Lose weight by running more and eating a healthy diet.
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Running is a popular exercise method to improve fitness and aid in weight loss. Cardiovascular activities such as an easy running plan will increase your heart rate and metabolic rate to burn off calories and shed unwanted pounds. New runners are often unsure of how to get started running or what they should be doing to lose weight. Combine your easy running plan with a healthy diet to maximize fat-loss success.
Run and Walk
A run/walk program is an easy way to get started with running while improving fitness levels. This type of plan involves running for a specified time followed by walking periods to allow for recovery. Walk breaks allow you to continue exercising instead of stopping because you cannot run far. Start off with running for one minute followed by five minutes of walking; repeat this five times for a 30-minute workout. Gradually increase running times and decrease walking times each week such that you are running for two minutes and walking for three; running for three minutes and walking for two and so forth until eventually you are running continuously for 20 to 30 minutes.
Every Second Day
Starting a running plan can be overwhelming particularly if you are new to exercise or short on time. Aim to run every second day of the week or three to four runs per week initially and gradually progress to five runs per week. To lose weight, you may need to engage in more than 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Start with running three days of the week for 30-minute sessions and progress to 45- to 50-minute run/walks.
Make one run during the week your long run in which you run a longer distance than usual. Pace yourself so that you are able to complete the distance and use the run/walk method when needed. Long runs are low-intensity meaning you should be able to carry on a light conversation and keep your heart rate steady. Running longer distances tap into burning fat stores as fuel, according to Greg McMillan, MS of McMillan Running. The distance of your long run depends on your current fitness levels; aim to start with 4 to 5 miles as a long run and gradually increase by .5 to 1 mile each week until you are comfortably running 10-plus miles.
It Takes Two
You can do all the running you like but you can't outrun a bad diet. Weight-loss occurs when calories taken in are less than what is burned off. Focus on eating a diet high in nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats in moderation. Avoid foods that contain trans-fats and high refined sugar contents. Consume a healthy carb/protein snack or dinner post-run such as fruit with yogurt to replenish glycogen stores and aid muscle recovery. Avoid eating or drinking high-protein/caloric bars and shakes when you are trying to lose weight and new to running because they may push your caloric intake into surplus leading to weight-gain.