Before we start, I’ll get the disclaimers in now. I am a BIG fan of running. For some this may sound weird, but one of favourite things to do is chuck my trainers on, stick my head phones in and go for a long run!
You have probably noticed, as the weather starts to turn, parks fill up with runners. On your way home from work I would be surprised if you don’t see at least one person out tearing up the pavement.
So why is it that running seems to be the ‘go-to exercise’?
– It’s free. You need a half decent pair of trainers, some comfortable clothing, and you’re away. “The world is your playground!”
– You don’t have to queue or wait to go running like you do when you are at the gym.
– You can take your time and you can go at any time.
– The more you do it-the easier it gets.
It’s the thing to do! When you have that spark of a thought about losing weight or getting in shape, that’s the best way right? Everyone does it!
But is it the most effective way to shed pounds and to get that flat tummy?
Put a pin in that thought and lets consider the basics behind weight loss – calories!
Running (as with all activity) burns calories. Food and drink put calories back into your body. If you put more calories in than you take out, your weight goes up. So it would make sense that if you ‘burn’ more calories than you take in then your weight will drop?
As a ball park figure you will burn on average 100 calories per mile. If you go running for an hour and average 10 minute miles you will burn roughly 600 calories (or 10 calories per minute) This is all good if you consider that in order to lose a 1lb a week you need to create a 500 calorie deficit -500 more calories going out than coming in.
By comparison, a High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) session not only ‘trumps’ running’s 10 calories per minute (by averaging up to 12-16 calories per minute), a 2011 study found that the body continued to burn calories up to 14 hours after the exercise had finished.
If you are considering the key things people want from an exercise plan; losing weight and toning up, HIIT training is the most efficient way.
The training you are all engaging in is HIIT training. This can range from completing an exercise flat out for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds training (often referred to as tabata training) right through to exercising for a minute followed by a 2 minute recovering.
**DISCLAIMER ALERT**; it is all about finding the exercise that best suits your lifestyle. There will be times where doing a workout in the living room just isn’t possible. If you run twice a week for 6 weeks you will lose more weight than if did nothing. I also consider it hugely important to strike a balance; putting a run into your training schedule gives you that welcome break by getting out into the fresh air. There is also the psychological effects that running has; great for stress relief, clearing the mind, and the rush of ‘good’ hormones you feel when you finish!
A key point to consider here is what types of food you are putting into your body. “You can’t out train a bad diet!”
Right I’m off for a run!!