May 14

How To Lose Weight by Running

I'm often asked the question, 'how to lose weight by running'. My easy answer is, 'just start running'. It is an excellent form of exercise as it consumes many calories. Anyone of any age can do it, and at 73, I'm still shuffling along. Based on your objectives and how you feel, a run can be varied in intensity and time, and it can be done anywhere. 

But when considering how to lose weight with running, it's key to understand that the weight will not start dropping off overnight.

Also, start slow! Too many people try to do too much, too quickly, get injured and give up.

Starting Out

When starting out, it is essential to be realistic regarding your current fitness level and general well being. Initially, it may be advisable to start walking and slowly include short periods of jogging.

To get you started, there are many easily accessible programs on the internet, in essence saying the same things. 

A popular program is Couch25k; the Couch to 5k app is the only 5K training app to integrate with MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal helps achieve your weight loss goals by managing your calorie intake. Integrating your running program with what you eat. There is also a forum where you can ask questions and have discussions with others in your space.  

A good starting point is 30 minutes every second day.

It is up to you to decide how structured you want your program to be or whether you want to start as I did with a watch and a notepad. Today, many apps and gadgets will measure every aspect of your run from the duration, average speed, altitude, stride length, and stride cadence.

The golden rule is don't increase either speed or distance by more than 10% per week

When ignoring this rule, even experienced athletes find that they are more susceptible to injuries.

Start taking part in 5k social events like Parkrun, where you'll find people of all ages, sizes and speeds ... and you can even take your dog for company! The results are graded using an age-related adjustment so you can see how you rate against people of the same age.

Running Shoes 

When starting out, especially if you're not young, the main criteria is to have comfortable and suitable shoes. Most people need a neutral shoe a size bigger than their regular shoe size.

Although today even shoes may be questionable with the enthusiastic 'minimalistic running' movement who claim that running barefoot is best.

Barefoot running has an enthusiastic group of supporters. Believing that many running injuries have been caused by inappropriate shoes and running styles, people are going 'primitive'. If you live in a place where this can be done then, try it. It requires some toughening up but makes one feel like a kid again.

Make Your How to Lose Weight by Running Plan 

Before deciding that you want to take up running for weight loss, prepare a plan. I would also recommend buying a heart rate monitor (I have a  Garmin) and keeping a record of your exercise. 

Also, consider setting a longer-term objective of running in a race and, if possible, find a training partner or group.

How Much Weight Loss Running

The following is a very rough estimate of the calories consumed with running. On average, it burns about 350 calories an hour, while walking at a brisk pace burns about 200 calories an hour. As it requires about 3 500 calories to burn a pound of fat, you can easily calculate that to lose a pound of fat, you will have to jog for at least 10 hours or walk for about 18 hours. 

So prepare your slow and steady weight loss plan based on these factors.

Find a Friend

It's a great motivation to have a friend as an exercise partner. This will ensure that you don't miss sessions as often the cycles of inspiration are different - when you want to miss a session, they don't, and when they want to miss a session, you don't. The other excellent motivation is to set an objective like participating in a race sometime in the future. If you think your resolve might dissolve, then tell everybody that you're going to do it. Then make an additional commitment by taking a few bets!


Running is not always easy but can be one of the most liberating and enjoyable forms of exercise. It can be done anywhere, at any time, and all that is required is a pair of running shoes.

Running to lose weight can be a productive and efficient solution. It is something the whole family can do, and always remember that we were 'born to run.'

Boost your fitness, health and well being. Like any fitness and wellness program, it's not always trouble-free, but the rewards are great


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