Running is NOT the Key to Weight Loss
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Running is hard. Not hard to learn, but hard on the body. It’s a high impact sport that puts extra pressure on the joints and muscles.

That’s why I am always amazed when I hear someone just starting their journey say they want to start running, lose some weight and then hit the weights. For some reason, everyone seems to think running is the best way to lose weight and get fit.  I would have to respectfully disagree.

It’s not that running isn’t good exercise, it is. I just believe that it’s not necessarily the best exercise for beginners.  Like I said it is hard on the body. Therefore, I think you need to build up to it. You should create a base level of fitness and strength before you hit the pavement. Particularly if you have joint problems or have injured yourself in the past.

There also seems to be this perception that running burns an amazing amount of calories. Maybe its because those elite marathon runners we see on TV are crazy thin.  Really, in most cases, those runners were already crazy thin.  To get the most calorie burn for your fitness buck running isnt’t your best choice.

For women running burns about 105 calories per mile.  If you run a 5K each time you go out, that’s about 315 calories. Not bad. But most people I know don’t run that far. Maybe a mile or 2 is the most they do for an average workout.

Weight training, by comparison, burns about 8 calories a minute or 240 calories in 30 minutes.  Plus you get the afterburn effect, the metabolism boost you get post exercise. Studies show in the first hour after a 30 minute weight workout you will burn an additional 50-75 calories. Also, the remodeling process (repairing of the muscle and recovery) can increase your metabolism another 5-7% for the next 24-48 hours.  Running doesn’t provide that benefit.

I’ve also seen plenty of runners who are able to cover great distances yet they can’t seem to hit their goal weight or get into the shape they want. Running does burn calories, but it isn’t a ticket to eat whatever you want. You can’t out train a bad diet. Nutrition is 80% of the fat loss equation.

To get those shapely shoulders or a lifted derriere you must build and strengthen the underlying muscle. Running won’t do that. In fact, too much running will actually make it harder to build and keep lean muscle mass.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from running. I’m actually starting to like it myself. I just want everyone to know that running isn’t the key to weight loss and a shapely physique. Don’t think the body you want is going to come from just hitting the track a few times a week.  You’ve got to hit the weights and clean up your nutrition to shape the body you want.

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