So, you’ve heard that running can be a great fitness activity for weight loss, but is it true?
The short answer is yes, it can be and no, it can’t. Running for weight loss is not necessarily the very best exercise or activity for everyone when it comes to weight loss, but it can work effectively for many and it’s worth trying out.
You don’t have to be an athlete or even aspire to be one to start running. It is an excellent exercise for a beginner to try. It is, in essence, a cheap and easy activity to participate in (until you start adding expensive gadgets and gear into the mix that is). The added bonus is that you can enjoy it alone or with a friend or group.
The overall benefits of running are not just about weight loss. Improved cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as a revved-up metabolism and positive self-esteem are all great benefits you can achieve with this one simple exercise.
Other benefits are that running works even when you’re at rest. High-intensity exercise stimulates ‘afterburn’ (meaning that your resting energy expenditure stays elevated after you run). Better still, in the long-term, studies show that calories burned through running can achieve up to 90% more weight loss than those burned through walking.
Running is time efficient and can be super intense over shorter periods if desired. It can also be convenient and accessible. There are fewer barriers to maintaining a routine and running can be enjoyed anywhere, at any time, wherever you are in the world, no gym or fancy equipment required.
Studies have also shown that runners experience a ‘flood of euphoria’ following a hard or long run. This floaty, happy sensation affectively termed the ‘runner’s high’ is a real thing. Scientists have found a link between moderate to intense exercise and morphine-like brain chemicals, known as endocannabinoids (endorphins alone aren’t the only reason runners ‘get happy’).