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How Effective Is Running to Lose Weight?

by
author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
How Effective Is Running to Lose Weight?
Running several times every week can contribute to weight loss. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Running can help you drown out the distractions of the day. Lace up your shoes, pop in your ear buds and enjoy your favorite tunes as you burn calories. But despite this exercise's ability to clear your mind, it's equally adept at slimming your waistline. Running is one of the most effective exercises you can incorporate into your workout routine if you're determined to lose weight.

Creating a Caloric Deficit

If you're anxious to lose weight, one of your first priorities should be getting familiar with calories and, more specifically, caloric deficits. This term, which results in weight loss, describes the state of your body upon burning more calories than you have consumed in a specific period. Although reducing your caloric intake increases your ability to reach a calorie deficit, exercises that burn calories quickly, such as running, play an integral role in this phase.

Running Off the Calories

To lose a pound of fat throughout the week, you must average a daily caloric deficit of 500 calories. Taking a run greatly increases your ability to reach and maintain this deficit, as a single run can burn hundreds of calories. Statistics from Harvard Health Publications note that a 155-pound person burns around 298 calories during a half-hour run at 5 mph. The faster you run, the quicker you burn calories. The same person burns around 372 calories during a 30-minute run at 6 mph.

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A Calorie-Burning Leader

When you're considering various exercises that you can adopt to help you lose weight, it's difficult to dismiss running. Harvard Health Publications notes that, depending on your speed, running can burn calories faster than any other form of exercise. The organization reports that running at 10 mph burns calories at the same rate as bicycling at 20 mph; even running at a slightly slower pace burns calories faster than swimming, which is an effective calorie burner in its own right.

Commit to Regular Runs

You don't have to fill your workout regimen with various cardiovascular exercises if you wish to lose weight. Focusing solely on running, thanks to its rapid calorie burn, can help you shed extra pounds. The key, however, is devoting enough time to this exercise. Because running is a vigorous-intensity activity, you don't need to run as much as you would if you were performing a moderate-paced exercise, such as walking, on a weekly basis. Devoting 150 minutes to running over the course of the week can be enough to help you lose weight.

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References

Demand Media