Running for weight loss: tips and tricks for success

There are a million reasons why you might want to start losing weight as many people will come to a point at some time in their life when they want to diet or exercise to shed a few pounds. While weight loss is a common aspiration among many people, weight loss success is a little less common.

Although many people are unsuccessful in their weight loss endeavors, almost everyone will think of a similar activity when they think about how to lose weight. How? One of the most common activities people take up to lose weight is running.

While this is a common thought, having success when you’re running for weight loss can be more difficult than you think heading in to it, so here are some tips and tricks to help you succeed:

Don’t let it be a thing you almost went through with.

  • Make sure you stay motivated through the first couple weeks. It might take 4-6 weeks of running to make it a normal habit, or even longer, but engraining it as a habit will certainly ease the process.
  • Make a backup plan for bad weather, vacations or trips, or anything else that might pop up and intervene with your running. Don’t give yourself a chance to make excuses.
  • Set short-term goals and long-term goals so you always have something to strive for and hopefully accomplish.

Share with others or join a running group.

Making sure your new plan to run isn’t a secret can do you a lot of justice in a couple different ways.

  • Whether a good friend or family member wants to join and lose weight themselves and keep you motivated and companied, or a running group does the same, it can help keep you disciplined.
  • Being open with your plans and goals can place them more firmly in reality and hold you more accountable for following through.

 

Be certain that you are running effectively and following an effective plan.

First, make sure you have a nicely set up plan or running regimen to follow so you don’t lose sight of your interests, goals, or aspirations. A good plan can be the key to successfully running for weight loss.

  • Keeping a running log can help you stay on track and record your progress. It will also keep you on track by reminding you what you did, what you need to do, and how far you’ve come.
  • Setting up an effective running schedule can be keep to seeing the results you’re working hard for and it can keep you from falling off due to running boredom.
  • There are a few different types of runs you should mix into your schedule to change things up on you and your body:
  1. Fast Runs – run at a slightly faster rate for a slightly shorter time to increase how hard your body works. You can work your overall mile time down quite a bit if you focus on little improvements each time.
  2. Interval Sprints – Interval training is among the most effective exercises for losing weight and increasing your metabolism. So, spend 30 minutes on your run, and sprint every 5 minutes for a 30 second duration. You can also use landmarks, like jog every 2 or 3 telephone poles then sprint the next.
  3. Long Distance Runs – By decreasing your pace ever-so-slightly, you can add a couple miles to your run and run for an extra 15-20 minutes. You can build endurance quickly this way.
  4. Hills Running – Find a hill and spend 20-30 minutes sprinting up, and then jogging down. The hill can vary in size and steepness, and you can rest for a minute or two between, but make sure you’re working hard as conquering hills can be one of the toughest running exercises in the book. 

Be generous to yourself and don’t overdo it.

Remember, the most important thing in the picture is you and your health. The last thing you want to do is lose sight of that and overwork yourself. You can end up losing your morale, your progress, or your habits.

Also, don’t be scared to reward yourself for doing well. A common reward is something like treating yourself to a massage every 3 weeks that you don’t miss a workout.

Give yourself the time you need to adjust and get to a point where you feel in shape enough to start pushing the bar higher. Everyone begins at a different point, so give yourself a little period where you can condition and get into shape.

Don’t forget about important factors outside of running.

Lastly, remember that losing weight is a war, and there are many battles that need to be won. So, don’t forget to focus on your diet, your lifestyle, and changing your unhealthy habits as well as making sure your running is going well.

At the end of the day, running to lose weight does not have to be a miserable battle that you end up losing. You can make it fun, social, or even something you carry on as a habit for the rest of your life. Remember, losing weight can be difficult, and it may take time. Effective weight loss is always a long-distance marathon, not a short sprint. So focus on long-term progress, not immediate results.

By Russell McBurnie

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