Does Running Speed Up Your Metabolism?

The more intense your run, the more calories you burn.
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Running is one of the most effective ways to rev up your metabolism. While you don't have much control over your metabolic rate, aerobic activity, such as running on a regular basis, can temporarily increase your metabolism, which burns calories for energy.

Increased running metabolism can lead to a reduction in your body fat percentage and improved weight loss. Running is also a cost-effective form of exercise that cuts the need for fad weight-loss products and a gym membership.

Tip

Running increases your metabolism for the duration of your run. You're burning calories at a higher rate than you would at rest.

How Your Metabolism Works

It is not uncommon for people with weight-loss issues to blame it on a slow metabolism. The National Health Service states that there is little evidence to support this. Rather, those who are overweight tend to have a faster metabolism than leaner individuals because the energy requirements are higher for a larger frame.

During aerobic activity such as running, your metabolism increases to sustain your energy while you run. It works by burning the calories you consume and tapping into your fat storage to create energy.

Read more: The Metabolism Whisperer Shares Secrets for Burning More Calories

Run Regularly for Results

Generally, running doesn't boost your metabolism all day. Therefore, to maintain or lose weight, you should run often. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 150 to 300 minutes of moderately intense cardio per week to maintain your health and to lose weight ,or at least 75 minutes of vigorous cardio per week. Running falls into this category.

For greater benefits, you can work twice as hard and aim for 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Therefore, you can run for 15 or 30 minutes daily to meet the physical guideline specification.

Benefits of Increased Metabolism

Keeping your metabolism up all day requires a much more intense form of cardio. The American Council on Exercise Fitness reports that high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, increases the effect of EPOC — excess post-exercise oxygen consumption — which means that your body burns calories well after the workout is over.

This metabolic boost is caused by the greater oxygen intake and anaerobic boost during HIIT than in slower and longer forms of cardio. Perform HIIT while running by alternating between one-minute sprints and two minutes of moderate jogging for 25 minutes.

Read more: HIIT for Beginners: 7 Tips to Jump-Start Your Workouts

Watch What You Eat

If your goal is to lose weight, take care of your dietary needs as much as sticking to your aerobic exercise goals. Although some foods such as green tea and chilies can increase your metabolism, the effects are too mild to make a real difference to your weight. Consume a diet that is balanced with lean protein such as salmon and complex carbs like vegetables and fruit. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that protein make up 10 to 35 percent of your calories per day. Create a calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 to lose one to two pounds of weight per week.

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