When clients first come to me they always say "I'm so unfit, I can't run very far just so you know" or "I hate running" I always say I hate running too and there is always a bit of shock when I say that because to a beginner running is ment to be the best way to lose weight or the best way to become fitter but all my clients and everyone in my online community
know better. I have taught them the smarter way to go about exercising and losing weight.
Now when I talk about running I'm referring to steady stated running for example if you go for a 20 minute run or longer. Sprinting however (short spurts) of running I am a big fan of but they are two totally different types of exercise as they rely on different energy systems to perform the task. So today I'm talking about the first one the steady stated running.
There is two main reasons why I'm not a huge fan of running.
1. Running does indead burn fat but it also burns muscle mass as well.
2. Running can degenerate joints and the spine.
Most people run to lose weight right? I see many girls on a Saturday morning going for a run and I can guarantee only a quarter of them actually do it because they love it. I remember when I used to go for runs when I was trying to lose weight (and didn't know the right way) I hated every minute of it and do you think I actually lost weight? NO. Did I lose motivation quickly because I hated it and wasn't seeing a result? YES! If you run because you enjoy it keep trekking. I have crazy friends that do it for the love of it which is fine but if you're doing it because you think it is the best way to lose weight there is a better way.
Now when trying to lose weight we want to increase muscle mass, always remember the more muscle mass you have in your body the higher your metabolism will be and the more fat you will burn. Increasing your muscle mass creates muscle tone and helps to decrease your body fat percentage. Now remember what I said before when you run long distances you burn fat yes but you also burn muscle mass. We want to hang on to that muscle mass as much as we can. Can you see how you could be wasting your time here if losing weight, targeting fat burn and increasing muscle tone is the goal?
The best way to lose weight quickly while creating muscle tone is to start weight & resistance training combined with HIIT (High intensity interval training). A begginners guide to weight training here
The other reason why running is not the best form of exercise is how harsh it can be on the body especially if you are running on hard surfaces like cement. I remember when I did a half marathon a few years ago (not by choice) and my knees were clicking, popping and felt like they were going to pop out of there socket for about a week after and I have never had any problems with my knees before that. I have seen clients with degenerative spinal injuries, knee injuries and ankle problems all from the constant pounding of pavement.
Let's look at it from another perspective. If you are trying to lose weight and you are carrying 20 kilos in excess weight understand your knees, ankles, hips and lower back are already under an immense amount of pressure. When you carry excess weight you also may notice that your ankles, feet and knees may be swollen or excess fluid may be present. So now add on top of that another pressure from pounding on hard cement for 40 minutes. What kind of unecessay damage do you think that you are causing on your joints then. If I was able to feel the after effects of running on cement and I'm not carrying any excess weight or suffer from weak joints or muscular problems imagine the damage someone with all of the above can do.
I also see people 50years old plus out running in run clubs and at boot camps which just really makes me cringe. At this age the focus should be on preservation of both muscle mass and joints and muscles. It's natural as we age that we naturally will find it harder to gain muscle mass and to maintain it which in turn contributes to the metabolism slowing down. When our metabolism slows down the harder it becomes to burn fat and maintain a healthy weight.
If you'd like me to teach you how to train specifically for your goal and start doing the things that get you towards your goal rather than work against you join my 12 week transformations here.
A great way to start your weight loss journey is to start with a 30 day detox which I'll be starting today after this Easter break. Get your hands on the detox tea I use here and be sure to use my discount code "Littlefitmiss"