Is running good for losing weight?
It depends on many factors.
For simplicity, let’s assume that someone just practices running to lose weight without other physical activities.
Today, most weight loss programs are not composed of only one physical activity but are based on a synergy of different physical activities.
But analyzing running at this level of synergy is far too complex and can only be done on a personalized assessment of someone’s health.
So let’s say that someone only practices running to lose weight. Would that be good or bad?
Well, first it depends on this fundamental question: is it for losing a couple of kilos (<10 kg), or is it for losing many kilos (>10 kg)? It’s important to note here that this “10 kg” is not a fixed number but more an average as it can fluctuate a little depending on each health.
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If it’s for losing many kilos, the answer is no.
If it’s for losing a couple of kilos, then the answer is yes, but only with three conditions.
Those three conditions are why we don’t recommend running in general, as they are hard to comply with.
Running without having a negative impact on your body
Losing weight is a progressive process that takes time, at least when we want to lose weight in a healthy way.
If we want running to be the tool to lose weight, it means that we will be running for months. To do that without damaging our body, it’s capital to follow these three conditions:
- Natural running surfaces
- Minimalist running shoes
- Minimalist running technique
Natural running surfaces
Natural running surfaces like grass, earth, or sand are what we are made to run on. Our body was not designed to run on concrete, never. Therefore, with the explosion of big cities and concrete roads in the past century, running on natural surfaces is more and more difficult.
Sadly, depending on where you live, you might need to travel hours to find natural running surfaces to run on. Nowadays, how many people have the privilege of living nearby a beautiful forest full of trees, leaves, and soft floors? Too few…
You may ask yourself the question: why can’t we run healthily on concrete? Because of a natural phenomenon linked to gravity.
When we run, our body weight is approximately multiple by three on impact. This means that someone weighing 80 kg running will receive on impact (every time his feet touch the ground) a weight of around 240 kg. This mechanism resembles what happens with the weight of a body in a car crash. The point being that if, for example, the person has as 20kg overweight, he will receive around 60kg more weight on impact when running.
This is not a problem on natural soft grounds, but on concrete, it creates too much stress for our joints.
Of course, someone could argue that “technology” saved us and that now, with the super-evolved technology in running shoes (complex technical cushioning soles, spiky shapes, arch supports, etc.) we can run without issues on all grounds…It’s simply not true, and these shoes are creating other problems for our feet and body, so it’s not a solution. It’s just moving the problem.
Minimalist running shoes
The second condition is a prerequisite to the third as you need to ditch the classical running shoes to run minimalistic.
The principal goal of a minimalistic shoe is just to protect your feet against cuts and bruises while letting your feet be as close as barefoot as possible. There are many benefits to that, but the most important is to let our natural suspension system (the arch of our feet) do its work.
Minimalist running technique
As our anatomy and biomechanics demonstrate, our natural suspension system (the arch of our feet) is made to receive the load of our body in the middle of our foot. This is only compatible with a minimalist running technique where we going to distribute the weight over the entire foot and not attacking with the heel.
It is also vital to have minimalistic running shoes as they will allow the arch of our feet to play the role of a shock absorber.
Benefits of Running
If practiced according to the three conditions mentioned above, ones can enjoy running benefits like:
- Increase blood flow
- Increase breathing
- Increase metabolism turnover
These are valuable for many aspects of our health. Also, running is part of our fundamental abilities like walking, crawling, or jumping, and therefore should always be maintained in our lifestyle.
On that aspect, running is good to lose weight, especially if mixed with other types of physical training.
The best solution to lose weight healthily
The best solution to lose weight is to follow a personalized plan made by a Holistic natural health expert. This plan will include a well thought global approach composed of the following:
- A synergy of physical activities
- Natural treatments
- Lifestyle advice
- Healthy diet implementation
- And much more
As we mentioned above, running is no good for losing a lot of weight, and it’s the same thing for a lot of other factors.
Depending on the amount and type of weight to lose, the current health state, the possible diseases, the environment, the means at disposal, and so much more, the best strategies to lose weight will be different for each individual.
This is why it’s only with personalized care that we can achieve the best solution.
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