Running is an effective way to lose weight. It could be challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, running exercises become more enjoyable and you also get to keep fit and healthy eventually.
Does running help you to lose weight?
Running does help in losing weight. These exercises actually burn a lot of calories and fat which results in weight loss.
Recent research shows that high-intensity running exercises like sprints, hill runs, and intervals other than burning fat, they also suppress appetite making you eat less.
Now that you know running aids in weight loss, let’s look at running tips you should consider as a beginner.
1. Consult with your doctor before you start running
Consulting a doctor is necessary before you start running workouts. You may be having an underlying condition that you’re unaware of. A heart check-up for example could prevent a heart attack or heart complications when you get into action.
A general medical checkup is vital especially for people who are not used to hard or tiring exercises. This will prevent injuries that may occur during such exercises.
2. Invest in good running equipment
Investing in good running equipment is important because your athletic performance and well being depend on it. People often underestimate this key factor and end up feeling tired, uncomfortable, and blistered.
Some of these running equipment include:
Heart rate monitors (HRMs)
HRMs provide instant feedback about your cardiovascular system and the stress experienced while running. They alert you when you over-train, provide your heart rate limits, and also count calories.
Garmin, Suunto and Polar are popular for their heart rate monitor products.
Shoes determine how you run, therefore, it’s good to invest in the best. Running shoes should be a good fit and gentle on your feet. These prevent blisters and pain in your feet.
The best running shorts should be lightweight and comfortable. They should also contain wicking properties, which is drawing moisture away from your body.
Although most of them come with elastic bands; those with drawstrings are the best as you can adjust the waist to your preference.
Your running shorts shouldn’t be too tight, you may obstruct blood flow around your waist. They shouldn’t be too loose either, as it might become uncomfortable while you’re running.
Running tights keep your legs warm. They should be snug fitting and comfortable to prevent cold from penetrating your legs. This is because cold weather may cause sore muscles or injuries. But with tights that fit snugly, this problem can be avoided.
Whether short-sleeved or long-sleeved, a good running top should be comfortable and snugly fitting otherwise they’ll cause friction around your armpits.
Its material should favor sporting activities. It could be spandex, nylon, polyester, microfiber, etc.
Socks provide warmth and protection for your feet. But, running socks should do more than that. They should draw sweat away from your legs to prevent friction and should be padded at the arch area for more comfort and to prevent blisters.
Go for running socks that are a good fit more so at the arch area. If they don’t fit well, they might slide off your feet and build up inside your shoes.
The best sports bra limit movement around the bust area for the best running experience. It should also be comfortable and specifically designed for sports activities.
3. Walk before you run. Start slowly
Warming up before running stretches your muscles which minuses the risks of injury. It also enables you to adjust your body for longer distances. It promotes blood circulation to all muscles you’ll need while running.
4. Hire a running coach or download a running app
A running coach will help you reach your objectives since they’re highly trained experienced in what they do. They will help you build up your confidence more so if you’re a beginner.
The cost of hiring a running coach depends on the qualification and demand of the coach in question or even your needs. Some may require hourly payments while others prefer payments monthly which range from $40 to $ 400.
All in all, before hiring a coach ensure that their specialty, qualifications, or experience matches your needs.
A running app could also help, it tracks paces, calories, routines, distance, and many more. They’re a great way to keep you motivated and help you achieve fitness goals. Most of them are beginner-friendly and ensure you make the most out of them.
5. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated throughout your running exercises boosts your performance. Water improves your energy levels and regulates temperature during these workouts.
Since you lose a lot of electrolytes and water through sweating, they’re all replaced when you’re hydrated. Dehydration may cause fatigue, migraines, and increased heart rates.
6. Fuel your body with the right nutrition and foods
We might as well agree that food powers your runs. This is why it’s important to fuel your body with the right diet.
Dietary carbohydrates are energy giving foods which basically powers your cells and gives you enough energy to run.
Another food that acts as a source of energy is fat. Fat is broken down into fatty acids and other compounds that are mostly used during endurance exercises.
With this in mind, you have a rough idea of what your diet should comprise of. But, don’t go overboard as you’ll do more harm than good.
For carbs, ensure that you’re intake is 60% to 65% of your total calorie intake. But for runners like splinters, this may not enough and they may need more than 70%
For fat, your intake should be 20% to 35% of your total diet and no more than that. You can achieve this by sticking to foods that have low saturated fats like nuts and cold-water fish.
Proteins repair tissues damaged during your exercises, this makes them an integral part of your diet. According to USDA Dietary guidelines, your protein daily intake should be 10 % to 35%. You should focus on those that are low in fats and cholesterol like poultry, beans, eggs, lean meat, fish, etc.
Don’t forget to add in vitamins and minerals which are essential for your well-being. Minerals such as calcium are good for strong bones and teeth, iron build your muscles naturally while zinc boosts your immunity.
7. Don’t forget to stretch
This keeps your muscles healthy and strong. Stretching before you run will provide the flexibility that allows a range of motion in your joints. This will indeed prevent the risks of injuries.
To sum up, getting the right equipment, eating the right diet and staying motivated will help you stay on the course and you’ll be able to achieve your short or long-term fitness goals. You can keep motivation by keeping your workouts fun, running with a friend/ family, or by joining competitions.