Running for weight loss is recognized as being one of the very best methods to lose weight fast and get in great shape. The cardiovascular benefits alone of starting a running regime are huge.
The one downside of running for weight loss is that some people take it to the extreme, they run too much and too often and instead of losing weight they also reduce their overall muscle mass which can give them a gaunt, unhealthy appearance.
In order to keep your muscle tone while you burn fat some simple changes to your technique can help.
Stay away from long runs. Any run that is over 45 minutes long can be detrimental to maintaining muscle mass. The biggest reason is because on those long runs your body needs all the energy it can get and one of the easiest to access is burning muscle.
Think of marathon runners, many of whom supplement their workouts with some form of weight training, no matter what else they do for a workout they all tend to look mal-nourished and underfed. That is because their muscle mass is being diminished faster than it is being replenished.
One great way to combat this is to incorporate interval training into your running regime. This is simply a way of working out where your workout intensity goes up and down like a roller coaster.
You do very heavy cardio bursts for a short time, taking your body to it's maximum limits, then you alternate that with a lower intensity session.
How many times you alternate between the high and low sessions as well as how long each session will be, needs to be determined by your current fitness level and overall fitness goals.
When you first start out with interval training it is a very good idea to enlist the help of a trainer who can help you develop a good program specifically for you based on your current fitness level and your overall fitness goals.
For most people the best combination will be to do running on one day and weight training on the next. Keep alternating that way to maximize your results.
If you can avoid it, do not combine both exercises in the same day. If you absolutely can not avoid it, at least do one exercise (say weight training) in the morning and allow yourself at least 8 hours before you do the running portion of your workout routine.
Doing it that way will allow your body the maximum amount of time to rejuvenate and replenish itself. You will get the benefits without having too much stress on your body.
Also it's crucial that you provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to support your high energy workouts. Make sure you provide your body with a lot of lean high protein foods. This is essential to help maintain and build muscle mass.
And, of course, make sure to keep hydrated. If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Keep drinking throughout the day and your workouts to avoid feeling thirst in the first place.
All these tips will help you get the maximum benefit out of
running for weight loss.