Mayo Clinic Q&A: Running and weight loss

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Running and weight loss
Mayo Clinic Q&A: Running and weight loss

ANSWER: As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued, it has created some distinctive conditions for folks by way of weight achieve and loss, and with respect to discovering and embracing new train alternatives. Everyone’s state of affairs is completely different. So, whereas operating is an effective type of cardiovascular exercise, deciding if it’s a sensible choice for you is determined by a number of elements.

To greatest reply your query, it’s vital to ask your self a number of questions. Although we could have all been born to run, operating shouldn’t be for everybody. The most blatant query is: Do you prefer to run? But you additionally ought to contemplate your readiness to run. Factors that affect your readiness to run embody:

  • Age, weight and body mass index.
  • Your basic well being and health degree. Are you in in any other case good condition minus the additional kilos? Have you been figuring out in any respect previously few months? Are there every other medical circumstances that restrict your health?
  • Running historical past. If you’re a novice, your fee and distance will probably be completely different than somebody who has beforehand run distance occasions, as an example.
  • Cardiovascular and musculoskeletal well being. Do you’ve any current coronary heart points or issues? Do you’ve arthritis or a historical past of sprains or breaks? You ought to seek the advice of along with your well being care supplier and bodily therapist you probably have cardiovascular and/or musculoskeletal well being points. If you’ve extreme arthritis or synthetic joints, there are safer methods to burn energy with out overstressing your joints.

Running is likely one of the easiest pure workouts obtainable to us. All now we have to do is step into our sneakers and go exterior. It is an effective way to burn energy. However, operating will assist with weight reduction provided that it’s a sustainable program — which means weeks and months.

For each mile run, the typical individual will burn roughly 100 energy. The excellent news is that if you’re not able to run, you might begin off with strolling, which burns about the identical quantity of energy. If, over per week’s time, you stroll or run 35 miles, you’ll lose 1 pound per week. This is, supplied that you don’t improve your caloric consumption.

It is also vital to make adjustments regularly, so your physique has time to adapt. For occasion, you probably have by no means run earlier than, you don’t need lace up your sneakers and head out for 10 miles in your first day and even your first week. Your physique is not going to reply favorably. Our tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, cartilage, vertebrae and discs can all adapt and develop into stronger if we don’t ask them to do an excessive amount of too early.

My suggestion is that if you’re new to operating, begin off with strolling, then progress to bouts of stroll/operating, and regularly improve your operating intervals till you’ll be able to run constantly with out ache. Studies present vital advantages from interval aerobic exercise.


A easy option to just be sure you are usually not over stressing your cardiovascular or musculoskeletal methods known as the discuss take a look at. You ought to purpose to run onerous sufficient that you just really feel that you’re working considerably onerous however not so onerous that you would be able to’t have a dialog.

I additionally suggest that novice runners not be part of up with sooner, extra skilled athletes instantly. Two issues can occur should you run too quick too quickly. First, you’re prone to get injured. And second, if you run too quick, your physique chooses to burn carbohydrates instead of fats. Running onerous too typically will lead to extreme launch of stress hormones, resembling cortisol, which may inhibit the thyroid and trigger weight achieve.

Slow and regular is right, as straightforward operating will trigger quite a lot of favorable variations, resembling elevated dimension and variety of mitochondria (fats burning engines), and capillary density in your muscular tissues. Your physique additionally will get better far more rapidly from sluggish, regular runs.

One option to decide your splendid run fee is to do a fast calculation of your most cardio coronary heart fee. If you’re in good well being, subtract your age from 180. The ensuing quantity is your goal coronary heart fee. When you run, you’ll burn extra fats should you can preserve your coronary heart fee beneath this goal quantity.

When you’re simply beginning to run or stroll/run, it’s good to begin with three or 4 days per week. On different days, contemplate cross coaching workouts, resembling stretching, yoga, swimming, weight coaching, biking or skating. These types of train will allow you to enhance health and burn energy with much less sudden stress in your musculoskeletal system.

If you focus an excessive amount of on simply operating as a brand new runner, you’re at greater threat of exceeding your tissues’ capability to adapt, which all too typically leads to an harm. It is vital to pay attention to your physique and any warning indicators of harm.

Forces going by means of the legs whereas operating may be as much as 12 occasions your physique weight. Running inside incorrect type or with an excessive amount of weight can simply lead to operating accidents. Some research point out that as many as 80% of runners expertise a operating harm yearly. Beginners are at the next threat than seasoned runners of creating accidents. If you’ve had a operating harm previously, you’re at larger threat of operating accidents.

Many runners will really feel varied ranges of ache or discomfort and take ibuprofen or different nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine earlier than operating. I might discourage this. If you expertise some minor ache that finally improves as you run, go cautiously. Perhaps strive stretching or warming up longer earlier than you run.

If you expertise ache whereas operating that continues to worsen as you run, it’s best to cease. If you expertise ache that worsens after you’ve accomplished your run, if you sleep or is accompanied by swelling, it is usually splendid to restrict operating till you’ve had a dialog with a well being care skilled.

Running is an effective addition to your total technique for weight loss, however you will need to incorporate way of life adjustments, as nicely. If you take heed to your physique and run well, you’ll be able to reap a lifetime of advantages, together with weight upkeep, improved cardiovascular perform, a stronger musculoskeletal system and improved psychological well being. — Jeff Carson, D.P.T., Physical Therapy, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.

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