What Is a Good Jogging Pace for Weight Loss?

Jogging is a good form of cardiovascular exercise, but it can also provide an excellent vehicle for weight loss. Knowing the best jogging pace for efficient weight loss requires you to establish your target heart rate, design your exercise to hit the optimum rate for burning fat, and monitor your heart rate to stay in the fat-burning zone while you jog.

A group of people are jogging together. (Image: SolisImages/iStock/Getty Images)

Aerobic Exercise

When you exercise, your body converts one of two substances -- glycogen or fat -- into energy to power your muscles. The key to weight loss is choosing exercises that maximize the burning of calories from fat, rather than glycogen. Aerobic exercise is the most efficient type of exercise for burning the largest percentage of calories from fat. Jogging at a pace to reach aerobic intensity is the best pace for weight loss.

Target Heart Rate

Your aerobic intensity level is a part of your target heart rate range. Target heart rate range is a set of heart rate values that provides a guide for your exercise. Your target heart rate is 50 to 85 percent of your max heart rate. Calculate max heart rate for women by subtracting 88 percent of age from 206. For men, subtract age from 220. Your aerobic intensity level is in the 70 to 80 percent area of your target heart rate range. Jog at this intensity for the best weight loss results.

Heart Rate Monitor

Because the best pace for weight loss jogging is determined by your heart rate, a heart rate monitor is a useful workout accessory. Heart rate monitors are capable of detecting and displaying your heart rate as you exercise. This real time information allows you to maintain your jogging pace in the best weight loss intensity zone. Many heart rate monitors feature programs that match your aerobic exercise range to the read-out. Then, as you exercise the monitor alerts you with alarms or beeps if you fall outside your target weight loss heart rate intensity.

Diet and Exercise

If you are interested in weight loss, consider adding a diet of reduced caloric intake and balanced nutrition to your jogging program. Any successful weight loss program will combine diet and exercise for the best weight loss results. As exercise burns your existing fat stores, a healthy, low-fat diet prevents new stores of fat from being created. Consider that as you jog, your fitness level will increase and you will need to jog faster to maintain the same heart rate. Always use your heart rate to guide your workout, rather than speed or distance.

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