Today most overweight people start running because they wish to lose those excess pounds for good. One burns a lot of calories while running. It also improves cardiovascular function.
The start may not be easy. But if you are determined to lose weight, then you will be able to do it.
As a beginner, you need to follow these few things:
What to Do When You are Overweight and Running to Lose Weight
First, set a goal and make sure it is realistic.
Without a goal, you will keep delaying your plan when you are running to lose weight. You will push it to one day to another and another. Procrastination becomes a habit in the absence of a goal.
When you set a goal, be realistic. Consider your body type, your health when setting the goal of losing weight by running.
Once you have this set, it will become easier to work towards it and accomplish your goal.
Have the right attitude and believe in yourself
Whatever you decide and whenever you decide to do it, do it for yourself.
This journey is not going to be easy. There will be many to mock your decision and demotivate you. Learn to ignore them and focus on your training. The more you don’t bother about the naysayers, the more positive results you will see.
Consult your doctor
Running could lead to injuries if you are not careful. You should meet your doctor and discuss your weight issue and any health problems before you start running. Do a thorough physical assessment.
Only once the doctors say it is okay to go on this running journey, should you plan for the next level.
Buy the right shoes and clothes
Your comfort level is important when you start exercising and are running to lose weight. Overweight runners have experienced pain in their knees because their knees are not able to handle the bodyweight for a longer period while running or walking.
Hence wearing the right pair of shoes is vital. You could buy that hassle-free by going to a store that specializes in running shoes or on Amazon. You may have to shell out some extra money. But isn’t our health our wealth?
Also, make sure to buy some compression gear that will save your arms and legs from swelling. This will also help reduce the soreness in the muscle, if any.
You could opt for some compression shirts and a pair of spandex pants that are tight and fit well. Your thighs will be saved from running against each other because of these type of pants. And, the shirt will help compress your chest and stomach that would bounce otherwise while running.
Before you start running, start walking
You need to start small in order to have bigger results eventually when you are running to lose weight. It is impossible to lose weight in a day and that too healthily. Overdoing anything could cause a risk to your health.
Hence take baby steps and gradually jump to the next levels.
Walking first is recommended for beginners as it is an exercise that does not have a high impact. You will not have to force yourself to do this simple exercise. On doing it every day, you will build your strength and endurance gradually. This is of utmost importance if you wish to do some intense workouts later.
Also, walking helps to check any issues that are underlying when you are running to lose weight. Many times we realize we have certain issues only after we have exerted ourselves. We also tend to forget to mention certain ailments to our doctor.
Hence walking it utmost important before you start running.
The best way to start walking is by:
- Warm-up before you start your walking exercise. You could do this by walking slowly for five minutes.
- After that, you could slowly increase your walking pace and intensity. This is brisk walking, which you could do for 20– 30 minutes.
- After you are done brisk walking, slow down your pace, and walk slowly for at least 5 minutes. This will help to get your heart date down and slowly back to normal.
You could continue with your walking routines for as long as you want. Once you know you are mentally and physically ready to start running, you may advance to the next level.
The breathing technique also plays an important role when you are running to lose weight. Or, you could end up gasping for breath and pass out.
Hence rhythmic breathing is good. Inhale deep while taking the first three steps and exhale while walking the next two steps. What I mean by each step is each time you step your foot on the ground or the floor. Thus, every time you exhale, you exhale on a different foot. When you start running, you will notice that your joints will feel your body weight the most while you are breathing out.
Also, if you breathe inside a bit harder in the beginning, try to inhale while you take two steps and exhale on the following one step. This has proven to be very helpful when one is running uphill or during sprints, as this is the time when your body will feel very tired. This breathing technique is also beneficial for side stitches.
Music is loved by all. Try not to listen to any music when you run and try to set your breathing pattern. Or you will get distracted, and it will take more time to master the rhythmic breathing art.
Inculcate the habit of doing it every day. Run after you master the art of walking.
To see good and guaranteed results when you are running to lose weight, one must practice and exercise daily.
So after walking for days and building your body stamina, you need to start running. Run for 30 minutes at a stretch for a start. Make sure to run like this at least thrice a week. Continue this for 12 weeks or 16 weeks if you can. Once you are able to of this, it means you have got into the habit of doing it automatically.
It feels very motivating to run in the company of others. Run along with your gym buddies or someone who is on the same wavelength as yours. You will strive to do better each day and help each other.
Apart from running to lose weight, add some strength training to your routine once a week. You could try doing free weights if not your own body weight. When you do, strength training your body muscle gets built up, which helps in accelerating your metabolism.
Do take breaks when the body demands it. The body does need rest. Sleep enough. This all does influence your body’s metabolic process.
Eating right is equally necessary as per the type of training program when you are running to lose weight.
You can lose weight because of trained running. But one needs to eat well and the right amount and the right stuff to make sure all your effort doesn’t go down the drain.
Your appetite will increase once you start the running exercise. And hence you will eat more guilt-free. You will assume that you are feeling hungry because your body is burning more calories and faster as you run. But that is not true.
You have to monitor whatever you eat and drink, so you do not gain weight instead of losing. The best thing to do is to run just before your mealtime. This way, you will not eat extra calories.
Eat healthy fat within the required limited. Overeating these fats like nuts, healthy oils, flax will lead to increasing the fat quotient in your body. Try not to have more than 30 grams or 6 tbsp. of healthy fats. This will save you from going overboard.
Drink water when running for less than an hour. During humid or hot weather involving longer runs, add some carbs and even electrolytes to have a better performance. Try not to drink the entire bottle unless your body really needs it, and you are running for more than 1 hr 30 minutes.
Reduce your happy hour frequencies. You do not need to go every day but instead just once a week to have two drinks at the most. The calorie intake is high when you have a glass of wine or beer. Hence try to drink water in between drinks. This will help dilute the drinks or beer.
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Things to avoid when you are running to lose weight
You could also try following these few things to avoid any unnecessary weight gains:
- Do not have monotonous workouts. For example, just doing one level of cardio will not help increase your metabolism rate. You will have to have a mix of some easy runs on certain days and a faster tempo run on other days while taking breaks in between on some days. This break is needed so your muscles can get built. This will help in burning your calories.
- Do not overdo any set of exercises, as this will cause strain to your body. Remember, you have to exercise slowly on a regular basis and gradually increase your pace to enhance your endurance and body strength. Your body fats will melt away if you follow this well. Overdoing only leads to injuries and excess burnouts. It is not a shortcut to quick success.