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Should You Run to Lose Weight?

Often I have a client say to me, "I need to lose weight, and I know I need to start running, but I HATE it!". Or they say they physically can't because it hurts. You know what I say to this? GOOD! Then don't run! The last thing that people should be doing in order to lose a lot of weight is RUNNING. And certainly, if you hate running, but enjoy other forms of exercise, then don't run!

Running is not necessary for weight loss. I know, I know....we all picture the old Rocky movies when Sly was in tip top shape and what was he doing? Running. (I can bet your bottom dollar that he didn't excessively run to get in that camera-ready shape) If I had my guess, I'd say he did lots of weight lifting and LOTS of healthy eating also.

The real truth is that you should lose weight in order to run, if that's your desire. There are much safer and more effective methods for losing weight. There is lots of research out there that proves that weight training/resistance training is more efficient at burning fat than cardio. Now, don't get me wrong, cardio has its place in being fit and healthy. It's good for your organs, blood flow, and it develops your conditioning. But it is not the best for fat burning. Here is a great article on that:

I want to mention that I've known many people that have lost lots of weight by becoming a runner! And to them, I celebrate that achievement! For many of them, running gave them a kickstart into weight loss and becoming healthier. I definitely do not judge their method. And for some, that will work. For others, it will cause injury and damage to their joints, bones and muscles. So use caution!

And now, to close this blog, I will finish by telling you that I actually enjoy running. In fact, I ran 4 miles this past weekend and hit a 6 mile run last week. I'm training for an upcoming 15K that I "might" do with a friend. (notice my lack of commitment-LOL) What I tell my clients is this: if you love running--then run. If you don't--then don't. (walking is actually better in the sense that it won't damage your body the way running can) I realize there is a crazy group of people out there that are obsessed with running. They LOVE it! So for them, I say, go for it. Do what you love! Just be careful that you are in good enough shape physically to do so. If you carry a lot of extra weight, lose that first through safer, more gentle methods. And then go sign up for your race!

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