When you decide to shed those extra kilos, the first thing that comes to your mind is running. While running is an excellent way to lose fat, it could also be very hard on joints if not done properly. Now you must be thinking “what could be the PROPER way of running?”
Is your goal to lose weight?
Let’s start it this way; If you have decided to lose weight, probably you are overweight than you should be. Being overweight means your legs are carrying some extra weight than they are supposed to carry. You don’t realise it while you’re indulged in your daily activities, but if you try something “out of the box”, that extra weight reveal its presence in the form of pain, fatigue, cramps, breathlessness, etc.
What happens when you run with all that weight on?
When you run, your ankles and knee joints take most of the load, and if you are overweight, those joints would have to take that extra pressure too. This makes the joints wear off faster and weakens them over time, causing joint pain.
How not to harm your body while trying to lose weight?
All being said, this should not stop you from starting your journey to get fit. There are innumerable ways in which you can achieve your goal without risking your joints.
Start with walking. Walking would make your joints and muscle fibres strong and would help them in getting used to your cardio schedule.
Then, keep on adding new cardio exercises as you advance further, like cycling, swimming, some easy high-intensity exercises, etc. along with weight training.
Now, many of you would ask “how is strength training related to losing fat?” The reason is, strength training is one of the best ways of losing fat. And when combined with cardio, the duo is just a magic potion. In short, pushing weights help in building strong muscles and muscle building takes up calories. So, it’s a win-win situation for you.
When to run? And how?
Now, coming back to the topic, once you start your fat loss schedule and bring your weight to the ‘ideal’ body weight that you should have, you can start running. Yes, you read it right! You can run! Running would help you stay in shape and build stamina at the same time, but that doesn’t mean it won’t harm you. It would still pose the same risk to joints, only in less quantity. But, you can overcome these small hurdles if you keep certain points in mind:
1. DO NOT run on hard and concrete surfaces.
A hard surface like roads, cemented floorings, etc., causes significant damage to joints. Avoid them. Instead, run in grounds, grassy surfaces, or if you have a beach nearby, go there.
2. Have proper shoes for running.
You can’t just get motivated from “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” and start running barefoot. NO! Neither should you run in chappals, flat and heavy soled casual shoes, etc. Buy proper running shoes of a good brand. They would be a little costly, but not more than your health.
3. The outfit also matters.
If it’s winter, run in a proper warm tracksuit, or any comfortable clothing as long as it keeps you warm. Don’t go running while wearing a tank top or undershirts in winters as they might make you feel “Cool” and “Sexy”, but what’s the point if you catch a cold and spend rest of the week in bed?
Similarly, in summers, wear light coloured and loose clothes. They will keep you light and cool.
4. Accessorise for comfort.
Obviously, you want to look “cool” and be comfortable while you do the most challenging task of your day. Buy whatever you think is necessary and motivates you to go for a run. Be it an iPod, wristbands, support bands, capris, shorts, whatever, just but it and go running.
We started this post by telling you NOT to run and hurt your joints if you are overweight. Then we discussed about how you can start your fat loss journey with different cardio exercises and how weight training should also be a part of your schedule. At last, we again discussed how you can run once you shed some extra kilos, and how you can make that run even more comfortable. That’s all for today. Keep coming back for more health and fitness related tips and info.
Right on Paresh, excellent post on how to start out on weight loss journey. Walking is and always will be the best way to lose the extra weight.