How To Start Running When Overweight

How much time do you spend sitting at home each day? If you’re like most Americans, you probably spend more time watching TV or playing video games than you do exercise.

And if you’re overweight, you’re likely spending even more time sitting down.

How To Start Running When Overweight

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of American adults are obese. This means they have a body mass index (BMI) over 30.

For those who want to get fit, starting with an active lifestyle is a big challenge.

Since running is one of the easiest ways to burn calories, it might be an idea for you to take up running as a hobby to lose some weight, get fitter and live a higher quality of life.

This article guides you through the process of how to start running when you are overweight and what the benefits could be.

Benefits Of Running For Weight Loss

Running can help you shed pounds because it burns fat, builds muscle, and strengthens your heart. It also improves your overall health by improving your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and glucose tolerance.

Running can aid weight loss as well since it helps you build lean muscle tissue which is denser than fat tissue. Your metabolism will increase while you exercise so that you don’t feel as hungry between meals. You may find yourself eating less food throughout the day.

When you run, you burn off excess calories and improve your cardiovascular system. The increased circulation in your legs increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to your muscles.

You’ll also experience a sense of euphoria from the endorphins released into your brain during intense workouts. These chemicals make you happy and decrease stress which can lead to weight gain.

The first thing you need to know about running is that it takes a lot of practice. You won’t become a world-class runner overnight. However, once you learn the basics, you’ll be able to keep pace with others on the road.

Before You Begin

As an overweight person, before beginning any running program, you need to check with your doctor it is safe. Certain conditions can affect your ability to run safely, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and asthma.

If you have any of these conditions, your physician may provide you with an alternate exercise plan. They might even recommend that you do an exercise stress test on a treadmill.

This can rule out cardiovascular issues that can come with being overweight and can make running dangerous without taking alternate steps first.

How To Start Running When Overweight

How To Start Running When Overweight

Start Slowly

If you’ve never been involved in any kind of sports before, then you should start slowly. Beginners often injure themselves by trying too hard too fast.

Start by walking around the block several times every morning. Then gradually work your way up to jogging for 10 minutes. Once you’re comfortable with this, try increasing your speed and distance until you reach a point where you can jog for 20 minutes without stopping.

Moreover, while some people successfully get to the point where they can run without any walk breaks, others like to stick with a run/walk strategy.

You can use intervals such as run 3 minutes, then walk 1 minute or run for 2 minutes and walk for 30 seconds. Whatever works for you will be the best strategy to help with weight loss. Never overdo it and always listen to your body.

Warm Up Before Exercising

Warm-up your muscles by doing light stretching exercises. Stretching loosens your muscles and prepares them for physical activity.

You should always start with dynamic stretches before running and keep the static stretches to your post-run routine. whatever your level of fitness, we cannot stress the importance of stretching.

Wear The Right Running Shoes

For any runner, the right shoes are just as important as stretching. Wearing proper running shoes will prevent injuries and allow you to move more freely.

You need shoes with cushioning to absorb shock, and you need to ensure they fit properly to provide proper support. Before starting a running program, visit a professional running store for a test run, and they can measure your gate too.

Choose a breathable shoe and one you feel comfortable running and walking long distances in. it will make the world of difference.

Include Bodyweight Training

Including stability exercises when you begin running can strengthen your muscles to help running become easier, whilst also aiding in weight loss.

One bodyweight training workout completed around 2-3 times per week is recommended and this can include exercises such as lunges, planks, squats, airplanes, superman, mountain climbers, and burpees.

If you feel confident, you can then add light dumbbells in to build muscle even more and strengthen those muscles to improve your running. 

You could even create a circuit training routine with a few rounds. Include about 5 exercises and perform each one for 30 seconds.

Run On A Regular Schedule

You must create a reasonable running schedule you can stick to. Try to run around three days per week, but don’t overdo it. It’s better to do less than to go all out and end up with an injury, burnout or give up completely. 

Stay Hydrated

Running requires energy, so you must stay hydrated. Drink water throughout the day and avoid sugary drinks. Drinking enough water helps flush toxins from your system and keeps your body well-hydrated.

Eat Properly

Even if you are trying to lose weight, fueling your body will help your running improve and will give you enough energy to carry on, helping you burn more calories in the long term.

Never run on an empty stomach and eat your small snack 30 to 60 minutes before your run. Popular foods include bananas or a granola bar, and you should avoid foods particularly high in fiber as they are hard to digest and can lead to pain and discomfort when you run such as a side stitch.

Additionally, although we are eating fewer calories in a weight loss program, if you skip meals completely, you may find yourself feeling hungry and overtired after running.

Skipping meals can be detrimental to your overall health because it slows down digestion and absorption of nutrients. Therefore it’s important to simply eat enough to fuel your body, and stick with a calories’ deficit of only around 300-500 calories.

Get Some Sleep

Sleep is essential for our bodies. We know that lack of sleep can cause us to gain weight, but it can also affect our performance during exercise. Getting adequate rest is key to staying motivated and focused when working out.

Final Thoughts

We hope after reading this article you have learned all you need to know about running when you are overweight and how with proper training, proper running gear, and a consultation with your doctor, it can be an effective tool for weight loss.

Make sure you start slow, do not overdo it. Fuel your bodies in a sensible calorie deficit, and you should be on your way to a better quality of life in no time.

Megan Rinzel
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