While some people choose running as a form of cardio workout to strengthen their heart and arteries, others are interested in its ability to burn calories and keep them in shape.
For many years, many trainers have proven that running is one of the most efficient ways to burn fat and calories.
For average weight runners
The general formula is 100 calories per one mile (1.6km) for someone with average weight, which means your body will burn approximately 100 calories for every one mile you run. The calories you burn do not depend on your running time.
For example, if you spent 20 minutes running one and a half miles, you have burned 150 calories. But if you run at a faster speed and can cover double the distance within the same amount of time, then you have burned 300 calories.
Therefore, if you do not have much time, you can step up the intensity of your training to achieve the same effect.
Just make sure you do not push yourself too hard since over-exercising may have adverse effects on your health.
For overweight runners
Overweight people tend to burn more calories when they run, comparing to those who weigh less. In other words, the heavier you are, the more calories you will burn.
If you strap on weights to your body when running, your total weight increases and you will therefore burn more calories.
When you run at a fast pace, your heart rate increases significantly. As such, your body will need a while to recover before it can slow down gradually to its resting state.
As your heartbeat continues to race, your body will continue to burn more and more calories, even after you’ve stopped running.
It is during this stage that you can take advantage of this mechanism to stimulate fat loss by combining running at intervals.
High-intensity interval training is one example of how to promote post-exercise calorie burning.
- Five minutes of warm up;
- One minute of running fast, followed by one minute of running slowly. Repeat this five times;
- Five minutes of cooling down.
After running, make sure you wait at least 30 minutes to one hour before eating, so your body can use this time to fast and burn excess fat. This will help you lose weight even faster.
Many weight loss programmes use high-intensity interval training because of its efficiency.
The exact calories burned may depend on the individual’s fitness level and body composition, which is the ratio of muscle mass and fat deposits.
It is important to keep it slow at first, particularly if you have been inactive for a long time.
Instead of driving yourself to exhaustion, you should try to find your own balance by slowing build up on your running plan.
If you have a medical history of joint or foot injuries, you should seek your doctor for advice first before taking up running to avoid getting hurt.
This article first appeared in hellodoktor.com and was reviewed by Dr Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.