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Running For Weight Loss: Workout Modules And Extra Tips

Running For Weight Loss: Workout Modules And Extra Tips

When we decide we need to lose weight, many of us immediately strap on our running shoes and head out the door. When it comes to burning off extra calories, running is an excellent option. In fact, the average 150-pound person can burn off around 100 calories per mile!

While running for weight loss is very effective, there are a few things you need to know to take full advantage of its fat-burning capabilities. The following running tips will help you achieve the greatest weight loss results.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

Clean Up Your Diet And Strike A Caloric Balance

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    The single most influential factor for weight management is diet. Controlling the number of calories you consume will help you to set your body up for weight loss — or weight gain if you’re not careful!

    Running for weight loss is an excellent way to torch through fat and burn calories, but only if you strike the right balance — i.e. calories in versus calories out. Here are a few of the steps you should take.

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    1. Clean up your diet using nuts, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources.
    2. Create a food log and track what you are eating.
    3. Measure your weight changes weekly and establish a baseline.
    4. Gradually taper down your intake until you are losing half a pound per week.

    Fuel Yourself For Performance And Recovery

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      Not all calories are created equal. Since you’re going to be pushing yourself physically, it’s even more crucial to choose nutritious whole foods.

      After workouts, your metabolism will be pumping and muscles gasping for replenishment. Fuel yourself with carbohydrates to restore muscle energy stores, protein to repair muscles, and fluids to rehydrate.

      Running for Weight Loss: 3 Workout Modules

      Mix up your schedule with these three types of workouts to maximize your fat-burning power. Using all three will burn through a heap of calories, keep your metabolism boosted, and preserve vital muscle mass.

      1. Fat-Scorching Runs

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        Switch your body to fat-burning overdriven by running at a steady pace which is approximately 65% of your maximum heart rate. If you don’t have a pulse reader handy, aim for 5/10 on the effort scale.

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        Aim to keep your pace and heart rate fixed at this optimal level. Progress by pushing the duration to burn more calories.

        Start with an empty stomach and avoid consuming sports drinks/gels during your run. This will force the body to use your fat as an energy source. Refuelling once the run is complete is still essential for optimal recovery.

        2. Interval Sprints

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          Sprints are great for both cutting through fat and building stronger muscles. These short intense intervals will burn a heap of calories and spike your metabolism long after the run is done!

          You need to get your heart rate pumping high, at about 9/10 on the intensity scale. Sprint for a set duration, return to a walking pace to allow the heart rate to normalize, sprint again, and repeat.

          Try not to slow down before the end of each interval. Otherwise, you’ll need to reduce the sprint duration. Slowly build up the duration to around 30 seconds and the number of intervals to 10.

          Uphill runs will get your heart racing and are actually kinder on your joints!

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          3. Strength-Training Sessions

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            Performing strength training alongside these running workouts poses two great advantages.

            1. It enhances fat loss by burning additional calories.
            2. It preserves muscle mass by telling the body to shed fat instead of muscle.

            Both weightlifting and bodyweight exercises can be effective. Perform full-body exercises such as squats, presses, deadlifts, pushups, and pull-ups.

            Create A Running Schedule: Track Progression

            Transformations only occur with consistent effort over time. Optimizing your lifestyle and tracking progress will be the fastest way to reach your weight loss goals.

            A schedule provides accountability, motivation, and direction, leading to the best results. It will enable you to increase your intensity slowly, ensuring progression while avoiding injuries.

            Rome was not built in a day. Construct a training schedule that works for you and increase the difficulty as your body allows.

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            Start with 2 x Fat Scorching Runs and 2 x Strength Training sessions per week. When you feel ready, introduce Interval Sprints and an additional Strength Training session.

            The 3 Greatest Obstacles to Watch Out For

            1. Pigging Out

            After a gruelling workout, your metabolism is rocketing and your body is begging for fuel. Don’t make the mistake of filling up on unhealthy snacks and overeating.

            Remember to stick to your diet — the post-workout meal should be a controlled refuel.

            2. Not Pushing Yourself

            Don’t get stuck in the same loop or you will see diminishing returns. The body soon adapts to the same intensity, so your workouts will become less effective.

            Slowly pushing further over time is the key to progression. Try mixing things up with different surfaces, speed intervals, hill climbs, etc.

            3. Not Tracking Your Progress

            If you don’t track your workouts, it’s going to be difficult to maintain consistency or ensure steady progression. Keep a workout diary and always refer to last week as a benchmark to beat.

            Smart devices, fitness trackers, and applications can make this process even easier. Many can automatically record intensity, duration, and highlight improvements.

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            Published on March 8, 2019

            How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

            How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

            When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

            Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

            Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

            How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

            How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

            Think about your current workouts:

            If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

            In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

            A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

              A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

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              Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

              Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

              Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

              Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

              This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

              Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

              Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

              The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

              Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

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              Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

              Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

              The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

              The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

              Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

              Meet Strong Stan

              Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

              While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

              While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

              Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

              Meet Flexible Fiona

              Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

              Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

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              To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

              Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

              It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

              Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

              Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

              What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

              In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

              In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

              So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

              You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

              If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

              If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

              Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

                Final Thoughts

                If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

                Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

                Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

                With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

                More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

                Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

                Reference

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