Including a mile-long run in your day can lift your mood and make you believe you're on a quick path to a slimmer body, but weight-loss success isn't guaranteed. Although a daily run can improve your health in a number of ways, it's a little on the short side if you wish to lose weight. Additionally, the diet you consume can also influence how quickly you lose weight -- or whether you lose weight at all.
A Mile Isn't Enough
Whether you choose to complete your mile-long run at a slow pace or a quick pace, you aren't spending enough time pounding the pavement to lose weight. Those who are determined to exercise enough to lose weight should spend 150 minutes per week performing fast-paced aerobic exercises or 300 minutes per week performing medium-paced aerobic exercises. Running is a fast-paced workout, but if you run at 5 mph, you'll complete your mile-long run in just 12 minutes. Even if you run daily, you're well short of the 150-minute guideline.
Don't Discount the Importance of Diet
You'll find weight loss to be a challenge unless you make dietary improvements, especially when you aren't devoting enough time to exercise. The American Council on Exercise reports that a very small percentage of people who successfully lose weight do so solely through exercise. It's easy to negate the calorie burn of a mile-long run through calorie-rich foods such as items that are fried or contain a high percentage of sugar, which means it's possible to even gain weight despite your run.
Get Moving More
Increasing the duration of your run or augmenting it with other exercises is paramount if you wish to lose weight. Burning calories is central to losing weight, and a short run won't lead to the caloric deficit you need to shed a few pounds. If you weigh 160 pounds and run for 12 minutes at 5 mph, your run burns just 122 calories. Even lowering your pace to a walk at 4 mph and exercising for 45 minutes burns 281 calories, comparatively. If you can't run for a significant duration, fill your exercise time with other activities, including walking and biking.
Help Yourself With Diet Changes
Make healthy diet adjustments to complement your increased workouts and you'll greatly improve your chance of bidding farewell to your extra fat. Easy changes to implement include shrinking the size of your meals, upping your portions of vegetables and fruits and lowering or eliminating your portions of fried foods and sugary foods and drinks, consuming more glasses of water throughout the day, limiting the frequency at which you eat at restaurants and stepping on the scale weekly to monitor your progress.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: How Much Daily Exercise is Best for Weight Loss?
- American Council on Exercise: Weight Loss: Diet vs. Exercise
- HealthStatus: Calories Burned Calculator
- Cleveland Clinic: Aerobic Exercise
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat
- USA Today: Weight-Loss Tips: 25 Ways to Lose Weight, Keep it Off