How to Properly Run for Weight Loss: Complete Guide
Weight loss and body image. One term deals with the body – the other with the mind. People have always assigned great value to an attractive appearance and, as we know, some people have gone to great lengths and taken drastic measures in their pursuit of physical perfection. What’s so ironic about the “body-editing” process is that it is wholly based on personal perception; in other words, believing what your mind tells you. The phrase body image was introduced by Paul Schilder. Dr. Schilder is an Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst who authored the book The Image and Appearance of the Human Body.
Human society has always placed great value on the appearance and beauty of the human body, however, an individual’s perception of their own body may or may not correspond to society’s standards. There’s an interesting link between the mind and body. The body is where we demonstrate to the rest of the world what’s going on in our minds. The body can only go, do, or say what the mind tells it and if we were to continuously operate this way no one would notice the difference or care. The problems start when our brain starts to interfere with the plans our mind is making. Ever hear the words, “I know I shouldn’t” come out of your own mouth? Or, even more frightening, “I know I should!”
Weight Loss Mind Set
Every goal, emotion, action, and reaction begin with a single thought or synapse in your brain influencing what happens (or doesn’t happen) next in your life. Then, depending on your environment and the people you’re exposed to, your life starts taking shape – right along with the shape of your body. When did you first realize there was something wrong (if ever) with the shape of your body – and who told you? Was it when you first saw your own reflection in the mirror? Probably not.
Without a reference, we would never start to criticize or condemn ourselves for being ignorant, unattractive or overweight. We often form our opinions of ourselves and others by hearing what those around us have to say first. It’s no wonder that a lifetime of low self-esteem and even death from conditions such as anorexia can be traced to a person’s perception of themselves and their body image. There exists a very real connection between our thoughts and bodies. Is there a way to go about losing weight without jeopardizing our health?
Running for Weight Loss
Hey, This Could Actually Work!
First things first. Let’s take inventory and see if we have the right tools for the job. Muscles – check! Bones – check! Desire – check! Motivation – uh, not so much.
Did you feel it? There, lurking behind every good intention is that voice out of nowhere that has the uncanny ability to make you change your mind. All of a sudden, you’re tired, busy or skeptical. Now, the chances of you making it out the door or hopping on the treadmill are dwindling by the second. Well, let’s get real and call it what it is – war! There’s a battle going on between your mind, your will and body. Learning how to arm yourself for the battle is not only going to help you lose weight, it will help you overcome and conquer other adversities in life as well.
Most athletes will tell you that the physical aspect of the game is only half the battle. There’s a mind game that’s going to be played right along with it. The most important thing about preparing for the “head game” is doing it before you step one foot out the door. Let us begin right here, right now. Here are some facts about running and the amazing ways it benefits the human body:
Step #1: Side Effects Your Body Will Love
We live in a world that has a pill for just about everything. Taking that pill may help you, but what about the side-effects that come along with it? For a person focused on weight loss, running is proven to be one of the most efficient ways to burn up calories.
- After running your body continues to expend energy due to the high-intensity activity it endures. Studies have shown that running leads to greater weight loss when compared to walking the same distance.
- One study comparing running to walking proved the calories burned by runners resulted in ninety percent more weight loss.
Step #2: Time is On Your Side
Running is a great way to get more for less. Many people believe that walking and running the same distance will give you the same results-not true.
- For most people, running is the most time-efficient and fastest way to burn calories.
- Most runners will cover two to three times the distance in the same amount of time.
- When compared to short and extremely intense workouts, the total caloric burn is greater for the runner.
Step #3: Minimum Cost, Maximum Convenience
While you’re sitting there reading this, you could be getting so excited about running that you may not be able to sit still much longer. Before you take off, remember how easy it is to just go. Allowing yourself to feel good about exercising is part of preparing for battle the next time you hear that little voice tell you, “wait – isn’t it too cold for a run?” And, remember that besides a good pair of running shoes and the right clothes, you’re ready to roll – it doesn’t get much easier than that!
- Runners can go solo.
- No equipment needed (of course, taking your headphones along is totally cool).
- Access to safe roads, gyms, parks, treadmills is relatively easy.
- An activity you can do even while traveling.
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Step #4: May the Force Run with You
We all know what it’s like to be talked into something we really don’t want to do. We do it for a friend and that’s pretty much the end of it. Runners, on the other hand, do it for themselves. They need it like they need air – that’s how awesome the experience is for them. You see, after a certain point, the weight is gone, the muscles are toned and the battle waging between your mind and body has been won. Here’s why:
- The runner’s high. A flood of chemicals called endocannabinoids whose purpose is to make you feel good. Think of them as a gift your body gives you for doing a good job.
- Unlike endorphins which were originally thought to produce the feeling of well-being in runners, endocannabinoids are able to pass the blood-brain barrier which proves they have a positive effect on the mind.
- Additional research has shown that endocannabinoids help us lean towards actually wanting to exercise in the first place, making sure we’ll stop trying to talk ourselves out of it.
Wow! Isn’t that amazing. The more exercise you get, the more exercise you want. The more you run, the more you want to run – the more weight you lose. Your body wants you to feel good and will even reward you for taking care of it. If you need a little insight into the reason so many people are opting for a run these days, take a look at the way the human body is put together. There are between 650 and 850 muscles in each and every one of us, 13 between the ankle and the knee. Each one made to help us stand, walk and run so, imagine what they can do when they’re all operating efficiently. Time to find out, yes?
How to Do a Realistic Weight Assessment?
Healthy Weight Ranges and Body Mass Index
There are three key measurements used in assessing a person’s weight and health risk:
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Your waist circumference
- The risk factors for any conditions and/or diseases that are associated with obesity.
Review the following steps for helpful definitions and perspective in assessing your weight status:
Step #1: Body Mass Index (BMI)
This is information calculated from your height and weight used in the measurement of obesity. It will estimate your body fat and assess your risk for diseases resulting from excessive body fat.
- The higher the BMI the higher the risk of contracting diseases affecting the heart, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, lung and breathing problems, gallstones and some cancers.
- Although the BMI is applicable to most people, it may overestimate the percentage of body fat in those with muscular builds and certain athletes.
- The body mass index may underestimate the percentage of body fat in persons who have lost muscle and older folks.
Step #2: Waist Circumference
Measuring the circumference of the waist helps in identifying possible risks to your overall health associated with obesity and being overweight.
- If the majority of your fat is located around the waist instead of the hips, you will be at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Risks increase with a waist measuring more than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men.
- You can obtain the correct waist circumference by placing a tape measure above your hip bones and going all the way around the middle exhaling as you go.
Step #3: Family History Combined with a Yearly Exam
Get your blood checked, talk to a doctor about running if you think you might be at risk. See a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon if you’ve had a recent foot injury or family history of foot problems. If you’ve always had calluses on the bottom of your feet or, noticed a jutting out of the bone beneath your big toe, have an x-ray taken to rule out misalignment or bunions. Believe me, you don’t ever want to start running with foot problems. Obesity will put a person at greater risk when any of the following conditions listed below are present:
- High cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol or LDL)
- Low cholesterol (also known as good cholesterol HDL)
- Elevated triglycerides
- Elevated blood glucose (sugar)
- Inherited propensity for heart disease, stroke, and early onset heart disease
- Physical inactivity
- Cigarette smoking
Start today and don’t let anything stop you – especially fear of the unknown. You have a wonderful opportunity to make the changes in your life that you’ve always wanted. On top of that, even a small drop in your weight (like between five and ten percent) will start lowering the chances of developing some diseases associated with obesity. To get an accurate BMI calculator or BMI table to estimate your body fat search online for the underweight, normal, overweight and obesity scores.
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How to Start Running to Lose Weight?
You suddenly realize one day that you’re not happy with say, your weight, and immediately start searching for ways to change it. Here come the diet plans, body wraps, gym memberships, food delivery, weight loss pills, surgery, anorexia, protein plans, no-carb books, shots, therapists, and clinics all eagerly waiting to help you lose weight.
One question: how’s it workin’ for ya?
Oh, how I admire and respect the free, unencumbered soul who has made the decision to change their life for the better. Good for you! You’re succeeding in an area where many have tried – and failed. However, what is a failure but an opportunity to try again? If you need a little more motivation and push to get started or continue running find a good running club and join in.
This is where the human spirit is at it’s best: looking at the impossible and saying, “it’s not over yet!” Take another look at your body, see the muscles yearning for movement and tone. Look at and assess your health-you have all the tools you need now to do the job right. Just start without having doubts that you can do this. You’ll have good days, rough days, painful days and days that make you soar like an eagle so, spread your wings, and fly!
Do I Need to Lose Weight?
- https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/body-image Body Image
- http://www.answers.com/Q/ How many muscles are in a human leg
- www.newsobserver.com/living/health-fitness/article23177958.html Ellen Moss article 2015-06-08
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