Why Running isn’t the answer to weight loss

Richard Kelly 30th November 2020

Quite often I meet people who have been trying to use weight through running. And in the lockdown there will no doubt be plenty of others thinking the same.

Running is a great way to get fit and is an activity that humans are designed to do.

The problem is that most people have spent their entire lives in poor positions, making the muscles around the hips tight and the core loose, to name just two areas, which will have a direct impact on run performance. Add to that excess weight, a problem our ancestors rarely if ever had to deal with, and you have the recipe for disaster.

You are 22.7% more likely to be injured if you run when over weight than not. Even experienced runners run an 11.9% chance of injury compared to non-runners.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6253747/

Running should not be, ever, the first thing overweight people use in order to lose weight.

I’m not against running. I run. But the basis upon which everyone hangs their success is completely wrong. Runners either run a set time, or they run a set distance. And if they run a distance they inevitably end up trying to beat previous records and set new bests.

This creates a problem when running for weight loss. As mentioned overweight runners are more likely to suffer an injury than those who are not overweight, they are also more likely to frame their runs as a punishment activity.

From a mentality perspective people either exercise to nourish themselves or punish themselves. Those who nourish do activity to make themselves feel better. Those who punish do it to hurt and feel sore. Sometimes it’s important to challenge and test yourself, to push in that punishment mentality, but when you’re always in it, it will become destructive. And unfortunately when you’ve determined you need to lose weight choosing to run as your method for weight loss is hard, it will leave you sore and is a way of punishing yourself in order to reach your goal.

That punishment mentality means you’re more likely to ignore pain and discomfort, and will further increase your chances of injury.

Running is therefore not a good physical or mental approach to weight loss.

So what, then, are better ways? Well there are a couple of things you can try.

Resistance training offers the best way to speed up the metabolism, which is what burns calories, and will help the composition of the body, which is how it looks.

Yoga or mobility work are excellent ways to tap into the parasympathetic system, which ultimately help body recovery and are a good way to do activities which nourish the system.

Fundamentally, however, weight loss has to come from diet. Calories in and calories out, macro nutrients and vitamins and minerals. This is the best way to see genuine, sustained weight loss. And I would encourage you to educate yourself in their area and understand the specifics of your body.

If you are interested in discussing your weight loss goals please get in contact with me at Richardkellypt@gmail.com, alternatively if you want to arrange a personalised diet and nutrition plan that will give you sustained and long term results you can email me at the same address!

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