- Anemia hypertension stenosis question 16 one problem
- 1. You’re consuming more than you’re burning.
- 2. You’re taking in too many mid-workout calories.
- 3. You’re losing fat – and gaining muscle.
- 4. You’re not mixing it up enough.
- 5. Your goals aren’t a good match.
- Why Most Runners Don’t Lose Weight
- Running Too Slow
- Why Can’t I Lose Weight While Running – The Answer(s) You Seek
- 1. You are Gaining Muscle Mass
- 2. You are Eating Too Much
- 3. You Run too Much
- 4. You’re Not Running Hard (or Long) Enough
- 5. The Scale is Just One Piece of a Much Bigger Puzzle
- 6. Unrealistic Weight Loss Expectations
- Struggling with Insanity Weight Loss?
- How to Make Exercise a Habit (or, “How I Completed Insanity Max: 30, Didn’t Lose any Weight, but am Still Fucking Delighted!”)
- Lower Your Standards
- Pick One Thing
- Find The Time
- Pick a plan to follow…
- Weight Loss Pills & Diet Supplements – Not Losing Weight On Insanity & CSCS
- How Running Changes Your Body
- 1. Running can help you live longer
- 2. Running can get you high
- 3. Running doesn’t require a commute
- 4. Running fights off beer bellies
- 5. Running can help score you Vitamin D
- 6. Running burns crazy calories
- 7. Running doesn’t require a ton of equipment
- 8. You can run anywhere
- 9. You can run at any time
- 10. Your dog can run with you
- 11. Running turns you into the Energizer bunny
- 12. Running strengthens your bones
- 13. Running helps you reach your goals
- 14. Running makes you tenacious
- 15. Running fights off the common cold
- 16. Running’s perfect for any fitness level
- 17. Running’s social
- 18. Running’s meditative
- 19. Running is never the same
- 20. You’re made to run
- 21. Running boosts your mood
- 22. Running is an excuse to eat carbs
- 23. It strengthens your knees
- 24. Running can make over your heart
- 25. It keeps your eyes healthy
- 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Running a Mile Every Day
- 1. Improve Your Cardiorespiratory Health (AKA, Fitness)
- 2. Kick Depression
- 3. Running Builds Strong Bones
- 4. Get Better Sleep (Finally)
- 5. Become Smarter
- 6. Relieve Stress without Breaking Things
- 7. Lose Weight
- 8. Outlive Your Enemies
- 9. Take a Stand Against Cancer
- 10. You’ll Have a New Hobby
- Helpful Weight Loss Tips: How to Burn Fat While Running
- What does fat burning mean?
- When do we burn fat?
- How to burn more fat when running
- Do I really have to run 30 minutes to burn fat?
- High-intensity running and fat burn
- High or low-intesity running – what burns more fat?
- Running on an empty stomach
Anemia hypertension stenosis question 16 one problem
Question 19 The concept of adaptive thermogenesis attempts to explain how Genetics influences childhood obesity. People’s bodies conserve calories in very hot and very cold environments. Metabolic rate slows down as we age. Thin people can consume large amounts of calories without gaining weight. Question 20 The exercise metabolic rate would be lower for walking versus jogging. True False Question 21 The measure of energy expended while a person is engaged in sedentary activities, such as sitting on a sofa or digesting food, is the Basal metabolic rate. Exercise metabolic rate. Calorie intake. Resting metabolic rate. Question 22 The method of body composition measurement that sends a small current through the body to measure the resistance based on percentage of body water is Bioelectrical impedance analysis. Soft tissue roentgenogram. Electrical conductivity test. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Question 23 The minimum amount of energy the body uses at complete rest is known as the Metabolic balance. Energy balance. Basal metabolic rate.
You set two goals for yourself this year: to lose some weight and to train for endurance races. But while the training part is going well – you’re running or riding more days than you’re not, and you’re able to go longer and faster each time – the pounds just aren’t coming off.
It’s a common occurrence among runners and cyclists. We pick up the habit hoping to shed some weight along the way, but instead our pants end up feeling tighter and our weight creeps up rather than down. Why? Jonathan Cane, an exercise physiologist and founder of City Coach Multisport in New York City, says there are a few reasons this happens.
1. You’re consuming more than you’re burning.
It’s Saturday morning, and you just finished your weekly long run or ride. You take a steamy shower followed by a quick nap – and then you proceed directly to the kitchen, where you slam a protein shake followed by a stack of pancakes and a handful of bacon. You’re understandably ravenous – but overeating after a hard workout is a common occurrence among endurance athletes.
“It’s prudent to refuel after a workout,” says Cane. “It promotes muscle repair and glycogen replenishment, but also helps athletes refuel wisely. Even if your primary goal is weight loss, it’s better to put back a reasonable amount of calories shortly after your workout than to wait a few hours and binge when the hunger gets to be too much.”
2. You’re taking in too many mid-workout calories.
“Nothing makes me shake my head more than a runner who hopes to lose weight, but then eats a gel before heading out for a three-mile run,” says Cane. Many people overestimate the caloric expenditure from their training, and therefore take in far more calories than their exercise justifies.
Do the math to determine whether you really need to take in fuel and replenish any lost electrolytes and calories during your workout, or if you can do without. (Chances are, if your workout takes less than an hour, you don’t need to take in calories until it’s recovery time.) Using the Smart Calorie count on your Polar M430 or Polar M460 is the best way to keep your calories in check after your workout.
3. You’re losing fat – and gaining muscle.
If you’re working out efficiently and effectively, there’s a good chance you are losing weight – at least in theory. But you’re also gaining muscle.
“Though running or cycling aren’t necessarily the most effective or efficient ways to gain muscle, it’s not unusual for runners or cyclists to add muscle mass in their legs,” says Cane. “That can obviously affect the reading on the scale.” Consider your body composition, and pay attention to how your clothes fit or how your athletic performance is improving instead of focusing strictly on the number on the scale.
Plus, if you’re super active, you’ll also develop an increase in your body’s ability to store glycogen. “Since glycogen holds three times its weight in water, an increase in glycogen stores will be reflected as weight gain, even though it’s not unhealthy,” says Cane. “That phenomenon is why I often get panicked emails from athletes who are loading up on carbohydrates in anticipation of a marathon and freak out when they see their weight shoot up by a couple pounds.”
4. You’re not mixing it up enough.
Steady-state cardio workouts are great for training and upping your endurance. But going for the same five-mile run or 20-mile ride every few days probably isn’t enough to reach your weight-loss goals.
Mix it up by adding some high-intensity interval training, track workouts, or speed sessions into your training. This is when heart-rate training comes in handy: If your heart rate stays steady for the duration of your workout, you’re not maximizing your potential calorie burn.
5. Your goals aren’t a good match.
“Running is a great exercise for a number of reasons,” says Cane. “But weight loss isn’t necessarily at the top of that list.” A 132-pound runner burns roughly 100 calories per mile. At 154 pounds, it’s 116 calories per mile. “And despite what most people think, running faster doesn’t burn significantly more calories per mile, though you’re burning more calories per minute by running faster,” says Cane.
If 3,500 calories equals one pound (roughly), a runner needs to cover 30-35 miles each week just to lose one pound. “While that may not seem like many miles to an experienced runner, it’s probably too much for a newbie,” says Cane. “When I’m working with someone who’s new to training and wants to lose some weight, I typically introduce running gently and gradually, but supplement it with other, lower-impact activities like cycling or swimming, since there’s less orthopedic stress. Then I can be less conservative with the increases in training volume.”
In most cases, diet has a greater effect on weight loss than exercise. If your goal is to lose weight, start in the kitchen and add workouts to supplement your diet plan. If your goal is to complete a 50-mile race, focus first on getting your miles in, and eat up in a way that allows you to perform your best.
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.
Why Most Runners Don’t Lose Weight
More than 19 million Americans run 100 days or more per year, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. Chances are that at least few thousand of those millions run to drop a few pounds. For many, the weight loss never happens.
How can it be that an activity that burns so many calories has such a negligible effect on weight loss? Because people do a lot wrong.
Running Too Slow
Most distance runners smartly follow a training protocol that has them running most of their miles at a relatively low effort level. Doing so helps them log more weekly miles without putting too much stress on the body. It can also help them better use fat as a fuel source. What it does not do, however, is burn a ton of calories.
If your primary reason for running is weight loss, then it can actually be a good idea to break from conventional wisdom and run at a faster pace. Running at 70 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate feels only slightly more challenging than running at a slower pace, so you should be able to run for the same duration while burning 10 to 20 percent more calories.
If you’re training for an upcoming race, you won’t want to ditch the slow miles completely. You can amp up the calorie burn by adding speed or incline intervals to each of your runs. As long as you keep the bulk of your miles in the easy zone, you should recover quickly from your runs and be able to hit your weekly mileage targets. Adding even 5 to 10 minutes of fast running into each workout can boost your calorie burn.
Another common tendency among runners is to run a lot. If weight loss is your goal, you might take this even further, thinking that if you run enough miles each week, you’ll automatically burn enough calories to lose weight. But then you get injured and can’t run at all.
We’ve all pushed our weekly mileage or our pace beyond our limits and suffered an injury as the result. An injury can be doubly disastrous if you’re trying to lose weight. Not only are you not burning any calories while you’re injured, you’re probably feeling frustrated and depressed about it, which can lead to emotional eating and drinking.
It’s much better to run slower and shorter than to not run at all. Neither weight loss nor improvements in running performance will happen overnight.
Be patient and take the long view. By slowly building mileage and increasing speed, you’ll gradually be able to burn more calories each week while minimizing your risk for injury.
Why can’t I lose weight while running?
If you don’t already know the answer to that question, then this post is perfect for you.
Running & Weight Loss Results
Running is the best thing you can do to help you lose weight and keep it off for good.
If truth be told, the reason I started running in the first place was to lose weight, and chances you’ve started (or thinking about it) for similar reasons. Scores of beginners take up running because, mostly, they want to lose weight.
In other words, running does help you lose weight.
Nonetheless, and as I have learned the hard way, running does not always lead to weight loss.
This is a hard one to swallow…
Just because you took up running, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to slim down.
In fact, even if you are following a healthy diet and are hitting the pavement on a regular basis, there is no guarantee for weight loss.
When I first took up running circa 2006, I lost around 25 pounds in the first few months. However, I couldn’t keep the weight off—regardless of my efforts and how much I wanted to stay slim.
Within six months of my initial success, I gained about 15 pounds back, even though I was running more than before and trying to set my diet in the right direction.
The irony, I know.
This frustrated the hell out of me.
All the same, I kept going after my weight loss goals. I knew that I had no option other than staying consistent—giving up was not an option. After a long process of trial and error, I was able to keep the weight off.
And today I’m going to share with you some of the main reasons you’re not losing weight as fast as you’d like to, along with a few tips to help you expedite the process and increase the chances of your success.
So are you excited? Then here we go…
Why Can’t I Lose Weight While Running – The Answer(s) You Seek
1. You are Gaining Muscle Mass
When you take up running, and for the first few months, your body responds to the new rigorous activity by making some adaptations and physiological changes. One of these changes is a significant shift in your body composition as you gain muscle mass and lose fat.
How does that happen?
Running can increase muscles mass—especially in key running muscles, such as the glutes, quads, and calves. In fact, you could be building muscle mass faster than you are shedding fat.
The only thing you need to here is: Patience. That’s it.
Once you keep up the good work, the fat will eventually burn off, and you’ll end up with a leaner and sculpted body.
Also, use other measurements for weight loss beyond the scale.
You might consider taking regular measures of your waist and circumference, or calculating your body mass index—BMI—via this online calculator. This will give you a better ballpark figure of your percentage of body fat, according to your weight and height.
2. You are Eating Too Much
In my experience, this might be the MOST common reason runners do not lose weight.
Many a runner (me included) overestimate the number of calories burnt while running and underestimate the amount of calories consumed at each meal (and everything in between).
Don’t get me wrong here. Running burns a lot of calories, but this does not give you a free pass to eat everything under the sun and still lose weight. It just doesn’t happen that way. At all.
The fact is, you can never outrun a bad diet. You can eat and drink calories at much faster rate than you can ever burn calories, period.
Get a better estimate of your daily calorie needs and build an eating plan around it.
Also, make sure to monitor every morsel of food you put into your mouth. For that, use a Smartphone app to keep tabs on the quantity and quality of your daily calories consumption.
Be precise. Be thorough, and leave nothing to chance.
The exact number depends, mainly, on my factors, including your body weight, fitness level, training intensity, and other factors.
And remember that weight loss is a numbers’ game—you only lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume.
3. You Run too Much
Logging in too many miles without giving your body enough recovery time can lead to overtraining and all sorts of health troubles.
But that’s not the whole story.
Overtraining also has an impact on your weight loss vision.
If you an overtrained runner, especially when it comes to fluids, electrolyte balance, blood sugar, and stress levels, then you might be harming your thyroid and hindering your metabolic rate, all of which can compromise your weight loss efforts.
In other words, stress is bad for you—regardless of how much of healthy lifestyle you are championing.
Give recovery the priority it calls for by doing the following:
- Eat for recovery with an emphasis on post-run eating and eating natural and nutritious food.
- Shoot for at least 7 to 8 hours of high quality interrupted sleep during the night’s time.
- Schedule recovery runs, recovery workouts, recovery days, and recovery weeks into your training program.
- Do your best to eliminate and reduce stress and its triggers in your life.
For more recovery practices, check my post here.
4. You’re Not Running Hard (or Long) Enough
Some runners are able to lose a few pounds at first by just going for a few short runs around the block while opting for sensible diet guidelines. But after a couple of months of doing the same thing, they suddenly hit a wall and stop seeing progress?
The reason is actually quite simple. The human body is pretty smart, and it’s designed to be as efficient as possible; this means that if you are running the same route at the same intensity and training level, your body will eventually adapt to the workload, and you’ll stop seeing results.
In fact, this is guaranteed way to encounter a weight loss plateau.
According to research conducted at the University of Tampa, running on the treadmill for 45 minutes at a steady pace promotes weight loss, but only during the first few weeks.
If you are serious about losing weight, make sure to schedule at least three runs per week, aiming for a minimum of 240 minutes of exercise a week.
Plus, and this is super important, try to diversify your training intensity and duration.
Interval sessions, such as sprints, hill reps and other HIIT workouts might be the exact thing you need to break a weight loss plateau and reach your weight loss running goals.
Thus, Instead of doing the same steady state runs over and over again, add a couple of interval training sessions to your weekly training routines, such as interval sprints and hill reps.
Also, incorporate a couple of cross training sessions to your training program to keep you consistent and speed up your fitness gains. Spinning, Yoga, weight training, and swimming are some of the best options.
What’s more? If you are not into cross training, then I recommend that you find smart and practical ways to add more physical activity into your daily routine.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Stand more.
- Play with the kids.
- Get a stand-up work desk.
- Play sports with the kids.
- Exercise the dog.
- The list is almost endless.
Just get out there and be as active as possible.
5. The Scale is Just One Piece of a Much Bigger Puzzle
“The scale is a bastard trickster” as I like to say.
If truth be told, the scale might not be your best friend when it comes to keeping track of your weight loss progress—or lack thereof.
Well, it’s really simple. Body weight tends to rise and fall by a few pounds from one day to the next.
This fluctuation depends, mainly, on hormones activity, the foods you are eating, dehydration level, etc…and when you hang your hopes on the scale, then you are actually setting yourself a vicious cycle of ups and downs.
So please, please remember this: the numbers on the scale do not tell the whole story.
The best advice I can give you when it comes to tracking weight loss the right way is to use a variety of measurement.
As I have already stated, you need to opt for other ways than the scale to measure your progress.
Try some of these ways to measure your progress:
- Measure your body fat percentage once per month.
- Measure your waist circumference.
- Keep tabs on how well your clothes fit. Try on the same pair shirts or jeans every four to six weeks, and look for the subtle differences.
- Take before and after pictures on a monthly basis.
- Keep tabs on your emotional states and energy levels. Are you sleeping better? Do you have more energy? Are you feeling less stressed? Do you feel more alive? Etc.
- Keep tabs on your athletic performance. Is your athletic performance improving? How much you can you run? How long can you run? How fast can you run? Take these fitness tests on every six to eight weeks to see how your fitness level stacks up to the average Joe.
6. Unrealistic Weight Loss Expectations
I hate to break it to you, but weight loss is not something that happens overnight. In reality, and contrary to popular belief, weight loss is a much slower process than the majority of people want it to be.
Don’t get me wrong. Overnight success stories do happen. In fact, it is even possible to lose a bunch of weight fast in the first few weeks of a weight loss resolution, but the truth is, this cannot be sustained.
And according to research, this is not the healthiest thing to do.
Therefore, if you are struggling with the scale, one reason might be that you just haven’t given it enough time. And that’s it.
Stop looking for short-term results.
Weight loss is more of a marathon, not a sprint.
Slow and steady wins the weight loss race…
Yeah, that’s easier said than done.
Here is your action plan:
Aim for no more one pound per week—that’s roughly 3500 calories.
As a rule of thumb, you should, ideally, shoot for a 300 to 500 calorie deficit a day if you are serious about shedding weight the healthy and sustainable way.
Give the process time, and with enough persistence and flexibility on your part, you’ll achieve what you are after.
Just keep in mind that everybody is different and responds differently to training routines and diet habits. No suit fits all. That’s the beauty of life.
And in the end, it pays for the long term to start accepting your body the way it is. I hate to break it to you, but not everyone can look like a fitness model—no matter how entitled you feel and regardless of what the latest fitness magazine covers promise—we are all different.
The truth is, most of the fitness magazine covers and the fit-inspiration are often embellished and enhanced using special software—no one actually looks like that in real life (thank you Photoshop), and you shouldn’t be hard on yourself since you are not meeting any particular standard.
New to Running? Start Here…
If you’re serious about running, getting fit, and staying injury free, then make sure to download my Runners Blueprint Guide!
Inside this guide, you’ll learn how to start running and lose weight weight the easy and painless way. This is, in fact, your ultimate manifesto to becoming a faster and a stronger runner. And you want that, don’t you?
to check out my Runners Blueprint System today!
Don’t miss out! My awesome running plan is just one click away.
The above reasons are the main ones to blame for not losing weight. So, if you’re still wondering what to do when you can’t lose weight, be honest with yourself and assess the possibility that you might be actually doing it to yourself.
Struggling with Insanity Weight Loss?
If you are doing the program, sweating your brains out, getting your high knees higher and cursing out the power jumps then you are expecting huge numbers in your Insanity weight loss. Shoot, I’ve expected to see a noticeable difference in my body after just one or two workouts since they are so crazy and I’m working so hard. BUT, it doesn’t always happen. I get a lot of messages from people, mostly females, working hard and boggled as to why the scale isn’t budging. Let’s figure out how to get your Insanity weight loss on track!
Insanity Weight Loss vs. You
It’s not a lost cause! If you are doing the Insanity workout or any workout, for that matter, I do want to encourage you, first, to not let the scale run your life, dictate
your happiness, control your mind! It’s JUST a scale. And the beauty of a scale is that nobody even sees the number on it except you (and maybe your doctor)! Change your thought process. If you are losing inches or if your clothes are fitting better and you are FEELING better, why do you still let the scale showing no weight loss with Insanity bother you? Retrain the brain! But, I am still here to give you some ideas on why your average weight loss for Insanity isn’t up to par.
Why the Scale Might Not Be Moving for the Females
Chalene Johnson, creator of Turbofire and Turbojam, said it best. Here is her explanation for no immediate Insanity weight loss:
When someone starts a new exercise program, they often experience muscle soreness. The more intense and “unfamiliar” the program, the more intense the muscle soreness. In the first few weeks of a new program, soreness is the body trying to “protect and defend” the effected or targeted tissue. This type of soreness is thought to be caused by tissue breakdown or microscopic tears in muscle tissue. When this happens the body protects the tissue. The muscle becomes inflamed and slightly swollen with fluid retention. This temporary retention of fluid can result in a 3- to 4-pound weight gain within a few weeks of a new program. Keep in mind that muscle soreness is not necessarily a reflection of how hard you worked. In fact, some people feel no signs of muscle soreness, yet will experience the muscle protection mechanisms of water retention and slight swelling.
STICK WITH IT! Results WILL come!
Most people are motivated enough to put up with this temporary muscle soreness. Yet, many, especially those who really need immediate weight loss to keep them motivated in those first couple of weeks become discouraged and quit!
When I worked with a group of 70 test participants during the development stages of ChaLEAN Extreme, this happened. Who was the most upset and discouraged? You guessed it… the women! I’m happy to report with absolutely every single woman (and man) in our group, the weight increase was temporary and never lasted more than 2 weeks before they started to see a major drop in the scale. However, these people had the advantage of working with someone who was able to explain to them why this was happening and assure them the weight would come off if they stuck to the nutrition plan and stayed true to the program.
My own personal example of this is running 10K’s. I don’t do it very often, maybe 1 or 2x a year. Even though I run on a regular basis, when you run a race you push much harder. It’s natural for me to be “insanely” sore the next day. Its also very common for me to see the scale jump 4 pounds the next day from forcing fluids post race. Even though I know the cause of it, it’s still a bummer. We’re all human and hard work should mean “results”. Hard work equals results, but our bodies are amazing machines and they know how to protect us from hurting our selves. Soreness forces you to give those muscles a break. Ultimately you will lose the weight and you will change your metabolism in the process.
The key is understanding that this is a normal and temporary and stick with the program!! (this means YOU– all of you wanting some Shaun T Insanity Weight Loss!)
When to be concerned:
If you experience a significant weight gain (exceeding 5 pounds) which does not begin to decrease rapidly after the second week, guess what it is??? I’ll give you one hint… you put it in your mouth and chew it. You know it! Your food (or calorie laden beverages). Newsflash friends.. exercise doesn’t make you gain weight. Consuming more food than you burn makes you gain weight!
So if after two weeks you are not losing weight, have gained weight that’s not coming off, it’s time to take a close and honest look at your food intake. It’s time to find out what you’re burning in calories each day. Knowledge is king.
Moral of the story: Be patient young grasshopper. You’ll be lean and mean in no time!
The Insanity weight loss is ON ITS WAY and you are becoming a CHAMPION in the process!
Digging Deeper, Jessica Bowser Nelson
P.S. Ready to get started on your Insanity weight loss then !
How to Make Exercise a Habit (or, “How I Completed Insanity Max: 30, Didn’t Lose any Weight, but am Still Fucking Delighted!”)
I’m the last person you should go to for fitness or health guidance (or ANY kind of guidance for that matter), so please don’t class anything in this blog post as good advice. It’s probably terrible.
“OMG! Ever since I started Salsa dancing, I’ve lost 17 lbs!”
“I’ve only been doing the program for six days, but I’ve already lost 48 stone on the “dog worming tablet” plan. Ok, so I may no longer have any feeling down the left-hand side of my body, but I look great!”
I decided to do every single diet at once — Keto, Paleo, No Carb, All Carb, Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Gastric band, 5:2, 16:8 and the Mediterranean plan. So far, I’ve lost the will to live and most of my friends have blocked me on social media.”
I’ve started exercising.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those “OMG, my life has changed after following an exercise program” posts. There will be no evangelical, “you HAVE to start doing this” type preaching.
I won’t be posting any before and after photos, so this post is safe to read while eating. Nor will I be filling social media with shots of healthy food, early morning workouts or sweat covered barbells.
I’ve never liked exercise. I can’t remember a point in my life when the prospect of putting on some different clothing, feeling pain in every bone in my body and breathing like an elderly, asthmatic on the edge of death for half an hour filled me with joy.
It’s never been fun for me.
I realised though that being 42 and a bit of a chunkster isn’t good. If I want to live long enough to see my kids (and grandchildren) grow up and make an impact in the world, I need to start making healthier decisions, and one of the biggest ways I can do that is by doing some regular exercise.
The trouble is, I’ve had these thoughts before and they’ve never stuck around. I’ll have moments in my life where I get into exercise — I mean TOTALLY into it — I buy the gear, swear I’ll never eat a carb again, drink green juices instead of Coke, do twice as much exercise as recommended…twice as fast…
…for about 38 minutes. And then I’m done.
We’ve all seen this before. It’s the smoker who, two days after giving up, is posting on social media — every 28 bloody seconds — about how his life has changed and how everyone needs to stop smoking. If you check back into their account a month later, they’re knee deep in B&H butts again.
Big, grand, sweeping changes never work for me. It’s unrealistic.
I’ve always detested doing any kind of exercise and my usual diet could politely be described as a “coronary on a plate”, yet, suddenly when I get the urge to be healthy, I feel like it’ll be an easy matter to completely turn my life around to resemble that of a triathlete?
As if it’s just a simple matter of deciding there and then.
It’s not likely. And, by “not likely”, I mean, “HAHAHAHAHA! You’ve no bloody chance mate!”.
So, what am I supposed to do?
Lower Your Standards
“I think I spotted a typo there. I think you meant to type ‘Raise your standards’?”
Thanks, fictional blog reader, but no. I think the key to tackling this kind of massive change is in lowering your standards, not raising them.This sounds like the worst advice ever.
“Lower my standards? Are you mad? Surely, if I want to make my life better I need to RAISE my standards?”
Confusingly, yes and no.
Here’s the thing:
you need to raise your standards from where they are now, but lower them from that lofty ideal you’re imagining in the future.
If you’re a couch potato who enjoys sitting on his backside while eating kebabs (guilty…and stop spying on me!), raising your standards to those of an Olympic athlete is going to get you in a lot of trouble.
The gap between where you currently are (your couch, covered in dubious meat shavings) and where you want to be (completing an ultra marathon or just being able to get off the couch without making that “OOOOMMMPPPHHH” noise) is just too big.
It’s not just big, it’s a bloody chasm. You’d have to be a fool to think you can make that jump.
If I was going to do this, I had to lower my standards.
So, instead of setting goals about losing weight, reaching a certain level of fitness, eating green, paleo, keto or whatever diet happens to be popular at the moment (do let me know when the “stuff your face with mountains of chocolate” diet becomes a thing), I picked just one:
If I was going to give this the best chance of being a new lifestyle choice for me, this “exercise” would have to meet some exacting criteria:
- I wanted something I could do at home. Having to find a two-hour window in my day to just “nip to the gym” wasn’t going to happen, as I have never felt the urge to just “nip to the gym” in the previous 42 years I’ve lived on this planet. I’m amazingly skilled at creating stupid excuses for avoiding stuff I don’t want to do, and this would be the same (“I need to walk the dog”, “I have work to do” or “that North Korea situation isn’t quite settled yet”)
- It had to be something that was simple to set up — something that didn’t require me to clear the lounge, wear some special apparatus or, god forbid, use an Allen key.
Even though I’d only made a slight error in its construction, Mr Goldstein still wanted a full refund. Some people!
- It had to be short. Ideally, I wanted the turnaround from being sat in my normal clothes thinking about exercising, to being back in my normal clothes, after exercising, to be an hour or less (actually, I wanted it to be about 28 seconds, but felt this was probably unrealistic).
Insanity Max: 30 met all of these criteria quite handsomely, while also having the added benefit that I’d actually bought the damn thing for my wife a few months back, so I already had the DVDs.
If you’re not familiar with Insanity Max: 30, it’s a home-based exercise routine that doesn’t use weights or equipment. You just need a small space (or a large one if you’re tall) and you can start.
I’d also recommend purchasing one of these, as there will be several points during the training where you’ll feel that you’re on the edge of death and could use a bit of a boost. You’ll also want to get your affairs in order and say your goodbyes to your loved ones before you hit play.
Here’s the full commercial, just to give you a bit of a taster:
In the interests of full disclosure, I also chose Insanity Max: 30 because of this quote from an online review:
“Want to outrun the average Kryptonian or change a lightbulb in the Sistine Chapel by jumping to reach it? My friends, Insanity Max: 30 will make you a superstar!”
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Yes, yes I do. That’s EXACTLY what I’m after.
“Wait just a minute! You said you were lowering your standards. Insanity sounds bloody mental. How is choosing to complete a demanding exercise program “lowering your standards”?
I was getting to that.
You’re right. Insanity is mental. It’s stupid and nuts and every other kind of madness. You have a strict diet plan to follow and are expected to write down your “max out” times so that you can beat them next time.
“Max out time” — that moment during an exercise routine when you consider whether throwing up and choking on your own vomit would be a more pleasurable alternative to doing another plyo push-up jack.”
So I followed my own advice and lowered my standards. I dropped the diet part of the training, “accidentally” forgot to write down my “Max Out” times and ditched the idea of having to do each workout “perfectly”.
This was my only goal:
Put my gear on, press play and START
Not to start and do it well, or get better or fitter. Just turn up, put the DVD in and do Insanity Max: 30.
Lowering my standards allowed me to show up and do the workouts. They didn’t have to be perfect (spoiler alert — none of them were). I didn’t have to beat my previous time. If I was lying in a crumpled mess on the floor after 3 minutes, it didn’t matter — the goal was to just do the workout, however good or bad it looked.
<humblebrag>Last week, after spending 60 days profusely swearing and swimming in pools of my own sweat in the kitchen (sorry, this post is no longer safe to read whilst eating), I did it. I completed Insanity Max: 30.</humblebrag>
There’s a common belief that it takes 21 days to establish a habit. Other research marks it as 66 days, but the truth is that there is no magic number. The only number that really counts is the number of days it takes YOU to establish the habit, and every habit will be different.
Somewhere in month two, and I can’t remember exactly when, I began to notice that I’d get a “bit antsy” on my days off (Insanity Max: 30 grants you one day off a week, presumably to prevent it from being classed by the EU as a form of “cruel and unusual punishment”).
It was a strange feeling that I’ve never experienced before — that I should be exercising and that I wouldn’t be totally averse to exercising.
This is an exact representation of how scared I was.
There came a point when the idea of doing some exercise was more appealing than the idea of not doing any.
There’d been a shift that moved me from being a person who hated exercise to being one that, while not totally loving it, started each day by planning when I was going to do the workout, to make sure I didn’t miss it.
This is a massive change for me.
And I think that’s as good as it’s going to get for me — the idea that doing exercise is easier than not doing it.
So, do I have a rockin’ bod after completing Insanity Max: 30? Are my abs now ripped and my biceps listed as a Weapon of Mass Destruction?
I’m exactly the same weight I was when I started. Now, you could argue that I’ve probably gained some muscle and lost some fat, but that’s not the point. I don’t care.
Lowering my standards meant that I only had one goal when it came to exercise, which I’ll repeat here to save you from scrolling:
Put my gear on, press play and START
And I did it. I’m still doing it.
Was I hoping that exercise would be a keystone habit that would trick me into eating well, being more productive and becoming an all round fabulous human being?
A little…yes, but I’m OK with none of those things happening.
One thing at a time…
So, if you’re considering starting an exercise program but, like me, hate the thought of actually doing one, here are my best tips for lowering your standards:
Pick One Thing
If you want to make exercise a habit, focus on just that — making exercise a habit. Don’t try to make 923 other life changes — you’re not training for the Olympics, you’re not in a rush — you’re just trying to be a better version of yourself, so take your time.
Start with one change and work from there.
There is no such thing as a perfect workout, so don’t worry about achieving anything “optimal”.
“I should exercise, but I’m a little tired, so I probably won’t be able to give it my all…so I might as well not do any and sit here and eat my body weight in Nougat.” was the kind of pathetic nonsense I found myself saying early on. I realised that doing the perfect workout was holding me back.
It’s not about “perfect”, “optimal” or “ideal”, it’s just about showing up and doing the bloody routine. If I max out at 5 minutes, or 8, it doesn’t matter.
Press play and start.
Find The Time
I read a lot of research that says you should exercise in the morning.
Yeah, I’m not doing that.
Even now, the idea of doing exercise in the morning makes me uncomfortable. I tend to do it at night, often as late as 10 or 11. I worried about this for a while until I realised that doing it every day at a less than perfect time is far better than going through the mental agony of working out at the ideal time. Press ups are still fucking hard at 11 pm.
Sometimes you just have to show up and do the work.
What I did find useful though was starting each day and planning a time to exercise. It didn’t have to be at a specific time, but earmarking a time for exercise definitely helped me keep to the program.
Pick a plan to follow…
…but don’t get too caught up in this.
Don’t spend weeks reading internet reviews and don’t move your entire family to Loughborough so that you can study Sports and Science at University for three years, just to ensure you pick the perfect workout program. Better to pick any program and just start, than spend hours browsing. If you can find a routine that looks fun with an instructor that doesn’t make you want to hurl things at your laptop, you’re onto a winner. Pick that one!
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How Running Changes Your Body
Any runner can tell you their stories about how getting in a good run can immediately improve their mood. The “runner’s high,” that euphoric feeling you get when your body begins producing endorphins, is a well-known and scientifically backed benefit of the practice of getting into some running shoes and pounding out some miles.
But aside from a good mood boost, what other positive physical effects does running have on the human body? Let’s take a look at how it changes your body composition and your overall physical system, and what changes the body undergoes during an average run.
Body composition refers to how much of your body is lean muscle, organs, water, bone or fat. Most individuals are interested in increasing lean muscle while decreasing subcutaneous fat. Losing fat and gaining muscle is a key benefit of any exercise strategy, and running regularly can contribute to these desired results.
A stronger body results in increased metabolism, better bone density and a measurable boost in overall health. Fat has its place as well, helping keep hormones in balance and assuring your body that your environment is plentiful and there is no need to stress in response to a famine or other environmental hazard.
So how does running affect our muscle/fat balance? In general, the amount of energy in versus the amount of energy out is what determines our weight. With a balanced diet in place, running can create a calorie deficit and promote fat loss through energy expenditure.
But it’s important to note that at a certain point, lean muscle will not continue to increase with running, as the exercise only requires so much muscle recruitment for sustainability. Therefore, running combined with weight training is recommended to provide an extra push that creates a shapely body composition with a desirable level of fat versus muscle.
Running also provides an important metabolic boost, as your caloric burn increases for an extended time period even after you end your run and take off your sneakers. In addition to a higher resting metabolism, a consistent running routine improves your overall endurance.
The longer you practice the art of running, the longer you are able to maintain the exercise, which in turn allows your muscles to increase their capacity to efficiently create energy. Endurance training can help you in all aspects of your daily life, both on the running path and off.
Along with endurance, strengthened muscles and an increased metabolism, running also bolsters the health of your most vital organs; most importantly your heart. Raising your heartbeat for consistent periods of time through activities such as running strengthens this major muscle and increases its efficiency to pump oxygen throughout your body.
Circulation improves as blood vessels dilate and your lung capacity increases. Over time, these ancillary systems — lungs, vessels, capillaries and cells — adapt to a higher level of energy expenditure and also increase their efficiency in kind. This results in better overall cardiovascular health in conjunction with a heart that is less taxed by activities of daily living.
Your Body on a Run: From Start to Finish
Let’s take a walk—or rather a run—through how the body creates and expends the energy necessary to keep you moving forward.
When you first launch into your run, your muscles rely on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to get you moving. These molecules are created by the food you eat and are stored in glycogen within your muscles and your blood. Glycogen is the body’s energy storage unit, waiting to be delivered and opened for use. As you continue to move, more ATP is unpacked from these glycogen storage units and is consumed by your muscles to keep you running.
As you continue on your run, your muscles begin to release lactic acid to signal to your brain that you’re working, and physical activity is underway. In order for your muscle cells to continue to break down glucose, they must use oxygen to do so. Therefore, your body begins to shunt blood away from non-essential functions such as digestion, and begins to bring oxygen to areas in need. In order to pull in and provide more oxygen to your system, you begin to breathe heavier.
Calorie use also begins to increase as your body rapidly moves through the energy expenditure cycle. Your core body temperature rises, and your blood vessels dilate to bring blood nearer to the skin to be cooled. This results in redness and flush. You also begin to produce sweat in order to cool off your body and prevent heatstroke.
If you have built up your endurance, your body will settle into a sustainable cycle of breathing, sweating and breaking down glucose into ATP. If you have been neglecting your workouts or you are new to the practice of getting in a good number of runs per week, your body may not be able to use energy as efficiently, and your use of ATP will begin to lag. Lactic acid will build up, your muscles will begin to ache and running will become a chore as your body struggles to keep up with the cycle of energy supply and demand.
During your cool-down period as your pace slows and you revert back to a walk, your breathing will return to normal, your heart rate will slow and the demands on your body to continue to produce energy in short order will wane. Along with a general feeling of physical accomplishment, the endorphins triggered by your run should now have you in a great mood, ready to tackle whatever comes next in your day.
Running is a great way to combine the efforts of many different physical practices into one. It increases endurance, builds muscle to maintain an optimal body fat composition, promotes cardiovascular health, strengthens the heart, and even improves your overall mood. Combined with weight training, running can help you maintain the perfect balance of mental stimulation and physical fitness.
The Strength Moves Every Runner Should Be Doing
Healthy Breakfasts for Athletes On the Go
Lose Weight with Running: 3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Workouts
First, a disclaimer: We love the gym. We love strength training with free weights and workout machines. And there’s tons of reasons you should do it whether you’re looking to build muscle, shed fat and calories, or simply amp up your overall health. But, there’s a slew of benefits specific to running that together make a pretty strong case for any guy to consider becoming a runner. From the aesthetic benefits to the mental perks, there’s a reason why 19 million people finished races in the US last year. While we’re not saying you should quit the gym (please don’t), we are saying you should consider taking up running, too. Here’s 25 reasons why.
1. Running can help you live longer
Runners live longer than those who don’t. In one Archives of Internal Medicine study, researchers followed about 1,000 adults (ages 50 and older) for 21 years. At the end of the study, 85 percent of the runners were still kicking it, while only 66 percent of the non-runners were alive. Yikes.
2. Running can get you high
The runner’s high is real: Mounting research, including one study published in Experimental Technology, shows that when we run, our brains pump out endocannabinoids, cannabis-like molecules that keep runners happy—and hooked.
3. Running doesn’t require a commute
Sure, your gym workout might only take an hour, but getting to and from the gym takes another 30 minutes. But the second you step out of your front door, you can be running, says Moen. After all, you spend enough of your time in the car. What’s more: Running can be your commute!
4. Running fights off beer bellies
As you age, pounds just have a way of gluing themselves to your stomach. But in one Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study of more than 100,000 runners, those who ran 35 or more miles per week gained less weight in their bellies throughout their mid-life years than those who ran less than nine.
5. Running can help score you Vitamin D
The human body gets most of its vitamin D from sun exposure, but since people spend all of their time indoors, well, you know how it goes. That explains why 41.6 percent of Americans are deficient in the vitamin, according to research published in Nutrition Research. Taking your run outside can help boost your levels to ward off depression, prevent type 2 diabetes, and strengthen your bones.
6. Running burns crazy calories
“An average one-hour weight-training workout at the gym burns about 300 calories. The typical hour-long run burns about twice that,” explains American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer Tammie Dubberly, a running coach with Whole Body Fitness in Portland, Oregon. Meanwhile, in one study from the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center, researchers found that the treadmill (used at a “hard” level) burned an average of 705 to 865 calories in an hour. The stair-climber, rower, and stationary bike all burned far fewer cals.
7. Running doesn’t require a ton of equipment
“If you’ve got shoes, shorts, and a shirt, you are good to go,” Fitzgerald says. “You can’t say that about many other workouts.” No machines, dumbbells, or even mats required.
8. You can run anywhere
Running will take you a heck of a lot farther than the four walls of your gym. “You can run anywhere in the world. There are literally races in Antarctica and the Sahara Desert,” Fitzgerald says. OK, most guys won’t go that far. But a weekend away won’t wreck your workout routine.
9. You can run at any time
The trail is never closed. Whether you want to get in a workout at 2pm or 2am, you can go for it, says Erik Moen, P.T., founder of Corpore Sano Physical Therapy in Washington.
10. Your dog can run with you
Dogs typically aren’t welcome in the gym. But they are right at home on the trail. They even get endocannabinoid-fueled runner’s highs similar to those of their two-legged friends, according to research from the University of Arizona.
11. Running turns you into the Energizer bunny
“Running is such a great cardiovascular workout that it makes it so that you don’t get tired as easily from any given workload,” Fitzgerald says. “For example, if I’m helping a friend move, I can carry boxes all day long and it’s not a big deal.”
12. Running strengthens your bones
Unlike every other aerobic workout you can crank out in the gym, running is high impact, meaning it loads and remakes your bones along with your muscles. “Swimming, cycling, and working on the elliptical don’t train your bones,” says Jason Fitzgerald, a USA Track & Field-certified coach and the founder of Strength Running. “If those are the only things you do, you’re at risk for weak bones and osteoporosis.”
13. Running helps you reach your goals
“Running makes you very goal-oriented. You’re always trying to achieve new PRs, and you know that you can’t just beat your goal in a day. It takes time, work, and consistency,” Fitzgerald says. That mindset, and practice working toward running goals, can pay off in helping you reach other career, financial, and personal goals.
14. Running makes you tenacious
“Running builds a tenacity and mental toughness that translates into every area of your life,” Fitzgerald says. If you can handle getting through 26.2 miles, you can handle anything.
15. Running fights off the common cold
“If you’re starting to feel sick, an easy 30-minute run can stimulate the immune system to help fight off a cold before it has a chance to take hold,” Fitzgerald says. In one British Journal of Sports Medicine Study, people who performed aerobic activity at least five days a week suffered from upper respiratory tract infections 43 percent less often than those who got in less aerobic activity. Plus, when runners did catch colds, their symptoms were much less severe.
16. Running’s perfect for any fitness level
You might not be able to just jump into Olympic weightlifting. But you can just wake up one morning and decide to go on your first run, Janet Hamilton, C.S.C.S., exercise physiologist with Running Strong in Atlanta. Plus, decades later, you still won’t have outgrown it. You can customize every running workout so that you never plateau.
“These days it seems that gyms are quieter than libraries,” Dubberly says. But on the trail, everyone’s chatting. Whether you run with one buddy, or join in a running club, the sport is all about community. And post-run happy hours.
18. Running’s meditative
More of a solo exerciser? That’s cool. “Running can be a time to zen out to your own thoughts,” ultrarunner Sarah Evans, C.P.T., a personal trainer and running coach in San Francisco.
19. Running is never the same
Contrary to what non-runners might think, every run is different, and it doesn’t have to be boring. You can mix it up so many ways, from running hills, going on tempo runs, performing intervals, or mixing it up between the road and the trail, Evans says.
20. You’re made to run
“Running is the best workout because it’s the most basic human form of exercise, using your own body, weight, and two legs to propel yourself forward,” Evans says. It’s as functional as workouts get.
21. Running boosts your mood
All runner’s highs aside, running can help your disposition all day long. For instance, a 2012 study out of Switzerland found that running for just 30 minutes every morning for three weeks significantly improved subject’s sleep quality as well as mood and concentration levels throughout the day.
22. Running is an excuse to eat carbs
And not just whole grain “healthy” carbs. We are talking refined pasta, white bread, and cookies. Simple, fast-acting carbohydrates are a runner’s best fuel, and upping your intake—strategically—can help you run better, and recover faster, per research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Some runners even eat Skittles on their long runs to stay energized, Hamilton says.
23. It strengthens your knees
No, running doesn’t wreck your knees. It does the exact opposite. Research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that running (even marathoning!) decreases the risk of knee osteoarthritis. That may be because running increases the flow of nutrients to the cartilage in your knee while also strengthening the ligaments around the joint.
24. Running can make over your heart
“First and foremost, running is an aerobic sport,” Fitzgerald says. By training your body’s aerobic (oxygen-sucking) metabolism, it strengthens your heart while lowering your resting heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol. And guess what? Aerobic exercise is, by far, the most time-efficient form of exercise for improving your heart health, according to research published in The American Journal of Cardiology.
25. It keeps your eyes healthy
When most guys think about exercise benefits, they probably don’t think about their vision. But 2013 research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that people who run an average of five miles or more a day have a 41 percent lower risk of developing cataracts, the leading cause of age-related vision loss and blindness. While the exact reason is yet to be known, it could have to do with the fact that running reduces the likelihood of developing high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes, both of which can contribute to cataracts.
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10 Amazing Health Benefits of Running a Mile Every Day
Reinvigorate your love for running with these top 10 reasons that pounding the pavement is a great activity for any athlete.
Imagine racing down the sidewalk, your heart pounding, sweat dripping, and the Chariots of Fire theme song blasting in both ears. Sounds epic, right? There’s a reason so many movie plots revolve around running—it’s a sport unlike any other. Required equipment is minimal, no playing field is needed, and endorphins abound.
But apart from being immortalized on the silver screen, daily running has major benefits that can turn your world upside down (in a really good way). And you don’t have to be going for Olympic glory to reap the rewards—running a mile every day can significantly change your life.
So, what exactly are these magical side effects? Take a look at 10 of the greatest benefits of daily running below for a full overview, or use the links to jump to the one you’re most excited about!
- Improve Your Cardiorespiratory Health (AKA, Fitness)
- Kick Depression to the Curb
- Running Builds Strong Bones
- Get Better Sleep (Finally)
- Become Smarter
- Relieve Stress without Breaking Things
- Lose Weight
- Outlive Your Enemies
- Take a Stand Against Cancer
- You’ll Have a New Hobby
1. Improve Your Cardiorespiratory Health (AKA, Fitness)
When you exercise, your heart pumps more quickly, strengthening all of your cardiac muscles. Similarly, your lungs expand and contract at faster rates during exercise, which forces your respiratory system to become more powerful.
Good cardiorespiratory health can prevent heart disease, lower your cholesterol, prevent type 2 diabetes, increase lung capacity, and boost your overall immune system. The better your cardiorespiratory health, the more fit and in shape you’ll be. Running a mile every day is an excellent way to keep your heart and lungs working at full capacity. Good motivation, right?
2. Kick Depression
Ever heard of a runner’s high? Exercising releases hormones in your brain called endorphins, which are the “feel good” chemicals proven to increase your mood and lower your perception of pain. When you run, you’re flooded with endorphins that can drastically improve your levels of happiness. If you’ve ever experienced overwhelming elation at the end of a glorious run, you know what we mean.
Numerous studies have shown that people suffering from depression, severe anxiety, and other mental health problems can reap the rewards of running. In fact, regular aerobic exercise (AKA running) can be just as effective as antidepressant medication! While it isn’t a cure for everyone, it most certainly can benefit anyone. Running just one mile each day is a fantastic natural mood enhancer and can help depression patients see the light on the other side.
3. Running Builds Strong Bones
As you run, the stress you put on your bones makes them stronger over time by increasing your bone density. This helps decrease your risk for osteoporosis—a condition that makes your bones weak and prone to breaking.
For a long time, researchers and doctors thought that resistance training, such as lifting weights, was the best way to beef up your bone density. But recent insight shows that high-impact exercise like running can be just as good, if not better!
4. Get Better Sleep (Finally)
Tired of being tired? Believe it or not, running a mile every day can help you get a good night’s sleep. While you might think that tiring yourself out automatically leads to better sleep, it’s much more complicated than that. Because running releases endorphins, all those anxious thoughts that keep you up at night just start floating to the background. Over time, your over-stimulated brain learns to relax and push away those wide-awake worries through the magical effects of running.
Not to mention, body temperature can have an effect on how easily you slip into Dreamland. Exercising increases your body temperature, and as you cool off after running, that change relaxes your body and preps it for rest. Voila, an easy path toward a restful sleep was in your hands—err, legs—all along!
5. Become Smarter
Fun fact: running encourages the growth of new grey matter in your brain. That’s right, you can literally expand your mind by lacing up a pair of sneakers and going for a jog. The more brain cells your body produces, the more opportunities you have to learn new things and remember important information. Plus, the rate of your learning speeds up, too. That means cramming to study for a test the night before might become a little bit easier!
While we can’t promise that running a mile every day will turn you into a Nobel Prize winner, we can say with confidence that you’ll be more alert and ready to learn than ever before. Aerobic activity increases the levels of cortisol in your body, which boosts information retention and memorization capabilities. No matter if you’re a student or a working professional, this is great news for athletes of any age!
6. Relieve Stress without Breaking Things
Smashing plates might sound like fun, but the clean-up is always a pain. Similar to how running can decrease depression, stretching your legs on a regular basis can relieve stress in a healthy way. On top of all those delicious endorphins, running basically acts as meditation in motion. The repeated motion of placing one foot in front of the other focuses your mind and helps shed any stressors you’ve experienced throughout the day.
Remember when you cried as a kid and your mom told you to take deep breaths? That technique helped calm you down during a tantrum—and the same logic applies when you run. Your elevated heart rate forces you to breathe deeply, which in turn helps calm an angry or upset mind. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress, avoid the urge to break something and take it out on the pavement with a therapy session on-the-go.
7. Lose Weight
If shedding a few pounds is a goal of yours, running a mile a day can jumpstart your efforts toward a leaner silhouette. Elevating your heart rate burns calories, which then helps you burn fat and fit into those skinny jeans you’ve had your eye on. Just make sure to vary your runs with different speeds, intensities, and inclines so you’re always pushing your body to adapt to new workouts. By switching up your routine, you don’t run the risk of reaching an exercise plateau that stalls your progress toward a leaner, healthier you! To avoid injury, it’s important to give your body an off-day to recover and rebuild itself—especially if you’re just getting started on your fitness journey.
An important reminder: losing weight doesn’t always mean seeing a smaller number pop up on the scale. Muscle mass is denser than fat, which means it weighs more when you look at same-sized portions. As you add running to your regimen, it’s likely you’ll gain muscle because you’re getting stronger. As your pant size goes down, your weight might stay the same or even increase because you’re replacing fat with dense muscle. Don’t let the scale dictate your life—you’re so much more than a number!
8. Outlive Your Enemies
Even if you don’t have an arch-nemesis, we’re pretty sure you like the idea of living as long as possible. One of the most amazing benefits of running every day includes increasing your lifespan by at least three years. People who don’t exercise on a regular basis are much more likely to die at a younger age than those of you who make time for a daily jog.
One well-cited study even suggests that just five minutes of running per day can significantly improve your life expectancy. If a mile a day seems like a bit much, even a half-mile per day can stretch your lifespan by a few years. Now try and tell us you can’t make time for that!
9. Take a Stand Against Cancer
Even if you don’t consider yourself a numbers person, there’s no way you can ignore the stats on daily running and reduced cancer risk. According to medical science, if you run a mile every day, you have: 42% lower risk of esophageal cancer, 27% lower risk of liver cancer, 26% lower risk of lung cancer, 23% lower risk of kidney cancer, 16% lower risk of colon cancer, and 10% lower risk of breast cancer. Amazing, right?
And those are only a few types of cancer where risk is significantly reduced by daily exercise! Even though running isn’t a sure-fire prevention technique, it never hurts to do everything you can to stay healthy. Perhaps your training will even get you ready to run a race that benefits cancer research!
10. You’ll Have a New Hobby
If you’ve been looking for something to really get into, running could be it. Reap the benefits of water cooler talks with your fellow workplace runners about the latest and greatest shoes. Sign up for races and revel in the accomplishment of achieving goals. And, if you feel so inclined, document your new-found obsession via Instagram (and don’t forget to tag us in your running photos so we can cheer you on. Find us at @roadrunnersports).
Helpful Weight Loss Tips: How to Burn Fat While Running
Is it better to run on an empty stomach to boost fat burning or to jog at a low heart rate to stay in the right “zone”? Or, should we do short but exhausting intervals to fight off those extra pounds? Today, I want to shed a light on how to best burn fat while running.
What does fat burning mean?
Fat burning refers to the ability of our bodies to oxidize or burn fat and use fat as a fuel instead of carbohydrates. This is an aerobic process – fat is broken down with the help of oxygen. In general, more fat is burned during aerobic activities like Nordic walking, running or biking.
When do we burn fat?
The body uses both fat and carbohydrate reserves as fuel during all kinds of activities. However, the percentage of energy coming from fat can be higher or lower depending on the type of activity.
In general, more fat is burned:
- During low-intensity physical activities
- During longer activities – the longer the activity, the higher the percentage of burned fat
- If you are in better shape overall – the fitter you are, the better you can use fat as fuel
Keep in mind:
More fat burned ≠ more weight loss. Weight loss depends mostly on the total amount of calories you burn, not just the percentage of fat burned during the activity.
How to burn more fat when running
You burn fat ideally while running at a pace where you would be able to maintain a full conversation. That’s when fat becomes your primary source of fuel. According to experts, this should be a pace that you would theoretically be able to maintain for up to 8 hours, i.e. slow!
Do I really have to run 30 minutes to burn fat?
A slow, low-intensity run uses more fat for fuel but takes longer to burn a lot of calories in total. That’s why it’s advised to run longer than 30 minutes when running at a low-intensity. However, a faster, high-intensity run can burn more calories in a shorter time period. And even if just a small percentage of those calories come from fat, it can still significantly boost your weight loss!
Plus, you can benefit from losing body fat even after your run as your body keeps burning fat for 2 to 3 hours after finishing a run. If you want to shed a few pounds, make sure you only ingest liquids and maybe a little protein during that time frame.
High-intensity running and fat burn
High-intensity training pushes our heart rate up until we reach the anaerobic zone. During high-intensity runs the percentage of fat burned is lower because our bodies resort to our carbohydrate reserves.
However, due to the intense exercise, the total calorie consumption is higher. We burn more calories due to the hard muscle work – even AFTER the run. The body needs more energy for recovery, thereby burning even more calories. That’s how you benefit from post-workout fat burning and the afterburn effect (EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).
High or low-intesity running – what burns more fat?
What’s better? A longer, yet slower “fat burning run” or a few sprints at a higher heart rate? On the one hand, during a slower run you’re in the ideal fat burning zone. On the other hand, intense interval training challenges your muscles even more.
In my opinion, a possible solution would be to combine both slower, relaxed runs in the aerobic zone (where it’s easy to maintain a conversation while running) and short, intense interval runs (which should be done only about once per week anyways).
Running on an empty stomach
If you feel fit enough for a slow, pre-breakfast run to improve your fat metabolism, do it:
- In the morning, on an empty stomach – 40 minutes max.
- At a max. oxygen consumption (VO2 max) of 50-60%*
* These values are estimates. Your can determine your individual, ideal workout intensity through a lactate test.
Whether your body burns fat efficiently or not depends on the right diet and on your sleep quality, too, as fat burning takes place 24/7, especially when you’re fast asleep.