Obesity is a serious problem in Canada – as it stands, nearly two-thirds of Canadian adults are overweight. The problem means health professionals advocate healthy behaviors to regulate an individual's weight and prevent health
impairments. Thankfully, as the current Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend, you can manage your weight by incorporating physical activity.
One exercise that’s both enjoyable and beneficial in weight management is running. Running can assist in weight loss by helping regulate your metabolic rate, reduce body fat, and manage inflammation. One caveat is that you
should pair your runs with a good diet and tailor your workouts towards your weight loss goals.
Below are a few ways you can do so:
1. Mix up your training
If you’re a beginner, you can start with short and easy runs. But after a while, it’s good to mix up your training to not only build strength, but to boost your weight loss as well. For starters, supplement your runs with additional workouts.
As a 2022 Sports article titled ‘Resistance Exercise for Improving Running Economy’ recommends, running can be paired with weight lifting to enhance your endurance and body composition.
Apart from such workouts, you can likewise consider more challenging approaches like running uphill. High-intensity running workouts can bolster your total daily energy expenditure and enable you to burn more calories. Now, there
are numerous tips for running up hills, one of which is maintaining the right posture. Remember to keep your chest open to maintain a high respiratory rate, pick your knees up, and shorten your stride. Practicing these will allow your
body to accommodate the rough terrain better and develop your confidence in running more complicated routes.
Pursuing diverse and tougher running routes can help you lose weight in a more dynamic manner.
2. Follow a tailored meal program
Running requires a strong and healthy body, which often means eating lots of carbohydrates to build up energy. However, excessive carb intake can prevent you from losing weight. This is why you should adopt methods that today’s weight loss programs promote, such as personalized meal plans. By customizing your meal plan, you can consume carbs in small portions instead of cutting them off your diet completely, so you’re provided with the fuel
needed for your runs. Additionally, you'll be better able to balance your diet with nutrient-dense ingredients such as lean meats, nuts, and yogurt.
Of course, do remember that after a run (especially if you’re coming from a high-intensity one), it’s ideal to load up on fruits and vegetables. The vitamins and minerals included in these ingredients can help your body recover better from
a strenuous workout. Gearing your diet to complement your running workout allows you to stay on top of your weight loss goals without losing out on energy.
3. Take the time to rest
Even without increasing the intensity of your running workouts, your body needs time to rest to adapt to your training and healthily keep off weight. One way to ensure you get proper rest is by improving your sleep quality. A recent study on
the relationship between sleep and weight shows that insufficient sleep can increase your appetite and likewise encourage you to make unhealthy food choices. So on that note, stick to a proper sleep schedule.
To start, you should limit your screen time at night, as bright light exposure can negatively affect sleep quality. You should also avoid consuming caffeine later in the day. Evidence suggests that even 400 mg of caffeine taken six
hours before bedtime can reduce sleep by an hour. If you need extra, research has found that at-home aromatherapy sessions can boost relaxation and aid sleep hygiene. Getting plenty of shut-eye ultimately lets your body recover in
time for your next run, not to mention it helps with body weight regulation as well.
For more tips and updates on running and the outdoors, please check the rest of the blog here.