Running to Lose Weight: Key Tips

Aerobic exercise, when combined with a healthy diet, helps to improve body composition. Learn more about some recommendations on running to lose weight.
Running to Lose Weight: Key Tips

Last update: 11 October, 2020

Obesity as a disease has had a huge impact on the world’s population. A large number of people suffer from being overweight, often due to leading a sedentary lifestyle. However, many want to improve their health and want to lose weight. One effective way to lose weight is by running.

Of course, you can’t just lose weight by running and not doing anything else differently. It’s necessary to make some lifestyle changes that require self-discipline. Below, learn what this involves.

Advantages of running to lose weight

In the first place, running to lose weight has several advantages above other ways that you can shed some pounds. For instance, it’s not expensive, you can do it whenever your schedule allows, you can get to know new places and breathe fresh air, depending on the environment of course.

However, it can be a little more complex than you might think. Our objective in this article is to shed some light on the different areas you need to include, including how to start exercising and a diet. We’d like to show you how to get the results you want.

What you should take into account to lose weight

Did you know that it’s important to understand your current physical state before you start training? As we mentioned above, many people may currently be overweight and may not be familiar with exercise or training regimes. How can someone start training or a new exercise routine?

An overweight woman running

Start from simple and move to more difficult

Beginners to running and training should start slow and gradually progress to more difficult exercise. It’s wise to start creating good habits where you can progressively adapt your body to exercise.

To become familiar with running, the best way to start is to go for a run three times a week. Don’t make it any longer than an hour to start off with, and leave at least a day in between runs to help your body recover.

The adaptation process will depend on the age of the person and their weight. If you’re older or if you have more weight you’d like to lose, you’ll need to give your body more time to adapt. Despite this, don’t worry; just be patient and continue exercising. It’ll be worth it in the long run.

Intervals of higher intensity

Your main goal of starting to run is to lose weight, not to injure yourself. With that in mind, keep the intensity low to start off with. Try to keep up just a moderate running pace during your exercise session, especially during the first couple of months. During this time period, your body will be adapting to the new aerobic activity.

When you notice that your fitness level is improving, start including 20 to 30 second periods of faster running in your exercise, or exercising at a greater intensity. You can include this extra activity several times throughout your running session to raise your heart rate and improve your blood flow.

Change up your route

Don’t make the mistake of losing motivation on your quest to lose weight through running. One thing is adaption, and another altogether is monotony. Becoming bored due to taking the same route is more common than you might think. Boredom can chip away at your motivation to keep exercising.

Considering this, you should keep changing the route you take to help you stay motivated. By doing that, you’ll get to know new places, keep up the momentum and you’ll be able to lose more weight. You’ll notice gradual changes and will feel better and better.

Key areas: rest and diet

All of the above tips won’t be worth anything if you don’t also make changes in other important areas as well. These areas are adequate rest and a balanced diet.

A balanced diet should include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables

Your body needs to rest so your muscles can recover to prevent overtraining. This overuse can lead to injury. That’s why you should leave a day between sessions to recover. For example, you could go for a run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and take it easy Tuesday and Thursday.

Here’s another crucial area to losing weight. A  calorie deficit is the cornerstone of weight loss and is one of the key factors in lowering your body’s fatty tissue. This doesn’t mean you should stop eating, but rather change any dietary habits that don’t help you to lose weight.

You can ask a qualified nutritionist for help in putting together a suitable dietary plan, to make sure you’re not missing out on vital nutrients. At the end of the day, good food is what your body needs for fuel.

Running to lose weight: take control

When you put this exercise method into practice, it’s a good idea to take at least weekly stock of your progress. Look at how you’re going with your exercise routine, as well as the other changes you’re making, and don’t forget to keep a track of the weight you’re losing to stay motivated.

Some of the things you can keep track of are the variations in your runs, how many miles you run, and the number of higher intensity intervals you include each time. Also make a note of the weight you started with and what you weigh by the end of each week, among other things.

Keep either a written or an electronic record of this information. And of course, make sure you get regular checkups at your doctor’s if you need to. Now you can start…get running!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Hansen, & Cols. (2007). Efectos del entrenamiento físico sobre la pérdida de masa grasa en pacientes obesos durante restricción calórica. Sports Med.
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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.