Don’t Listen To The Naysayers, Running Can Be An Excellent Way To Lose Weight

Sometimes the most optimal way on paper isn’t the most optimal way for you. 

Don’t Listen To The Naysayers, Running Can Be An Excellent Way To Lose Weight
Photo by Jozsef Hocza / Unsplash

Sometimes the most optimal way on paper isn’t the most optimal way for you. 

There seem to be a lot of anti-cardio people on social media these days. Many are a part of zealot diet groups who claim that all forms of cardio are bad for you and will do nothing to help you lose weight. With all this conflicting advice online, it becomes difficult to find a path to live a healthier lifestyle. What is the best way?

I’m in the camp that there is no “best way” to a healthy lifestyle. If everyone abided by the same diet, same exercises, and same lifestyle, we wouldn’t have the variety of sport and culture we have today. Homogenous ways of thinking are boring and finding the best lifestyle for you can be about self-discovery.

One thing that grinds on me is when people say that cardio isn’t worth your time. Humans have been traveling on foot for thousands if not millions of years in the quest for chasing down resources. We have a cardiovascular system that is more advanced than many realize.

Running is an exercise that most of us can do and if you’re interested in running, these are some reasons that it may be able to help you with your weight loss goals.

Running Is Simple

When you become an advanced runner, you will start to see that there can be some complexities with running but when you’re getting started, it’s relatively simple. If you’re new to running, don’t try to make it too complicated. Lace-up those shoes and start moving at a pace that’s comfortable for you.

If you have difficulties running for an extended period, slow down and do the talk test. The talk test is being able to speak full sentences while you run. If you’re struggling to speak full sentences, it could be a sign that you’re going too hard in the beginning.

Get Your Steps In Faster

The 10,000 steps a day guideline has also been controversial recently. Some studies say you can get away with fewer steps per day than 10,000. Some of these guidelines can lead to further confusion for a lot of people. Maybe 10,000 isn’t a magic number to hit but hitting 10,000 steps a day is still probably good for you regardless.

Running can be an excellent way to get your extra steps in each day in a shorter amount of time. 10,000 steps a day is about 5 miles. If you walk a few miles a day and run a few miles a day, you’re almost there.

Running Is Cost-Effective

While signing up for races can add up in price, running shoes will put you at about $200–400/ year if you’re rotating them properly. If you’re on the lower end of running shoe need, that may cost you about $10–15/month. 

If you’re starting your running journey, you’re probably not running as much as advanced runners so your shoes should last longer. A good test if your running shoes need replacing is to look at the tread. If your shoe trend is worn on any one side, it’s a good sign that your shoes may need to be replaced.

Are There More “Optimal” Ways To Lose Weight?

Many will say that weightlifting is better for losing weight than cardio. There is truth to that because weight lifting will help build more muscle mass, thus increasing your resting metabolism while at rest.

However, the best exercise program is the one that you can stick to. There are plenty of people who get confused about a new weightlifting program and end up quitting after a couple of weeks or do not do it consistently enough to get the results they want.

Running is easy to build as a habit. You don’t have to worry about if you’re going to get the bench press at the gym when you’re working out at 5 pm during rush hour. All you need to do is lace up and hit the road.

A Healthy Diet Is Still A Must

One thing that a lot of people do when they start doing a daily run is build a concept of a “cheat meal.” Just because you went for a 4-mile run does not give you a license to drink a couple of beers afterward guilt-free. If weight loss is your goal, you will still need to have a good diet to lose weight. Let’s say a 4-mile run burns 400 calories, if you’re adding those calories back in by having a massive dinner because you run, it’s not going to help you with your weight loss goals.

A healthy diet is a must for your health journey. I have found that when I work out and run more consistently, my diet falls into place. It’s probably because my body craves nutrition from the calories that it’s burnt.