Running is the best exercise to lose weight and get in shape. Starting running is like embarking on a new adventure – particularly for people who are not runners. Like any adventure, a lot of thrill is in the journey itself. At the end of the journey, you are surprised at how far you have come and what you have accomplished. When you arrive at the destination, you look back and can’t help but feel amused at where you started.
Starting running for me was similar. My innocent destination (goal) was to lose a few inches.
Though I have been an avid exerciser for many years, I had never been a runner. So, with the goal in mind, I had a plan to run for six to eight weeks and see the results. That was sufficient time for me to determine if running was for me or not. Many claims have been made about running been the best form of exercise for weight loss – I wanted to find out for myself whether it would help me achieve my goal.
The first few weeks started with the run-walk routines per the Galloway method. You run for a fixed time, follow it with a walk for a fixed time and repeat the cycle. The first week had a run segment of about 30 sec and walk segment for 1.5 min. As I progressed each week, my running segments increased and walking segments decreased.
Beginning runners easily lose half a pound to a pound per week in the first few weeks of running. The results pertaining to my goal began to reveal themselves in the first few weeks. Needless to say, I needed no other motivation to continue my program. I started enjoying running. At the end of the 6-8 week period, I was running comfortably for 4 minutes with walk segments of 30 sec. I could now run for a few miles comfortably.
Running is a very intense exercise and the most efficient exercise to burn calories. It is a total body workout - the entire body has to work to propel you forward. This is one of the reasons running is the best exercise for weight loss. When combined with advanced techniques like hill training, speed training and increasing the distance for your runs, you will be amazed at the results you will get. I will be covering more on these topics along the way and point you to resources that will help you.
Most people start out by running too fast. This leads to shortness of breath, injuries and makes people drop out and not want to run again. Anyone can run – the key is to find the right pace in the beginning, build up the endurance and then go for the speed.
So, did I meet my goal? Yes, I lost the few inches I wanted and some more …
Vaishali Nikhade is an avid runner and lives in Northern California. Vaishali took up running as an experiment to see if running can really help you lose a few inches. She succeeded and her Running ebook is a complete guide for beginners to start running, lose weight and get in shape.