How to Lose Weight With 10 Minute Runs

Athletic woman drinking water
Running relieves stress, burns calories and conditions your heart. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Going for a 10-minute run strengthens your heart and lungs, busts stress, raises your mood, clears your mind and strengthens your muscles and bones. While exercising 60 to 90 minutes a day promotes weight loss -- provided you consume fewer calories than you burn -- making time for extended exercise sessions seems daunting. However, dividing your exercise into several smaller sessions during the day makes it manageable and still promotes weight loss. Taking several 10-minute runs improves your fitness level and helps your body burn more calories.

Step 1

Schedule your 10-minute runs. Create a set exercise schedule on your calendar to increase your chances of making your runs into a habit. Taking your 10-minute runs consistently will help you achieve your weight loss goal. For example, take a 10-minute run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the first week.

Step 2

Warm up by walking for at least five minutes. Warm up before each run to pump blood to your muscles and increase your heart rate and breathing to prepare your body for exercise.

Step 3

Run for 10 minutes on flat terrain in a safe location. Choose a dirt or grass surface if possible, or run on a track. A softer running surface reduces the impact on your joints. Run at a pace that would allow you to speak a few words. Slow down if you feel out of breath.

Step 4

Cool down by walking for at least five minutes after your run. Walk slowly to help your heart rate, breathing and blood flow to return to normal.

Step 5

Stretch your hamstrings, calves, hips, back, chest, shoulders, arms and neck for at least 10 minutes Perform your stretches after each run to improve your flexibility and reduce muscle soreness and risk of injury.

Step 6

Add one more 10-minute run on each running day each week, working your way up to 30 to 60 minutes per day, three to five days a week. As your fitness level improves, increase the length of your runs until you can run 30 to 60 minutes at a time. Take one day off between running days for muscle recovery.

Step 7

Increase your running speed as you become stronger. Set a goal to run 1 mile in 10 minutes, which is about a 6 mph pace. A 155-pound person burns an estimated 124 calories running a 10-minute mile, according to the Harvard Health Letter. At the same weight, increasing the speed to 7.5 mph burns an estimated 155 calories.

Step 8

Use interval training techniques to intensify your 10-minute run. Run at an easy 5 mph for two minutes, sprint for 20 seconds and then return to the easy pace. Repeat every two minutes through your 10-minute run. You'll take your run to a higher intensity level, which burns more calorie and brings greater health benefits than a simple jog.

Tip

If you're a beginner or out of shape, start with a walking program and gradually progress to jogging before attempting a running program. Pay attention to proper form as you run. Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle and squeeze them in toward your body. Keep your torso straight as you run and pump your arms from the shoulders. Perform strengthening exercises at least twice a week to increase your endurance and reduce the risk of losing lean tissue during weight loss. For example, lift weights or perform body weight exercises for 20 minutes. Squats, lunges and calf raises strengthen your leg muscles. To continue losing weight, you'll have to increase your running time as your body adjusts to your fitness routine.

Warning

Consult your doctor before beginning a running program. Running may be too high impact or strenuous for some people. Watch for tripping hazards when you run on natural trails.

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