Does Running Speed Up Your Metabolism?

Young woman running outdoors in a city park
The more intense your run, the more calories you burn. (Image: ViktorCap/iStock/Getty Images)

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

How Your Metabolism Works

Tape Measure 2
Overweight individuals tend to have a faster metabolism. (Image: Jonny Mccullagh/Hemera/Getty Images)

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.

Run Regularly

runner sunrise
Run regularly. (Image: fatchoi/iStock/Getty Images)

Generally, running doesn’t boost your metabolism all day. Therefore, to maintain or lose weight, you should run often. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 75 minutes of vigorously intense cardio per week; running falls into this category. For greater benefits you can work twice as hard and aim for 150 minutes of vigorously intense aerobic activity per week. Therefore, you can run for 15 or 30 minutes daily to meet the physical guideline specification.

The Way to Burn Fat All Day

Runners
HIIT can keep your metabolism up for 1.5 to 24 hours after completing the exercise. (Image: Maridav/iStock/Getty Images)

Keeping your metabolism up all day requires a much more intense form of cardio. The American College of Sports Medicine reports that high-intensity interval training, HIIT, can keep your metabolism up for 1.5 to 24 hours after completing the exercise. This metabolic boost is caused by the increased oxygen intake and anaerobic boost during HIIT, than in slower and longer forms of cardio, according to Michael Bracko, a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. Perform HIIT while running by alternating between one-minute sprints and two minutes of moderate jogging for 25 minutes.

Watch What You Eat

Man Eating Granola with Yogurt
Make sure your diet is in order if your goal is to lose weight. (Image: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images)

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 chillies 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. Create a calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 to lose one to two pounds of weight per week.

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