Is running necessary for weight loss? Let's find out...
We’ve all heard it….”no pain, no gain”. Running therefore must be better than walking because you sweat more, breathe faster and burn more fat…right?
Take on average someone who weights 70kg:
– Walking about 3.1 miles per hour, they use 50 units of energy per km.
– Running at 6.2 miles per hour, they use 78 units of energy per km.
So…it seems running is better!
HOWEVER, at the start of the run, you metabolise carbohydrates (before you start to burn fat). To optimally burn fat (over carbohydrates) you need to work at 60% of your maximum aerobic capacity (reached at around 75% of maximum heart rate.)
Therefore, low to moderate exercise is a better way to burn energy/fat and is less stressful on your joints! So you do burn SLIGHTLY more energy when you run, but it’s not a huge significant amount.
By running, you can do more work in less time, but if you think you’ll need to exercise for half the time if you run, this is incorrect! Remember, a three mile plod round the park is not equivalent to three miles of HIIT sprints.
Outdoor Vs Indoor Running?
Running outdoors does burn slightly more energy than running indoors on a treadmill (mostly because of the air resistance) as well as numerous benefits from sunlight and fresh air.
However, running indoors may be safer. Some ‘tricks of the trade’ show that setting the treadmill incline to 1% evens out the difference in kcals burned between indoor and outdoor running. Again this depends on the individual who is running!
Perhaps when choosing indoor or outdoor running, it’s most important to remember that the many scientific papers on movement and exercise do not take into account the impact of our mind on the rest of the body.
The only thing science ever shows us is the average info for the average person. The psychological impact is yet to be truly explored. Ultimately we might be better of basing our decision on which we enjoy most.
And if you're quite a stressy person, what we need to remember is the amount of stress running actually does place on the body. If anything, it may ADD to your existing stress rather than reduce it. This will therefore affect your body's fat-storage hormones, which is something to bear in mind if you are trying to lose existing body fat.
Ultimately, if you are running every day, you won’t lose any weight if you are putting more energy into your body than needed. We are all different, so must do what is right for our own body, mind and goals. If you dislike or can’t run, find another activity that gets you out of breath. Funnily enough, this is how many of our Boot Camp attendees originally discovered our Boot Camp class!
So listen to your body and do what makes you feel amazing!