5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight

by Farhan Rasheed
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One day, you’ve decided to transform your body and embark on a weight loss journey. So, you start to jog every morning and eat a healthy diet. Everything is going great. Until one day, the number on your scale is moving slower than usual. So, what is happening? The culprit is probably the type of exercise you’re doing. To give you a better idea, here is a list of common mistakes when running for weight loss.

1. Focusing Too Much on the Number of Calories Burned

The first in this list of mistakes when running for weight loss is focusing on calories burned.

A caloric deficit is a vital factor in losing weight. However, focusing too much on the number of calories burned is not a good idea.

Keep in mind that we are burning calories, even with a sedentary lifestyle. Our bodies need a lot of energy to perform various processes. Thus, calories are not only burned during a workout. But, this does not mean that you don’t need to exercise. Regular workouts have numerous health benefits.

Now, going back to the main problem. A lot of people pick running because it burns more calories compared to strength training. However, this is only in terms of short-term effects.

The main objective of resistance training is to build muscles. When you have more muscles, your body will demand more energy to perform its daily tasks. Thus, in terms of long-term effects, strength training will burn more calories.

2. Your Workout Lacks Intensity

When jogging, one lesson we often learn is controlling our pace to run longer and further. There is nothing wrong with this if your main objective is to build endurance. However, if your aim is to shed some pounds, lack of intensity is one of the typical mistakes when running for weight loss.

Basically, the main idea here is simple. If you want to burn more calories, you have to let your body work harder. The best way to do this is to add speed and intensity in your workouts.

This is one reason high-intensity interval training (HIIT) like sprinting is gaining popularity. Basically, these activities will make you tired in just a short period. However, it will also let you burn more calories because your body is performing several processes during and after these types of activities.

An added benefit is that these activities only require a minimal amount of time. Hence, if you have a busy schedule, doing HIIT workouts is a great fitness activity. But, always remember to increase the intensity of your workouts to avoid injuries gradually.

3. You’re Running Too Much

We often think that when we run daily and for longer periods, we burn more calories. However, in this list of mistakes when running for weight loss, a lot of people are guilty of this mistake.

The main reason for this is stress. When exercising, our bodies release the stress hormone cortisol. This specific compound has numerous roles in the body, including your ability to burn fat. Most of the time, this is not harmful. However, when you constantly have high levels of cortisol, it may lead to undesirable effects. Among these are inflammation, fat build-up, muscle breakdown, slow recovery, and a compromised immune system.

This is the utmost importance of rest in any workout regimen. Allowing your body to recuperate will not only recharge your bodies. It can also prevent injuries and weight loss plateaus.

4. There is No Variation in Your Fitness Routine

One of the most common mistakes when running for weight loss is the lack of variation.

To explain further, as runners, our main goal is to improve our endurance. The best way to achieve this is through steady-state cardio or running at a moderate pace. While this can provide progress, there is also a flaw in this method.

Keep in mind that our bodies can adapt to our workout routines. This is the main reason running for longer periods becomes easier if you do it regularly. The problem is that once your body adapts, it affects your metabolism. Thus, after some time, you’re going to burn fewer calories, resulting in a weight loss plateau.

A solution to this dilemma is to diversify your workout routine. Adding some strength training exercises can make a great impact.

Today, a lot of fitness experts recommend lifting weights or HIIT if your main goal is fat loss. One reason is that these activities cause micro-tears in your muscles. To repair these damages, your body will need energy. Thus, you are burning calories during and after your workout.

Furthermore, diversifying your exercises can hinder your body from adapting to your routine. As amazing as it is, our bodies cannot predict our next move unless you’re doing the same thing over and over again. By adding various kinds of exercises in your workout routine will not only help you avoid boredom. It can also affect your weight loss journey.

5. Doing the Same Cardio Workout

By now, you’re already aware of the importance of muscles and variation in your weight loss journey. Thus, if you only jog or run to shed some pounds, your progress may hit a wall after some time.

But, this doesn’t mean that running is not a good exercise. Certainly, this type of cardio exercise can provide numerous benefits. But, let’s face it. Regularly running for 30 or 40 minutes takes a lot of time and determination, especially for beginners.

Thus, if you’re looking for a motivating way to lose weight, try varying your activities. Running is not the only cardio exercise you can do. You can try swimming, sprinting or jumping rope.

Aside from that, don’t forget to add body-weight exercises or weight lifting in your workout routine. This will not only prevent a weight loss plateau. It can also help transform your body.

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