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R unning is often touted as a great way to stay in shape and get rid of a few extra pounds. However in recent years there has been some people who have been saying that exercise isn’t very effective for weight loss. Of course there is some basis to both sides of the argument but in general my personal opinion is that running is great for weight loss but it needs to be paired with other factors to be very effective.

Lets take a look at the calorie burning that goes on during a run. On average a mile of running burns 127 calories for a 170 pound person. However you need to take away the amount of calories that may have been burned during normal activity. That can be estimated to be around 75 calories for an hour of watching TV (close to doing nothing!), so if you run 6 miles an hour then you only would burn an additional 115 calories per mile . To burn a pound of fat (estimated at 3500 calories) you need to run 30.4 miles. That’s quite a bit but not unachievable over a week.

However there are other added benefits of running that can contribute to your weight loss. It improves your metabolism which can help you burn food more efficiently. Your increased muscle mass also helps burn more calories throughout the whole day and also the repair of your sore muscles burns a few additional calories even when not running.

However, in my opinion, the calorific aspect of running is kind of the nothing in comparison to the lifestyle and mental changes it can help push and solidify.

When you bring in running as part of your life motivation to complete your goals grows massively. If you have never run for a bus you’ll suddenly be on an astral plane after you reach your first mile. The determination to keep pushing these goals leeches into other aspects of your life. Suddenly you’ll be wanting a side salad over fries, saying no to after work drinks and looking for buddies who might want to go for a run rather than come round for a few beers.

When you are having drinks, munching on some chocolate and such things you’ll feel deserved of such delights rather than feel like a slob. Your body will start to improve, your confidence will grow and the snowball effect of gaining health with certainly push your weight loss fight on and on.

Running and your health is something that needs to be a central role in your life in order for you to lose weight but once the ball is rolling it’s something that is hard to stop. As I said in my post Running SUCKS… And Then One Day It Doesn’t! it can take time to get the running bug but its’ worthwhile and I also believe that almost no one is too fat to run.

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Good luck!

I’d love to know what you think and if I missed out any important points.

Sources:

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-304-311-8402-0,00.html

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-06-06-calorie-chart_x.htm

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When I can be I am a regular runner but I am also nothing special and certainly no elite, so in that respect I am regular too. However I do love talking about running and related things and I do have a lot of experience, over 15 years now.

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