Running isn't for everyone -- the pounding can be stressful on your joints, and it can be boring. Plenty of people lose weight without ever running. The majority of people in the National Weight Control Registry -- a group of more than 10,000 people who have successfully lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for years -- reported using walking as their primary exercise to help lose weight. Make adjustments to your diet and indulge in exercise that you enjoy to lose weight -- no running required.
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Running and walking are only two examples of cardio exercise that help burn calories expediently. Cardio machines, heavy gardening or housecleaning, dancing and sports are all valid options. Find what you enjoy and incorporate a minimum of 250 minutes per week, the amount the American College of Sports Medicine says can lead to significant weight loss. Incorporate at least two total-body strength-training workouts weekly, too. They don't burn as many calories as cardio, but strength training helps you build lean muscle, which makes you look toned as you drop weight and can provide a mini metabolism boost.
Shape Up Your Diet
Complement your exercise efforts with a healthy, portion-controlled diet. Of the successful members of the National Weight Control Registry, 98 percent report modifying their food plan in some way. Aim to eat fewer processed foods and to load up your plate with fresh vegetables and lean proteins at most meals. Skipping foods that are high in calorie and low in nutrients, such as sweets, soda and chips, means you are saving calories and don't have to spend the time and effort working them off.