningRunning is an excellent activity to assist weight loss and improve cardiovascular fitness.

Herewith a few tips to help you on your way to a new you:

The Key to ensure results

Consistency is vital, commit to scheduled runs and you will see a gradual decrease in your waist-line.

Line up your workouts with a running partner like a friend or colleague to prevent boredom and to maintain motivation. It is more difficult to cancel a session when you have a regular commitment.

Also, set aside your workout clothes the previous evening. This way you’ve mentally committed to the run with no option of turning back.

Appropriate intensity 

For beginners it is best to start with 3 – 4 short to intermediate duration training runs/walks a week to ensure gradual build up of base fitness, physical adaptation and to prevent injuries.

Too much mileage, speed and/or maximal efforts in the beginning phase of a program can lead to injuries. The decrease in activity due to an injury won’t assist your efforts to loose weight.

Be realistic and patient when starting a program!

More advanced runners can add tempo, hill and interval training to their workouts. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an excellent method to shed fat and create a lean toned physique.

HIIT should only be introduced when the body is more efficient in running, meaning you have build base fitness, gradually increased mileage and find it easier to run. Runners will expand more energy from interval running than going at a steady moderate pace (bearing in mind that the planned course or duration is the same).

The resting metabolic rate can stay elevated for longer after an intense workout. It is advised to add regular HIIT sessions to your workout.

Long slow distance runs should not be neglected since it is vital to improve VO2 max, improve running efficiency and this will allow the body to gradually build for longer duration races.

Recovery and Rest:

Your body needs to recover after high intensity and long duration workouts to get ready again for sub maximal and maximal efforts.

Recovery days will ensure a better effort when well rested. This will allow the runner to focus on quality workouts and expand more calories when weight loss is the objective. It is important not to repeat the same type of workout one day after another to prevent overtraining and possible injuries.

Rather allow a rest day or focus on a lower to moderate intensity effort.

The Runners diet to keep it off:

It’s best to focus on a balanced diet allowing macro- and micro nutrient intake from various whole food sources like grains, pulses, beans, cruciferous vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit, cold pressed oils, salads, dairy and lean meat. Avoid processed food since it is high in sugar and fat, which aid in weight gain.

Focus on quality intake (whole foods), maintain smaller portion sizes and fill your plate with salads and vegetables. To loose weight you should use more energy than what you eat. It is necessary to gradually decrease portion sizes and not endeavor in a crash diet since you won’t have any energy to run and be active.

Speed up your metabolism the natural way, eat healthy meals and be active.

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Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!
Janine Coetsee
train@fit4u.co.za