Running is a fantastic way to burn calories and improve your overall health. But many factors contribute to running being successful for weight loss or any other purpose. Let’s go over the most important ones!
Make Sure You’re Hydrated
This means, if you are just starting with running, your first step should be ensuring that you drink enough water throughout the day before adding any additional exercise. While you don’t need to drink gallons of water before running (it can be counterproductive), you must keep hydrated with a running pack and/or water bottle. This is a great way to leave your hands free for other things and keep an eye on your water intake-especially if you are a larger runner- to make sure that you avoid dehydration or heat stroke.
Running as a Replacement
Running will only help you lose weight if it replaces something else in your day. If you don’t change anything about what kind of food you eat and much, or how often you eat, then all the miles in the world won’t make a difference on their own. That said, if you replace some sitting time with running time (thereby moving more throughout the day), then running can be an effective tool for burning additional calories and improving your health as well as helping with weight loss goals.
Therefore, running needs to supplement something else, such as an improved diet or additional strength training.
Know Your Diet
As said before, running can only be as effective as your diet will allow it to be. That means that the bulk of your healthy weight loss results will come from what you eat and how often, not just from any additional exercise you do (including running). But as you change your diet, you will notice that running becomes even more effective. This is because it will help you to burn the calories from eating a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats more quickly and easily.
It is important to remember that losing weight and running is not an excuse to change your whole diet. You should still eat healthy foods like veggies, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains, but don’t forget to treat yourself every now and then as well!
Make Sure You Have Fuel During Your Run
Don’t forget to fuel up your runs with gels packs or electrolyte drink mixes if that is a part of your diet. This will help keep your energy levels up and avoid feeling weak during or after your runs, which can make you less likely to want to continue with it over time. Especially if you are doing long runs, the better prepared you are for them ahead of time with enough fuel, the easier they will be!
Wear Running Clothes (And Look The Part)
When we think of people who run, we think of people who are wearing running clothes. This doesn’t have to be true but you will find it more fun if you put on your favorite running sneakers and clothes and look the part so that you can feel better about yourself during your run!
This helps motivate you to work out which, as mentioned before, is the key to seeing weight loss results. After all, if you feel better about yourself when you are working out, you will be more likely to continue with it!
Don’t Overdo It
There can be a temptation to run as hard and as often as you can. But don’t forget you are not a professional runner! While there is nothing wrong with going all out if that is what you enjoy or want to do, it will have little impact on your weight loss goals. Instead, make sure you strike a balance between running hard and running easy.
So start slow and build up gradually, increasing how often or far that you run until you find what works for you. This will help you to avoid burnout, which can lead to quitting altogether and losing all of the positive benefits that running has to offer!
Change Up Your Workouts
This is important because it makes sure that your body doesn’t get used to what you are doing and starts putting on muscle instead of burning fat. The more muscle you have in relation to your body weight, the higher your metabolism will be and the easier it is for your body to run-but not necessarily to burn fat.
This is why you want to change up your workouts and the time and types of runs that you do. For example, try running hills one day and then flats another to keep your body guessing!
Take Your Runs Outside
If possible, ditch the treadmill or other indoor track for something outside like a trail run or regular road run. Running outside will help you to burn more calories, avoid boredom, and keep you from getting injured because you are running on a softer surface. You can run around the parks in your area or on the local trails-it won’t make much difference where you do it, as long as it is outside!
Another benefit is that you can enjoy the change of scenery and fresh air that comes with running outside, which can help keep you motivated.
Make Sure You Stretch
Stretching is an important part of any workout routine because, without it, your muscles are more likely to be injured after exercising. And if you are already working out hard enough to have some muscle pain, you want to avoid hurting yourself with additional activities.
So stretch before and after your runs to help eliminate muscle pain and reduce the chance of injury which is never fun, but especially when you are trying to lose weight and get in shape!
Running for weight loss can be a great way to get in shape and feel better about yourself, but there are some things you should know before you start. Make sure you have the proper fuel, don’t overdo it, and mix up your workouts to keep your body guessing. Most importantly, make sure you are stretching both before and after your runs to avoid injury. And lastly, wear running clothes that make you feel good so that you enjoy your run!