If you are trying to lose weight, then one of the ways you may try to shift some fat is by taking up running.
Running is an accessible way to exercise as all you need is a sturdy pair of shoes and somewhere to go – but everyone has their own unique levels when it comes to how far and how long they can run.
As a result, some people can push themselves more than others but is 30 minutes of running per day enough to help you lose weight?
Here we are going to be talking about running and how it can help you lose weight.
We will be giving advice as well as explaining the science behind running and why it’s a great way to keep fit, even if losing weight is not your goal.
Exercise: How Much We Need To Do?
Before we dive right into running and weight loss, it’s important to cover the basics by first looking at exercise in general.
The average adult is recommended to complete 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week to keep fit – that’s only 30 minutes a day.
According to many medical professionals around the world, this can help reduce your chances of experiencing a stroke, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
This means that just 30 minutes of exercise a day can help keep your heart happy and blood flowing around your body.
However, the key word to notice here is ‘aerobic’.
There are two types of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic.
Aerobic exercises are typically endurance-based and involve moving your muscles in a repetitive yet rhythmic manner.
The reason why they are called ‘aerobic’ exercises is because the purpose of these exercises is to increase the person’s heart and breathing rate so their muscles can be supplied with enough oxygen to carry out the exercises.
As a result, aerobic exercises include activities such as swimming, cycling, and running.
Anaerobic exercises, however, are short yet intense bursts of activity.
Due to their intensity, the body struggles to supply the muscles with enough oxygen and as a result, the body breaks down glucose instead to make up for this absence.
This is why anaerobic activities are called ‘anaerobic’ meaning ‘without oxygen’.
Some examples of anaerobic exercises include weightlifting, sprinting, and bodyweight exercises (such as push ups or sit ups).
However, most people don’t need to engage in anaerobic exercise.
If your goal is to just stay fit and healthy, then 30 minutes of aerobic exercises (such as running) can help you achieve that goal – but if your goal is to try and burn as much fat as possible in your body, then you will need to step up your game.
Is Running Good For Losing Weight?
Losing weight is not as simple as it sounds and there is no quick-fit sure way to do so.
Firstly, everyone’s metabolisms work differently so some people burn more energy doing the same things as other people who may burn less.
This means that two people who do the same amount of exercise and follow the same day to day eating plan can lose weight at different rates.
This can be seriously disheartening but don’t worry – this doesn’t mean that you are not fit and healthy.
The 30 minutes recommended amount of aerobic exercise is the recommended amount for helping you to stay healthy.
This means that 30 minutes of exercise a day is more likely to help reduce your chances of illnesses such as heart disease rather than help you shed pounds and pounds of fat.
So, running 30 minutes a day is not the best method for losing weight.
It will at first help you shed some pounds if you are switching from a sedentary lifestyle and increasing your daily amount of exercise.
But, once you get into the habit of running 30 minutes a day, you will eventually find that you won’t be losing as much weight as you used to when you first started running.
This is because your body is shedding the pounds to get your body to a natural, healthy weight. What weight that is will differ from person to person, plus it is heavily affected by your diet.
This does not mean that you should give up on running for 30 minutes a day.
It is still a great method to help you keep your body fit and healthy, but it’s not the only exercise you should be doing if you want to lose weight.
Instead, health experts recommend that you use aerobic activities to start off your weight loss plan to help ease you into a routine and build up your body’s endurance before you move onto more intense anaerobic exercises.
What Exercise Is Best For Weight Loss?
There are a lot of different forms of exercise out there, aerobic and anaerobic, but some are better for burning fat than others.
So, here are some exercises you may want to adapt into your lifestyle to try and shift the pounds.
Start Out With Small
If you do not exercise in general, then it’s important that you don’t dive straight into anaerobic activities to try and burn as much fat as possible.
Jumping straight from a sedentary lifestyle right into one filled with intense exercise can actually strain your heart and put you at risk of a heart attack – so, aerobic exercises are a great way to ease your body into a more active lifestyle slowly.
You can start out with 30 minutes of walking, then build up to include running, swimming, yoga, or cycling into your routine.
These are all easy yet great aerobic exercises that can improve your strength, heart rate, and endurance.
Once you can comfortably run for 30 minutes or even an hour, then you can start including more intense exercises that are better for burning energy in short bursts.
A great way to lose fat is by building your muscles. Not only are you using up lots of energy but you can also tone your body, tighten your muscles and improve your overall strength.
As a result, it’s a great idea to add some weightlifting to your daily routine.
Dumbbells, deadweights, squats, push ups, and more are a great way to work out your muscles in short yet intense bursts of energy that will use up the stored fat in your body.
This kind of resistance training will also put force on your muscles and bones to help them grow stronger.
It’s important to remember that as you build your muscles, they will add to your overall ‘weight’.
Lean muscles have a lot of mass but your weight won’t increase from the presence of fat in your body – you will instead have a strong, toned form with healthy muscles.
Burning fat in your body is all about elevating your heart rate. The faster your heart beats, the more calories you burn – so cardio exercises are a great way to help shift a lot of pounds very quickly.
You can start out with low-intensity cardio as a warm up (rowing, jogging, cycling, or other aerobics) and then switch to more intense yet shorter sessions of cardio exercise.
Skipping sets with jump ropes, burpees and sprinting are all great ways to add some intense cardio to your daily workout.
Remember Your Diet
Exercise alone is not enough to lose large quantities of fat from your body.
Sure, switching to a more active lifestyle can seriously improve your health and help you shift a few pounds but if you want to make a drastic change to your weight, then you also have to monitor how much energy is going into your body as well as what you are burning.
Ensuring that you are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as avoiding foods that are high in saturated fats and salt is a simple change to your diet that can have a huge impact on your weight.
You can still enjoy the odd treat but monitoring your energy and calorie intake helps your body rely on burning the glucose.
Over time, this means your body will not be able to produce the same amount of fat as it is burning while you exercise – so your diet is just as important to losing weight as exercise is!
So, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (including running) is a great way to maintain your weight and keep your body in a fit and healthy state.
However, if you want to lose weight, you will need to do more than just 30 minutes of running a day.
To lose weight, you need to make changes to your diet and lifestyle, including more anaerobic exercises into your routine and increasing the length of time you spend exercising aerobically.
So, 20 minutes of running per day is not enough to lose large quantities of weight but it can help you get your body into a much healthier state and this can sometimes translate into losing a few pounds of fat.