Running When You Are Overweight
Running is one of the fastest ways to burn calories and requires little special equipment other than a good pair of running shoes. Those who are overweight might be tempted to start running in order to slim down.
However, there are a few smart steps they should take in order to avoid becoming injured and putting themselves on the bench before they ever really get started with their running program.
Check with your doctor to be sure you are well enough to run
Weigh yourself, check your Body Mass Index, and make sure your knees and joints are healthy enough to run.
How much weight do you want to lose? What is your ideal BMI? Note down your results and start to track your progress in a keep fit diary.
Buy the right shoes
If you haven’t been off the couch for a while, invest in a comfortable pair of supportive sneakers designed for running.
Start slowly with a walking program
Invest in a pedometer and wear it for a week to find out just how active you are. Then start adding steps to your routine, to reach the 10,000 steps per day recommended by the US Surgeon General as being the best way to work out for all healthy adults who want to keep fit.
Add running intervals
As you work your way up to your 10,000 steps, add a couple of short runs to your routine. Run for 30 seconds, or for half a block, then resume normal pace.
Take the breath test
As you walk or run, if you can talk easily, you are not going fast enough. If you can’t catch your breath, you are going too fast. The breath test will determine if you can talk, but not easily enough to carry on a full conversation.
Watch your joints
Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that can build muscle and bone. Running is a high-impact exercise that can jolt your joints if you are not careful. Some researchers estimate that for every 1 pound you are overweight, you are putting an extra 4 to 8 pounds of pressure on your knees when walking/stepping down and when running. Don’t forget to stretch before and after each session to warm up and cool down the muscles.
Watch your form
Your running form should be head up, chest out, nothing slouching over your hips. Your knees should be low, not pumping up towards your chest. Your arms should swing naturally to propel you forward.
Use these steps to keep you safe if you are overweight and wish to run to keep fit.