Thursday, January 31, 2013

8 Important Dos and Don’ts of Running for Fitness & Weight Loss

Many people start running because they want to lose weight and get in shape. Running burns more calories than most sports and its easy to do. All you need to do is put on a pair of running shoes and you’re ready to go. As easy as it is to run, if you’re running for fitness and weight loss there are some steps that will help you, and some things to avoid.

Do Start Small

The “weigh” he was Camp America commandant los...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many people get so gung-ho about running that they head out the door and push their body further than it is ready for. The result? Several days to recover and a lot of aches and pains. You can also injure yourself by doing too much too soon. And it’s a good way to lose your desire to run before you really get started.

Don’t Overeat

Many people mistakenly come home from a run and pig out. Running for an hour burns around 500 calories. Let’s assume you run for thirty minutes, burn 250 calories, then come home and have a hamburger and a cookie. We’ll you’ve now eaten probably twice what you burned off. In a month you’ll have gained two pounds. Not lost! That’s frustrating. Count your calories to make sure you’re burning more than you’re consuming.

Do Have a Plan

What is your running goal? For example, are you running to lose weight? Great, how are you going to achieve it? If you run for thirty minutes a day you burn approximately 250 calories each run (more in less time if you use the interval method). In a month you will have lost two pounds. Decrease your calorie consumption to lose more weight quickly.

Don’t Neglect Hydration

Did you know that dehydration often mimics hunger? We eat when we should be drinking. And if you’re running you need to drink more. Your body loses water by sweating when you run. Water flushes the toxins from your body too. Make sure you drink enough and when you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water first.

Jogger and the Dogwalkers
(Photo credit: kh1234567890)
Do Have Fun
Running doesn’t have to be a chore or something you have to do to lose weight. It can and should be fun. It’s up to you to make it fun. Listen to music. Run with friends or your dog. Run on trails or sign up for a race to challenge yourself. You can join a running club too and surround yourself with like-minded people.

Don’t Forget to Take Time Off
Most experts recommend taking one rest day each week. And consider making running part of an overall fitness plan. For example, you might run three days a week and do yoga or swim two days a week. One day you can strength train and then you have your rest day. Adding variety and mixing it up will make you more likely to enjoy your workouts and stick with them.

Running improves your cardiovascular system - especially if running and walking in intervals. It boosts your metabolism, improves your sleep and reduces stress. All of those benefits help you lose weight and get in perhaps the best fitness of your life. Enjoy running and the benefits it brings you, by following these simple tips.

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