Is Running Really the Best Exercise for Weight Loss?

“Improve your overall health and fitness by taking up running.”

Many people who want to lose weight and improve their overall health and fitness take up running.

It’s easy to see why. It’s free, and with so many great places in Australia to pound the pavements, jog through the bush or race alongside the surf, it’s a sport that can be done anywhere, at any time.

Online services like Walk Jog Run make it easy to find running routes that suit your fitness levels and abilities in your local area. You can use it as a motivational tool to monitor your progress with a free App that helps you set yourself targets and assess your performance.

For general weight loss, running is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can do. It raises your heart rate, gets the blood pumping and is a great way to promote the natural release of endorphins.

Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good hormones and when they’re released into your system, they are responsible for “feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune” system – who doesn’t need more of that!

But, despite the many health benefits, running is not suited to everyone and it can have its drawbacks.

Too much running can burn muscle instead of fat and cause painful conditions like shin splints, Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis as well as sore knee and ankle joints due to the repetitive impact and pressure placed on them.

Furthermore, although some runners find it meditative, others find running to be a monotonous experience and notice that their initial motivation to get out there and put one foot in front of another, quickly starts waning.

There are so many ways to exercise and stay healthy that it shouldn’t have to be a chore!

Although running undoubtedly helps you to burn calories and lose weight, keeping it off means making a long-term commitment and finding an exercise regime that really works for you.

The most successful way of maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI), developing a toned physique and staying motivated is to break up your running routine with resistance and strength training.

Mixing up the kind of exercise you do helps to keeps it interesting and actually helps you to achieve the results you want more quickly; there isn’t much better motivation than that!

Give your body the fuel it needs to work hard and recover quickly by complementing your running and resistance training sessions with a diet rich in nutrients and protein and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

For practical tips or ideas about how to make your diet and exercise plans varied and interesting, join your local Curves group.

When you become a member of Curves, you get the benefit of uncomplicated expert advice, coaching, and diet and exercise plans which are designed to suit your lifestyle, plus exclusive access to a community of other people who, just like you, are doing something proactive to lead healthier, longer, more fulfilling lives.