When I started running my goal was to cross the finish line. I didn’t realize that I was going to leave about ten pounds behind too! I have tried weight lifting, aerobic classes, Zumba and the list goes on but nothing has been able to reduce those muffin tops like running!
When you look back into the history of man, walking and running were the activities of choice in order to survive. Flash forward to 2017, not much has changed. Our bodies still thrive on full movement. Walking and running engages upper and lower body musculature while activating the core.
The great thing about running is it is not an exclusive club. Anyone with a goal and a pair of sneakers can do it. To get started, set a goal – 1km, 5km, 10km, half or even a full marathon. Then set a realistic time and compete against yourself. I used an app called Run Keeper to keep in line with my distance goals when training for Toronto’s Scotiabank Marathon. If you are new to running, you might want to check out the app Couch to 5k. Still not sure? Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier and get outside for 25-30 minutes 3-4 times per week. Sticking to a training schedule will help you stay motivated. If you thrive in a crowd, you might want to consider joining a group such as the Running Room.
Physiologically, what is happening? You need to burn approximately 3500 calories to lose one pound (which is probably what I consumed at my Moms Christmas feast!). With this type of exercise, your resting energy expenditure will stay elevated even when you have stopped running. In other words, you burn fat while sitting at your desk post run! Running can be addictive. Not only physically but mentally as well. Studies show an increase in serum concentrations of endorphins and endocannabinoids leave you feeling happy, less anxious and itching for another run! These changes can contribute to analgesic affects and may be attributed to a sounder sleep. When you find an activity that resonates with you, the weight will begin to drop off. So, take control. Drop the left-over holiday treats and go for a run!
Pair your training with a personalized nutrition plan for optimal weight loss results. Turn your New Years Resolution into a reality so you can add something different to next years’ list!
See next months’ addition: When you’ve HIIT the wall. What to do when your training and weight loss programs plateau.
Dr. Jennifer Tanner, has a broad, evidence based practice with a focus on sports and performance based medicine. Being a marathon runner and having been a competitive equestrian, an active lifestyle is important. Dr. Tanner uses a variety of tools including Acupuncture and Clinical Nutrition, putting an emphasis on “food as medicine” and addressing the root causes of inflammation . In conjunction with the Integrative Health team, Dr. Tanner is thrilled to help people achieve an optimal state of health and pursue their performance based health goals!