Want of shiring your belly? Here’s How to run for weight loss
People run for different reasons. Some people run so that they can eat what they want, some run to lose weight, while others run to improve their reduce stress levels. Running burns a lot of calories compared with other forms of exercise such as walking, gentle cycling and swimming – in fact, it burns an average of 100 calories per mile. But to lose weight it must be combined with a healthy eating plan. If you run two to three times a week and overeat, you won’t lose weight. You might even gain a few pounds. It’s important to not only think about calorie intake, but also to consider healthy food choices. And of course, look at your running sessions. Here are some great ways to plan your weekly running schedule to boost weight loss.
You need to run frequently to burn off sufficient calories – aim to run three to four times per week and do low-impact cardio (cross-trainer, rower or a Spin class) on two other non-running days, so that you exercise a total of five to six days per week.Be careful not to overdo it though. You should only do this amount of exercise if you’ve built up your fitness levels. Always stop and rest if you feel any pain or discomfort during exercise.
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Do high-intensity intervals once a week – interval runs are considered more effective for weight loss than low- or moderate intensity cardiovascular sessions as they burn more calories in less time, making them easier to fit into your schedule. A study published in the Journal of Physiology found that about 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training provided the same benefits as longer exercise sessions that focused on endurance work. To structure an interval session, run hard for one or two minutes (at around seven to eight out of 10 on the RPE or rate of perceived exertion scale), then run at a moderate pace (around five to six out of 10 on the RPE scale) to recover for a minute or two, then repeat.
Add a threshold run once a week – this means running just on the edge of discomfort for fixed periods time – such as three minutes at a faster pace (around eight to eight and a half out of 10 on the RPE scale), followed by two minutes of recovery, repeated for a total of three to four blocks.
Do one long, steady run per week – this is to increase weekly calorie burn overall – but increase duration gradually. Add 10 percent to your total weekly volume and no more each week. As a rough guide, if you run for an hour you would burn around 600 calories, depending on age, weight and speed.
Vary your running sessions – your body will quickly adapt if you only do the same run and pace each time and it will begin to feel easy. If you only ever run on a flat surface, going off-road and doing some trail runs from time to time will increase exercise intensity (and therefore calorie burn) as you will have to work harder to tackle uneven surfaces. Add hill-training sessions to your weekly running schedule – hills are more challenging than running on a flat surface, so you’ll burn more calories doing it.
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