The Best Beneficial Exercise to Lose Weight

by Karl Gruber

About Karl Gruber

Karl Gruber is a runner and triathlete who is a practicing Law of Attraction Life Coach. He is also the author of a book about marathon running, a sport he also coaches and competes in. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Ohio State University.

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Of all forms of exercise, running is the most beneficial to help you lose weight. No matter what the sport, there's a reason all athletes run--it's the one form of exercise that keeps them in the best shape, and keeps off excess body fat. You'll burn about 100 calories per mile when you run. Set your weight loss goals and start running.

Start Slowly

Start your running weight loss program slowly. If you let your enthusiasm and adrenaline push you too hard too soon, you risk overly sore muscles, as well as injury. One of the best ways to get started is with a beginner's program, such as the one recommended by Cool Running. This nine-week program includes a 5-minute warm-up walk, followed by alternating 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes three times a week. Subsequent weeks increase the running time--with less and less walking--until you're running for 30 continuous minutes by week nine.

Misconceptions

The belief that low-intensity exercise burns more fat calories than high-intensity efforts is a myth. For instance, if you run at a fast pace for half an hour, you'll burn more calories than you would running at a slower pace for the same amount of time. You can run at a slower pace, but you must work out longer if you want to "make up for the lower number of calories used per minute," according to DistanceCoach.com. You must find a balance between intensity and duration that helps you burn the most calories.

Considerations

Your current weight will affect how many calories you burn while running, according to "The Complete Book of Running" by Jim Fixx. For example, a 220-lb. person running at an eight-minute-per-mile pace burns about 150 calories per mile, according to Fixx. However, a 120-lb. person running the same pace expends only 82 calories per mile.

Solution

You may hit a plateau as your weight drops because your body becomes more efficient and uses fewer calories to do the same amount of work, according to The Runners Guide. If you hit a weight loss plateau before you reach your goal, you must work harder to overcome this obstacle. Vary your running routine and raise the intensity of your workout to burn more calories.

Expert Insight

Include running intervals into your fitness program, recommends the book "Run Fast" by Hal Higdon. This method will help you break through your weight loss plateau. Run 400 meters at 90 percent of your maximum effort, followed by 5 minutes at a slow jog to recover. Use caution if you're new to running--interval running is extremely demanding. Pace yourself. Increase the distance and duration of your interval training over a period of several weeks or months.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.