If you’re running to lose weight, you’ve got it all wrong. While running is an effective cardio exercise for burning fat, it’s a common misconception that it’s enough to get you in shape. For a complete and balanced workout, you need to combine a healthy diet, cardio, and strength training. Running can be tough and takes effort. But the wrong kind of effort will not give you the results you’re looking for. We understand the frustration you feel when every time you get up on that scale, the numbers don’t change. You might be surprised that you’re actually gaining weight from running instead of shedding off that fat. Here are the reasons why you’re not losing weight despite running regularly.
You Burn Fewer Calories
Your body has a way of getting accustomed to something that you do repeatedly. At first, you’ll feel great about your runs and even feel rejuvenated. However, with time, the runs start to feel a little easier and you sweat alright, but fewer calories are burned because your metabolism is adapting to your routine.
The only way to keep burning more and more calories is to run longer and faster each time. So, unless you’re a natural runner who enjoys the long distance runs, it is better to do shorter but tougher workouts.
You Focus on Running Only
As earlier mentioned, it takes the three aspects of workouts – cardio, strength training, and a healthy diet – for better and quicker results.
Don’t take this the wrong way. Running works, but if you run long miles at a slower pace, your muscle growth stagnates or worse, becomes impaired. According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, you’re better off cycling than running if you want to lose fat as well as gain muscle. For efficient weight loss within a shorter time frame, look for a workout with a higher intensity like core cardio.
You Burn Fewer Calories
Now, let’s set this straight. The majority of the calories you burn are actually as a result of you just being alive. Standing, thinking, sleeping and generally any activity you do, requires a lot of energy which in turn burns a high number of calories.
So, why hit the gym? There are health benefits that you get when you exercise. The downside of running is that, while it burns calories, it limits the number of calories you can burn. That is to say, unlike High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), the moment you stop running, your metabolism adjusts back to the state it was before the run.
The intensity of your workout boosts your metabolism so that your body continues to burn calories long after your exercise is over. Put another way, the more muscles you have, the more energy you need for basic functioning, hence the more calories your body burns.
Running Makes You Hungry
Despite what you might have heard, the longer you train the more your body needs to replace used-up calories. And here you’re wondering why your runs are long and frequent, but the scale remains constant or is adding up.
Moderate intensity workouts may not be the best, especially if you want to lose weight. Focus on shorter high-intensity workouts instead, and you’ll notice encouraging changes in no time.
You Lack Motivation
It takes passion, dedication, and commitment to hit the road running day in day out. Since you may not be fond of running, you’ll find yourself using any excuses to skip the routine runs.
But, you’re not alone. The better option is to quite forcing yourself and find a different form of exercise that you actually enjoy doing. It will be easier to achieve your goals because you won’t need a push to hit the gym or do the workout you find entertaining.
Running Focuses More on Endurance Rather Than Weight Loss
Think about it this way. When you set a goal before you start your run, say you want to cover 10 miles today, you’ll pick a pace that’s comfortable enough to allow you to finish the race. Alternatively, if you want to use the treadmill, you plan to spend at least 30 minutes there or until you feel tired.
If you’re training for endurance, you’ll gain a lot. However, if your target is burning fat, you’re at a loss. A research by the University of Western Ontario compared the results from one group of people performing short intense workouts to another group doing low-intensity long cardio. The results were very distinct and showed that despite working out for a shorter period, those who engaged in tougher workouts lost twice as much as the other group.
Undoubtedly, running has many benefits such as strengthening your heart and lowering your blood pressure. But, it all boils down to goals and intentions. For weight loss, intensity, muscle strength and pushing yourself to a challenging level is poised to yield more fruits than over-reliance on running
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