“A body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest.” -a variation of Newton’s Law
If your goals as a runner involve losing weight, burning fat, and toning your body, you may become discouraged very quickly. Research states that when individuals begin running, they lose significant amounts of weight within the first 6-8 weeks, but after that, the body needs some help melting the fat away and toning up. Below are five ways burn more fat once running becomes a part of your life for the long-haul.
1). Interval Running: As with interval training, interval running burns more calories in a shorter period of time. Interval running involves alternating between short bursts of intense running with periods of recovery or light running. For instance, you may run hills or sprint (run hard enough to get out of breath but not to the point of exhaustion) for two minutes, then jog lightly for three minutes. Interval training increases the body’s ability to oxidize fatty acids. This type of running revs up the metabolism for 24-48 hours after your run and will ultimately burn more fat.
2). Pre-Run Sculpting: Many folks mistakenly do their cardio first then weight train, but the experts suggest doing the opposite. Performing a quick weight-training workout before running increases the amount of fat you melt. According to a study conducted at the University of Tokyo, exercisers who biked within 20 minutes of lifting weights tapped more fat stores than subjects who rested or didn’t tone at all. Before planning your weekly runs, keep in mind the “firm-then-burn” approach.
3). Move that Rear: It is a fact that the more muscle you build, the more calories your body will naturally burn each day. People, especially women, are often more focused on toning their arms and abs than they are toning their rears. While any muscle tone helps burn calories and leads to a healthier body, be sure not to leave out the larger muscles. The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body, so toning this muscle will ensure significant caloric burn. Squats, plies, lunges, and bridge exercises are all great for toning the backside. Strong buttocks help runners in that they make us faster and stronger. They also help with shock absorption, thus protecting our knees. Strengthen those glutes to burn more fat.
4). Run Longer: Studies have shown that the longer a subject exercised, the longer it took their metabolic rate to return to pre-exercise levels. Even going on one long run once a week can be beneficial in increasing your metabolism and burning fat. Exercise “after-burn” doubles when individuals increase workout time from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. After 60 minutes? The rate increases by five. Find a beautiful trail, enjoy the scenery as you run, and burn more fat in the meantime.
5). Don’t Let Food Take Control: Yes, if you begin interval training, running longer, and weight lifting, your metabolism will increase and your body will burn more fat. Don’t sabotage all of your hard work by consuming so many calories that you counteract your exercise. You may feel hungrier, but choose your foods wisely. Some simple tips are 1). Eat real/whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts. 2). Eat small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. 3). Eat protein every day before 10:00am; this will kick start your metabolism. Also, be sure not to drink calories. Is that soda or glass of sweet tea really worth it? Choose water or unsweetened beverages.
An additional piece of advice is to always, always push yourself to the limit. If your running regimen becomes easy and routine, then fat burn will stop. Shock and surprise your body with the types of training you do, the surfaces of trails, speed and elevation, and length of your runs. Good luck and if no one else is doing it, praise yourself for all of your hard work! It will pay off.