Running as Part of Weight Loss Systems

There are logically numerous weight loss systems these days that are introduced and marketed to help people trim fats and excessive pounds. Many people note that these weight management systems are impressive and are well targeted. The most popular and proven effective are those that involve physical activities like regular walking and running.

More emphasis is given to running, which is identified by experts as a good form of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise.

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Perhaps, peoples’ greatest concern now aside from earning more money is to have a perfect shape or a sexy body. And because fashion and sexiness have always been associated with well-maintained bodies, people think being skinny or slim is equivalent to being sexy and beautiful. Do not be surprised to see more people running around the open park especially in the morning. Running is a cost effective way to sweat and bring about cardiovascular challenge to the body.

Running is as effective as using a tread mill. In fact, this exercise machine has been developed and manufactured to facilitate running indoors. You must be wondering why tread mills do not fail to be included in basic gym facilities. Indeed, running is a good form of exercise. It is effective in making people sweat and in the process speed up metabolism of stored fats and calories.

Losing weight is not as easy as anyone could think. You would surely assert that it is far easier to gain weight than to lose it. How could you find and get the perfect weight loss systems that would help you attain your target weight? Choose programs that not only focus on diets. Systems with recommended physical activities and exercises like running would truly be more effective.

Because there are many weight loss systems now available and introduced in the market, all you have to do is to collect and then choose the system that would go with your preferences and lifestyle. There are weight loss systems that are too strict, while there are others that are easier to take. Some weight loss systems would recommend or mandate taking in diet pills or a weight loss supplement to suppress appetite. As mentioned, on top of the drugs, there would also be recommended exercises to be executed regularly, plus nutritional or diet plans.

If you are taking a weight loss system, it would be important to abide by the recommendations. Strictly following instructions and mandates of such weight loss programs would be of great help in ensuring that you would eventually attain your target weight. Incorporate daily, yet simple exercises into your lifestyle. Running in the neighborhood every morning is a good aerobic and cardiovascular workout to help the body accelerate metabolism and fat burning.

To choose the best weight loss systems, you could ask your friends or doctors for recommendation. Other than that, weight loss program providers usually heavily advertise their weight loss systems so you would not miss the programs. Online ad pages would also help you choose and purchase the weight loss system you are eyeing. Take note that the systems would surely help you get that ideal weight you are aiming to have.

If running, walking, or doing simple physical exercises are required by the systems perform the exercise tasks regularly. Nobody said losing weight would be easy. It could be hard to shed off excess weight but it would be obviously and logically be worth it.

 

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Smart Ways To Prevent Running Injuries

Incurring running injuries can pass as one of the greatest nightmares of many runners, which is why it is very important for every runner to be extra cautious down the road.

Many factors contribute to the runner’s tendency to get injured; still, there are many ways to prevent running injuries. Here are some:

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  1. Commit yourself to a warm-up. The general rule in any type of workout: Warm-up before you go. Doing so gives you a chance to prepare your body for the oncoming work and prevents the likelihood of injuries. Before a run, loosen up your legs, walk for some minutes, then do some stretching. Similarly, cooling down at the end of the run is important to reduce muscle pain. Do this by closing your workout with brisk walking or slow running. Then, do stretches.

  2. Avoid overtraining. The surest way to incur injuries is to overtrain and overwork your body. Sadly, many runners, in an attempt to increase their mileage and intensity just too soon, pushes their body beyond its capability and so put their selves at a great risk of injury. Two things you need to remember. One, weekly mileage increase shouldn’t be more than 10%. Two, speed buildup is a gradual process. Next time you feel like going farther and faster, ask if your body is capable of the demands, then let sound judgment overtake you.

  3. Take some breaks. This is especially important if you feel soreness in your muscles or are overly tired. A day or two of missed run is better than subjecting your already fatigued body to a possibility of injury. Listen to your body well and take note of pain, or any other hint, that tries to communicate it is not up for the challenge.

  4. Use good shoes. You know you need to replace your shoes when they have reached around 300 to 400 miles. By then, their shock absorption has degraded and their soles have worn-out, leaving them unsafe for running.

  5. Keep from concrete surfaces. Not only are they hard, they also are not very good shock absorber. Instead, run on dirt or grass trails, or somewhere there is a soft surface. This will put less pressure on your legs. Also, avoid running up and downhill to prevent stressing your feet.

  6. Do cross-training activities. The purpose of cross-training is to develop and strengthen your running muscles through other physical means such as swimming, biking, and hiking. It is best to incorporate cross-training activities in your running program at least once a week. Remember, however, that cross-training activities are supposed to improve your stamina and not to stress your body out and leave you with less energy for running.

  7. Observe rehabilitation measures should you suspect any injury. Doing so will prevent injury complications and speed up the recovery process. You can do a massage and cold therapy to ease a minor injury. For more serious cases, consult with a doctor immediately. To further prevent running injuries, do not resume to running unless you are fully recovered.

 

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The Right Start: Running Tips For Beginners

Running is an enjoyable, low-maintenance sport that it is no surprise many are enticed to get into it. Many beginning runners, however, initially find running somewhat injurious and exhausting and so give up. Truth is, it can be, especially if the novice runners have not been properly educated.

To get the most out of running, it is important that every beginning runner knows everything about the sport and is prepared enough for it. Following are some running tips for beginners that will make an otherwise rigorous sport into a pleasurable activity.

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  1. Consult with your physician. Remember that running is an intense physical activity and requires a great deal of your strength. Therefore, it is wise to ask your doctor if your body is up for the challenge. Your physician will consider your age, weight, fitness level, and special conditions (breathing or heart problems) to derive a sound decision. Having accurate information on your body will also help you in choosing a running program.

  2. Set attainable goals. Do you want to lose weight? Or lower your cholesterol level? Or join a marathon perhaps? Whatever your goals are, make sure to see them through. To keep you motivated, it is helpful to have a timeframe. If the goal, however, is not met at the appointed time, it’s okay. Don’t fret, but continue to try working on it. The key here is to avoid stressing yourself over a goal your body is not ready for.

  3. Have a running program. Three things you need to consider in selecting a running program: age, fitness level, and goals. These three will determine the distance you can handle. You have to realize, however, that as a beginning runner, you are not expected to run a mile. In fact, you won’t do much running at first. Especially if you are untrained, running a distance may make you an easy target for injuries. Run/walk program, which includes alternate walking and running for a particular time, is ideal for starters. As you progress week by week, you can increase the time for running and decrease the time for walking.

  4. Make a running log. Detailing all the basic information on your run, a running log will serve as a record of your progress. You can write the type of workout for the day, time, and distance. For instance, Day 1, you did a tempo run for 20 minutes, 3 kilometers. Day 2, you had long run for 45 minutes, 8 kilometers. If you want your log to be more detailed, you can also record your weight and pulse rate.

  5. Check your pace. This is perhaps the most important among the running tips for beginners. This is because many beginning runners injure themselves by breaking into fast running too soon. As a beginning runner, your goal is not speed, but increasing your running time. Maintain your running at a pace that enables you to keep a conversation; anything more than that is not advisable. When you go for slow, easy running, you are actually building your stamina, which will eventually enable you to run faster and longer distances.

 

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Seven Psychological Benefits Of Running

Running has been recommended by many doctors and therapists to people who are in the quest to improving their mental health. This is because running, like other exercises, unquestionably takes care of the mental health as efficiently as it does to one’s physical well-being.

There are many psychological benefits of running, but here are the seven most cited:

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1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Runners are known to be less stressed and are more able to deal with their daily stressors effectively. This is attributed to the fact that running refreshes their thoughts, keeps their minds off worries, and gives them ample and non-distracted time to think, reflect, and concentrate. In addition, according to some reports, running is more efficient in addressing anxieties better than medications.

2. Enhances mood

When running, the body produces a substance called endorphin (endogenous morphine) that creates a different sense of euphoria. This state of euphoria is called runner’s high basically because after running, individuals are in a good mood, are happier, and indescribably feel better. Runner’s high is also believed to be responsible for the runners’ seeming “addiction” to running: Because they are always intensely post-euphoric, runners keep running every chance they get.

3. Improves confidence

The sense of achievement after finishing a run or completing a target distance boosts the runners’ confidence. This is especially true of people who are naturally competitive they regularly sign up for marathons and other running events. Improved confidence also comes to people who have noticeably lost weight and achieved more toned and firmer muscles through running.

4. Fights addiction

Running is conceived to be a natural tranquilizer, which is why therapists recommend it to those who are battling with their addiction. Many successful stories have been documented, saying that recovering patients use the time they would otherwise spend to satisfy their addiction in running. Through running, patients also become mentally stronger to resist the urge of alcohol, drugs, or anything they feel addicted to.

5. Develops mental alertness and focus

Because running keeps the mind on the “now,” the mind is trained to focus and concentrate. Running also relieves mental fatigue, sharpens memory, and improves overall mental stamina. Runners, in effect, are found to have better problem-solving skills and are more mentally alert than before.

6. Relieves depression

Running is found successful in treating clinical depression. The act of running, according to therapists, serves as a psychotherapy, which gives the patients their own space to heal and connect with their selves better. They also say it is a good distraction from all depressing things. Other than depression, physicians also find running an effective therapy for people with other types of psychological disorders.

7. Enhances coordination

The coordination of mind and body is improved with regular running. Whether running on a flat, paved surface or on an uneven trail, the mind is trained to harmoniously work with the body to prevent stumbling and tripping over. Like the other psychological benefits of running, better mind-body coordination is important in daily activities.

 

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The Many Benefits Of Running

For most people, running is exhausting, boring, and sometimes painful. However, you see today so many people running as if their lives depended on it. (That is actually true to a point.)

There are many reasons why people engage themselves in running these days. Foremost of which is to stay in shape or to reach their ideal body weight. Studies show that the potent combination of correct diet and the right exercise is the most effective method in losing weight.

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Weight loss

For all its boring features, running is very effective in allowing a person to burn an average of 100 calories for every run mile. Biking and walking, on the other hand, only burn a fraction of these calories in the same amount of time.

While we burn around 2000 to 5000 calories every day doing nothing, running 5 miles a day burns an additional 500 calories.

The speed in running has little or no effect on the number of calories burned. Rather, it is weight that counts. A 220-pound person running an 8-minute mile burns 150 calories. A person weighing 120 pounds running the same pace burns a measly 82 calories.

Understand that a person needs an excess of 3500 calories in order to gain a pound. This means you need to burn that much number of calories in order to lose a single pound.

Overall health

Another motivation that drives runners is the health benefits they get. Running helps lower blood pressure by maintaining the elasticity of the arteries. During a run, the arteries get exercised as well, what with all the blood moving about.

Running also maximizes the lung’s potential, keeping it strong and powerful. Deep breaths force the lungs to use more tissues, but half of both are unused. Running makes the lungs use almost all of its tissues.

Running also strengthens the heart and helps prevent heart attacks. During a run, the heart muscles are exercised, thus keeping it fit and strong by itself.

The heart of an inactive person beats 36,000 more times every day compared to that of a runner. The reason is simple – the runner’s arteries are wider and blood flows smoother.

Endorphin

Most runners keep this secret to themselves: running gives an intense exhilaration and euphoria right after a run. And they are addicted to the feeling and it motivates them the most.

Science had already found out the nature of this natural high: beta endorphins. These are released by the body’s neurons intended to relieve the pain after a run. It creates a feeling of extreme happiness and exhilaration and can be so intense it often can replace other addictions to drugs, alcohol, including appetite for food.

Natural tranquilizer

There is a trend for doctors now to recommend to their patients suffering from clinical depression and other psychological disorders to try running. This is based on studies that show running as a natural tranquilizer. Patients are reported to be less tense, less confused, less depressed, and less fatigued.

Whatever your reasons for running are, it is a safe bet that it is one of the best natural disease-fighters man had discovered. What’s more, it’s free and it’s delirious as well.

 

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How To Stay Motivated With Running

As one ignorant non-runner said, running is boring, exhausting, and sometimes painful. Yet today, running is one of the most popular individual sports in the world, counting millions and millions of followers.

This number does not even include yet those who are engaged into serious competitive running. How do they keep themselves motivated and stay at that?

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Loss of motivation

Because it is a solitary performance at most, running sometimes CAN be boring, exhausting and painful. Some runners (newcomers and veterans alike) declare that it can be difficult sometimes to stay motivated on a regular basis.

Loss of motivation is triggered by many things, including boredom, muscle pains, and most of all, lack of time. Some other times in your running years you were probably attacked by lack of motivation.

It starts out slow (skipping a run or two) and without your knowing it, gradually moves to a point where you notice you are not running regularly anymore.

Goals

One of the better ways to fight loss of motivation is to set realistic goals. One of the more common goals to stay motivated is simply to complete a race.

Choosing your race, training for it, and finally competing in it is another good source of motivation. Your selection should depend on your personal goals. If motivation is your only goal, perhaps choosing to compete in those periodic short races is the best option.

Setting realistic goals is the easiest way for a runner’s motivation to stay up and intense enough.

Of course, you can always choose your favorite distance (5K or 10K or a marathon). The choice itself, the thought, and the actual preparations and the competition proper are enough factors to keep you busy (training) and motivated (prestige and awards) enough.

Other runners are motivated by setting bigger goals to their training (if competing) or in just plain running. They set up faster times, or longer distances as their next goals.

Naturally, they will not get it right the first time. The attempts of bettering them are very good motivators.

Variations

Runners can also stay motivated by adding some variety into their program. They can vary the courses (and terrain) they are running (jogging across the woods or the tracks), distance, speed and intensity (doing sprints in straight tracks and jogging in curves) among other things.

Running with a friend (in twos or threes) can sometimes perk up an otherwise monotonous activity. Thinking of someone going with you on a run can sometimes be a very good motivation to do it. Working alone makes staying in bed in a cold morning seems extremely tempting.

Off times

Occasionally, runners have to take some time off from running. This may look counter-intuitive but it is effective.

One way is doing some cross-training which can also help you stay in shape other than running. (This is aside from the fact that you DID take some time off from running.)

Add to your workout schedule a week for every two months perhaps of not running at all but doing another physical activity of your choice. The break from running makes you feel recharged and raring to go back running.

 

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Running For Weight Loss: Six Facts You Should Know

Because of the intense physical demands, running is proven to be an effective way to lose weight. And to some people, losing weight is their primary reason for sticking to a running program.

But to effectively shed pounds, it is important to know a few facts about running for weight loss.

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  1. Running replaces body fats with muscle tissues. The latter, however, are denser and heavier than fats. Therefore, a few weeks into your running workout, you will discover that you don’t drop pounds, you actually gain weight. It’s okay. This only means that your running is working effectively. With continuous efforts, you will eventually lose the excess pounds.

  2. Running is an efficient calorie-burner. In a study, it is reported that people who underwent a planned exercise burned 2,800 calories a week and dropped 30 pounds. On average, a 150-pound individual burns 100 calories per mile, and if a runner is committed to running five miles per day, he can lose more or less 500 calories daily, and 2,500 after five workouts a week. And that would mean a significant loss. But take note that caloric expenditure varies depending on body weight. A 110-pound runner may lose 80 calories per mile; a 200-pound may burn 150. Also it is important to remember that as the weight drops, the amount of calories to burn likewise drops.

  3. Losing weight is all about burning more calories than you consume. Therefore, there is something to be said about watching what you eat. Remember that to lose a pound, you need to burn 3,600 calories, so stay away from foods that would give you higher calories than that. While you are on your running regimen, cut down on coffee, alcohol, chocolates, fast foods, and junk foods. You should instead consume more carbohydrates.

  4. Running is effective if done regularly. If you are serious about losing weight, you need to commit to a regular running schedule and stick to it. One thing you need to keep in mind: running several days a week is more effective than one-day running, regardless of the length of time. Though daily running is ideal for losing weight, three or four days can meet the goal.

  5. Intense running, or running at a fast pace, is effective in weight reduction. It has always been believed that slow running ushers you in the fat-burning zone. That, however, is negated by recent researches. According to studies, intense running in fact burns more calories. But because it is likely to be more injurious, intense running is best done for shorter periods and should be scheduled, at the most, twice a week.

  6. Running program needs to be modified to achieve the desired weight. You have to understand that the body gets used to the hard work overtime, becomes efficient, and therefore burns fewer calories. The body, in effect, stops losing weight. To achieve your desired weight, you need to incorporate changes in your regimen from time to time. Three things you can do: run at a higher speed, increase the distance, or run for longer periods. Remember, running for weight loss can be a little tricky, but if you stay attuned to your body, it becomes fairly manageable.

 

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Running And Hydration

Running in the good old days used to be uncomplicated and simple. Some people remember runners before going out running with nothing with them. After a time, they come back and drink their water.

Drinking (or hydration) was not such a big deal before. Today, there are some runners who carry their own water and enough gadgets to monitor their exact intake during a run or a race.

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Hydration and dehydration

Of course, we all now know how important water is when it comes to strenuous exercises like running. One thing about water is that it is not ideal either to get very little or too much of the fluid.

Severe dehydration (loss of water) and over-hydration both cause serious consequences on the body, including death. Knowing the difference is sometimes hard because the symptoms are the same.

Similar symptoms

In dehydration, the symptoms include weight loss, lethargy, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion and dry mouth or lips. Over-hydration includes weight gain or swelling, headache, nausea, lethargy and confusion or disorientation.

What is terrible is that nobody knows about the problem until the symptoms are already in the advanced state. Even medical personnel can be hard put in figuring out what exactly is happening. (This usually happens after a hard race.)

Fluid needs

Knowing how much fluid you need can prevent either dehydration or over-hydration. One way of knowing is that your performance will decrease significantly if you are dehydrated by as little as 1%.

Your running slows down by about 2% if you are dehydrated by only 1%. Another point to consider is that hydration is important not just for your performance but also for your health. As a runner, you need to know how much you need to hydrate yourself daily, and in the critical times of before, during and after running or a race.

One formula given by experts to calculate your daily fluid needs is as follows: multiply your weight (in pounds) by 0.55 to know how many ounces of fluid you need every day.

Hydrating fluids

The hydrating beverages include water , sports drinks, tea, decaf coffee, low fat milk, yogurt drinks, juices, soda and soups or other foods with water.

Water, of course, is the best source for body hydration. Intake of beverages with sugar and other additives should be limited, especially if you are trying to lose body fat.

Alcohol is one drink that significantly dehydrates the body. It is a total no-no to drink before races, or even the night before any race.

Your needs

After your daily fluid intake, you need to know how much you need before, during and after exercise (like running) to achieve optimum performance. Most people need 8 to 16 ounces of fluid one or two hours before any exercise.

During exercise, your fluid needs depend on the rate you perspire which is different from person to person or the weather.

The best estimate is to take 4 to 8 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes and weighing yourself before and after exercise. This is to check if you are losing or gaining weight, and adjusting your intake the next time.

Depending on its intensity, running is considered strenuous enough for your body to need more fluid than ordinary. Listen to what it says.

 

 

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Nutrition And Running

Running is one of today’s healthiest ways to help maintain your body’s physical well-being. It is one good cardiovascular exercise that helps keep good circulation and a healthy heart.

Everybody needs proper nutrition and a healthy diet. This requirement becomes more vital for people who are into health activities like running. This is amplified further for runners who are also into competitions or have special dietary needs.

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Normal diet

An average person’s diet normally consists of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fats. They also include such healthy components as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein and heart healthy fats.

The daily calorie consumption of runners can also be modified, depending on the individual’s needs – whether he is maintaining his weight, losing some or gaining some.
Combinations can be tweaked accordingly to suit the individual’s needs.

Runner’s diets

For instance, a distance runner preparing for a marathon may wish to increase the percentage of carbohydrates in his diet. This is during those periods of intense training where he covers long and grueling distances every week.

On the other hand, a sprinter who is working to improve his muscle mass by way of weight training and other equally intense exercises have to include additional amounts of protein into his diet. This is helpful because proteins can help stimulate muscle growth.

Calories

The next factor to consider with regards to people who are into running are calories. There are basic guidelines on the amount of calories an individual should consume regularly.

These are based on the person’s current weight and activity level. For runners who are into intense training, these might not be very accurate.

There are plenty of calorie calculators available online or you can get it from your doctor. Those are ballpark figures on the amount of individual needed calories. They can be good starting points for runners to find out if he is eating enough or not.

Sample scale

An example would be a runner regularly consuming 2500 calories a day and running around 7 to 8 miles daily. If he still feels tired, he may have to increase his calorie intake.

If the runner is already at an ideal weight, he should strive to consume enough calories to maintain his weight.

Lastly, the quality of the calories consumed should also be carefully considered. They have to come from quality sources such as whole grains carbohydrates, lean protein sources, and heart-healthy fats.

The runner could always obtain his calorie requirements from foods rich in sugar and fat. But these food groups are not quality calorie sources. More likely, the runner will get his same amount of calories but he will feel sluggish and may not be able to perform well.

A case in point is a piece of cake that has an equal amount of calories as a turkey sandwich on multi-grain bread. Eating the cake will give him enough calories. However, the sugar in it will trigger the insulin response from his body, which can make him sluggish and less energized.

Nutrition is a very important component in such an activity as running. It is not just a question of energy but also of health.

 

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Tips for Running: A Guide for Beginners

Have you decided running regularly as a form of practical workout for your weight loss or physical training activity? You are on the right track. Running is truly a good and practical activity that could provide your body with an ideal cardiovascular or aerobic exercise.

Running could make you sweat profusely, a sign that your body is metabolizing faster and burning up excessive stored fats. But you should not just run. You have to do it right and do it safely. If you are beginner, here are several useful tips to serve as your guide.

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First tip: It is the right time to start running. Running and all other physical exercises are good for your body whatever your age is. Regular exercises could provide ideal benefits: you would have more energy; the chances of developing a heart ailment would be decreased; you could sleep better and get more relaxation; and you would be able to lose weight. It would never be too late to start running.

Second tip: Consult your doctor. Prior to starting running and other exercise programs, it would be appropriate to drop by your doctor’s clinic. Try to do so more especially if you are suffering from heart problems, obesity, breathing problems, and chronic fatigue. Your doctor could advise you on how to get proper pacing and could guide you on how long you should keep running per session. It is not safe to overdo running.

Third tip: Begin with a simple running or walking program. It is not advisable to start on a high level. Humbly start at low-levels. You may run or walk shorter distances when beginning the running program. You may also opt to run at least once a week initially. As you go on, you could slowly increase the distance, the duration, and the weekly frequency. Notice that as you go on with your regular running exercise, your body could take greater distances and endure longer sessions. You are increasing your body’s resistance.

Fourth tip: Monitor your pulse rate. Running and other exercises when done properly could help the heart beat less. This is because the heart is properly trained. When the heart beats slower especially during your relaxed hours (like bedtime or after waking up in the morning) it means the heart is successfully pumping more blood throughout the body in every beat. Perform a simple test. Get your heart beat per minute everyday, immediately after you wake up in the morning. If your pulse rate is higher today than yesterday, it means you are overdoing your exercise. Continue your running program when your heart beat normalizes.

Lastly, listen to your own body. After running, it is normal to feel tired. There could even be tolerable muscle pains. Be alert when you feel dizzy or experience chest pains after the activity. That may mean you have overdone it and you have reached or exceeded your threshold. When such adverse feelings occur, cut back on the training load and immediately seek the opinion of your doctor.

 

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