It’s a common belief that one of the best ways to stay healthy and lose weight is to run. This unfortunately, is a myth that had become the societal norm for many years now. If running isn’t the answer losing weight and maintaining your health, then what is?
Here are our 10 reasons why you shouldn’t run in order to lose weight:
1 – Running doesn’t burn fat
If you ask many casual runners their purpose for running, there is a high chance you will get the response – “I want to lose weight”. Running, however, is not an effective method for weight loss. Aerobic exercises such as running allow for repeated muscle contraction without fatigue, unlike anaerobic exercises. Anaerobic exercises such as sprinting are more intense and therefore more conducive for burning fat.
2 – Running increases your appetite
In order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. While running does burn calories, it is nowhere near as much as people think. Running affects your hormones in a way that makes you hungrier, and this can result in making unhealthy food choices.
Intense interval training is recommended if you want to lose weight as it reduces the hormones that are behind your increased appetite after exercise.
3 – Running doesn’t target stomach fat
Running works a lot of areas of the body, which means that your stomach fat is not the sole target. If you would like to lose weight, the better option is to do weight and high interval training. Doing so improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin and increases the testosterone level. Therefore, these exercises are more suited than running to be beneficial in targeting stomach fat.
4 – Running is tiring
This goes without saying. NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) is the amount of calories burnt due to your normal everyday activities. If you want to lose weight, you should increase this. These activities are comprised of standing, walking, talking etc. These are activities that don’t make you sweat. Running can leave you tired, and therefore what calories have been burnt in this time, could end up being removed from your NEAT due to tiredness.
5 – Running causes muscle mass loss
If running is the only exercise you are doing, it can lead to lost muscle mass. To some, a runner’s physique is less attractive than say, a sprinter. In comparison, they would be skinnier and may actually look unhealthy.
6 – The weather can be off-putting
There aren’t many people that enjoy running in the rain; so bad weather is usually enough to put people off and stay at home doing nothing. There are, however, many other types of exercises that can be done at home if this is the case.
7 – Don’t run if you hate it!
If you find running or jogging boring, then why do it? To get the full benefits you’re going to have to spend a lot of time on the road, treadmill or track. Are you motivated enough? If you are, then great! Go! If not, it’s probably best to find an alternative way. Consistency is important when trying to lose weight. IF you can’t stick to an activity it will be detrimental to your goal.
8 – Every year 79% of runners get injured
A strong body is needed to prevent injuries, but running isn’t sufficient enough to build strength and is therefore the reason behind such a high percentage of runners getting injured each year. Even still, running is still the second popular exercise on earth, only behind walking. As you age, you need to build muscle or prevent muscle loss.
9 – Lose weight on the sofa
A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise studied 27 obese women over 16 weeks and split into three groups: Group 1 jogged for 5 days a week, group 2 did high-intensity sprints 3 times a week and group 3 did no exercise. At the end of the study the results were surprising. Group 2 lost a large amount of belly and thigh fat, but surprisingly the other two group’s body fat levels remained around the same.
10 – You can burn the same amount of calories by walking
Believe it or not, walking can burn the same amount of calories as running! Running 5km four times a week would burn 1,500 calories a week. A daily 45minute walk would also burn the same amount of calories within the week. Also, walking doesn’t work up an appetite, make you hungry or injure or tire you!