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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Getting Started Running - Tips for Running If You Are Overweight

If you are overweight and serious about losing that weight, then you are on the right track by taking up running. Running is a great exercise for weight loss as it burns a significant amount of calories in each session, tipping the calorie balance in favor of losing weight.

You may hear people saying that "running is not a slow enough exercise to burn fat", or "that your body will get used to running". Whilst this are true, to some degree, the basic fact remains that using more energy than you take in through food, will result in weight loss full stop.

So the only thing to concentrate on to start with is getting your fitness levels up so that you can run 3 or 4 times a week comfortably. This needs you to take a slightly longer view on your weight loss than you may have had in mind, but let's face it there is no quick fix to losing weight sustainably.

To get started successfully keep to the following tips:
Just Start Walking. Whilst you have got the determination to start, get out and do something. No matter your weight or fitness level you are likely to be able to go out and walk briskly. You can do this today without any special equipment. Just step out of your front door, choose a route and start walking for about 15-20 minutes if you can manage it. Keep your arms swinging, your stride long and walk at a pace where you notice yourself breathing, but don't let yourself get out of breath. That's workout number 1 right there.
Don't start a diet. Starting to run will take enough willpower without trying to start a diet at the same time. Your body is also going to need the calories and nutrients that you are taking in more than ever. Get exercising regularly first, think about diet later. You will lose weight when you start running provided your weight is relatively stable with your current diet.
Get some good running shoes. Specialist running shoes are much better than basic or fashion trainers. They compensate for imbalances in your Gait and can provide additional cushioning that can reduce impact on your joints and tendons.
Pick a training program. A good beginners training programme will take you from brisk walking up to continuous running over the course of 6 - 10 weeks. The best programmes use a mixture of walking and running in the form of interval training. Over a number of weeks interval training gently raises your fitness levels to a point where continuous running is both possible and comfortable.
Never get out of breath. Learn to listen to your body and scale back your pace, or drop back to a walk if you feel yourself getting out of breath. If you do get out of breath try not to stop moving completely but keep walking even if it is slowly so that you recover actively.
Don't push too hard. The most important thing you can do in your running programme, is to stick with it. You're more likely to stick with it if you keep it enjoyable and don't exhaust yourself sessions after session. Stay within our limits even if it means repeating a week of your training programme or missing your goal for that day.
Rest. It is not the exertion of running that makes you fit, it is the periods of rest in between. Don't skip your rest days, as your body needs them to recover, build cardiovascular and physical strength making you fitter and less prone to injury.
Go slow, In the early weeks of running, pace is not the point, there will be plenty of time to speed up later and even if you feel you are shuffling along only a little faster than walking, don't concern yourself yet. Keeping your pace slow and within your limits, means you are less likely to over-exert yourself and less likely to end up with an injury.
Stay hydrated. Dehydration negatively affects your performance, recovery and hinders your body when it tries to metabolize fat. Learn to stay hydrated throughout the day, it is the best thing you can do to prepare yourself for your running sessions. Don;t wait until you are about to head out to run as you body takes time to absorb the water that you drink. Taking water with you on your run is not necessary for the short distances you will be covering, although it will give you a head start on fluid replacement.
Stretch. Get into the habit of stretching your leg muscles after each session, it ill help you stay flexible, will stop stiffness and you'll feel lighter when you head out on runs.
And finally, look at your diet. Although you will lose some weight through running alone, you will need to also look at how much and what you eat in order to lose significant amounts of weight. The good news is if you wait until you are running regularly, you will not need to make as significant changes to your total calorie intake. Instead smaller adjustments in what you eat will have a greater impact on your weight lose because all that extra exercise.

Start running to lose weight sustainably and healthily by following an appropriate beginners training programme. I developed my beginners running plan based on my experience of starting running, where I have learnt that gradual increases in exertion, avoiding over-exertion and using manageable interval training methods are the key to getting into regular running that, after the first few weeks can become effortless and enjoyable.

For a gentle, manageable plan to get your running and weight loss started and for help, advice and inspiration to keep you going visit

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