It’s true; exercise is good for you. Physical activity will lower your blood sugar level and is good for your heart. But what do you think is the best way to lose body fat? Is it for a long career? Many people hold this notion. Also, it is quite understandable considering that many realize they lose weight; you have to burn more calories. What better way to burn calories than to go for a run?
However, there are some factors that you may be overlooking that could prevent you from seeing the results you expect. Let’s see what these are so you can see why it may be time for you to reconsider the long-term benefits …
1. Run and lose muscle mass. The first point to keep in mind is this: running is not especially good for preserving lean muscle tissue. Because there is no resistance at play, this will mean that your body sees no reason to maintain lean muscle mass and will therefore burn a combination of fat and muscle.
If your main goal is to get lighter and slimmer, this may seem like a good thing. However, think again. The problem here is that when you lose lean muscle tissue, your resting metabolic rate will slow down, leading to difficulties maintaining fat loss in the future.
The slower your metabolic rate, the less food you can eat each day and maintain or lose weight. If you like to eat, this is an unworkable situation.
2. Running and metabolic rate. Another problem with running is that it doesn’t help much to increase your resting metabolic rate. With high intensity interval training or weight lifting, for example, your metabolism will be higher for hours after completing your workout. You will see that the fat continues to burn long after your workout is over.
However, when you run, when you stop running, you stop burning calories. Then you are back where you started. You will only continue to lose fat if you keep working.
3. Running and eating food. Last but not least, running tends to make people hungry. It is not unusual to find people feasting on bagels, pasta, or other carbohydrate-rich foods after a race because they cannot control themselves and feel like they have “earned” it. If you do that, you will be facing weight gain, not weight loss.
You don’t want to spend a lot of time running and then wipe out all the benefits it gave you. Keep these tips in mind and reconsider the long term. There are much better ways to burn fat.