Running can help you lose weight, but not in the way you think.
IF you’re trying to lose weight then lacing up your trainers and heading out for a run is one of the best ways to do it.
Running burns loads of calories, may actually help suppress your appetite and targets harmful belly fat.
However, there are a few tweaks you can make to your runs to really unleash its full fat burning potential.
In particular, mixing up your speed, cutting down your pre-training snacks and even resting more can all help you shed a few more pounds.
Here, we take you through some simple ways you can become a fat burning machine when you’re out pounding the pavements…
Short explosive bursts of running at around 80 per cent of your maximum heart rate is guaranteed to make you instantly enter the ‘fat burning zone’.
This is because, intense training activates fat burning genes while you work out, and increases your metabolism afterwards.
You can try this in a simple 30 minute HIIT session by alternating between one minute sprints and four minutes of jogging in between.
2. Add rest periods
You may think take a rest in the middle of your training run may seem counterproductive – but it turns out this could be the key to shedding a few extra pounds.
Scientists from Japan asked two groups of participants to complete a one hour cardio workout, with one group exercising for the full 60 minutes while the others rested for 20 minutes halfway through.
Despite exercising for less time, the second group actually burned more fat than the first.
The experts behind the study claimed that the break in between the exercise sessions meant that fat metabolism was accelerated higher than it was through continuous exercise.
3. Love the long run
Not every run needs to be all about channelling your inner Usain Bolt and going as fast as you can.
While long, steady runs are key if you’re marathon training – they may also be the secret to blitzing excess body fat.
In particular, running for over 30 minutes will significantly boost the rate at which you continue to burn fat when you have finished training.
Top tips for getting into running
- Get family involved – it can be a lot easier to get out of the door for a run if you get your family or kids involved.
- Build up gradually – you don’t need to keep running, you can maybe try and jog for a couple of minutes, walk for a couple of minutes, jog for a couple of minutes and gradually build up your confidence.
- Set a long term goal – if you set yourself a really long term goal that can help – whether that’s to do your first ever 5K or 10K.
- Give yourself a cheat day – it’s all about balance and just generally I’ve found having that balance in life does a lot of good.
- Mix up the pace – there are things like tempo runs where you run slightly harder for say ten or 20 minutes, so you’re really practising that sustained effort. And then of course interval sessions, where you’re breaking your running up into chunks.
- Run in new locations – switch it up and try and go and run in beautiful or new locations.
- Make it fun – most of all you just need to make your running enjoyable, it’s a wonderful sport. Try and make it fun for yourself – try and run with a running buddy to keep you motivated.
One study, published in the Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences, found that runners who trainer for an hour saw a 500 per cent increase in post-run calorie burn when compared to their half hour sessions.
4. Cut back on pre-training snacks
Many people think that because they’re running they can get carried away with carbo-loading and gorging on as many energy bars as they want.
While excess carbohydrate consumption can help boost energy levels before a marathon, it simply isn’t necessary before shorter training runs and can stop you from burning fat.
Scientists at the University of Texas found that runners displayed significantly lower levels of fat metabolism when they had a pre-training snack.
5. Resistance training
Scientists in Tokyo discovered that the most efficient technique for weight loss is to exercise with weights before going for a run.
In their study, when participants took part in a resistance training session before running, they lost more weight during their run than those who did no preparatory exercise.
As well as preparing your body for improved fat loss, working out with weights before cardio helps to strengthen your cardiovascular system.
6. Hill training
Not only will running up hills add more intensity (and pain) to your runs – it will also help you burn more fat.
Your body will have to work harder which will ramp up your heart rate – in turn meaning you will burn more calories.
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