Jogging is one of the healthiest exercise types, and it burns a lot of fat as well. Nevertheless, if you want to jog to lose weight, you may be disappointed – unless you take a few rules into consideration. The Huffington Post collected a list of strategies that make this workout more efficient.
Don’t always do the same exercise routine
You are probably aware that a successful workout regime needs to be really varied; otherwise the body gets used to a given exertion, and after a while the workout won’t lead to any results. Jogging is no exception from this rule. For example, you may plan on beginning to jog for half an hour twice a week, and hope for the results to be fast and impressive. At the beginning you may seem to be successful, but, after reaching a certain level, you either need to change the length or the intensity of the exercise. For example, you can have a short interval workout, or can choose a more difficult terrain (e.g. run uphill). If keeping these strategies in mind, you can burn more calories and speed up your metabolism as well. A study made at the Tampa University, we can lose weight by a 45 minute constant speed jogging routine only during the first few weeks. What is the reason for this? In short, within about a week our metabolism adapts to the new type of exertion, and it becomes less of an effort to burn the same amount of calories as before. The biggest problem with moderate intensity, constant jogging is that you only burn calories as long as you sweat. When you become accustomed to the workout, you will sweat less and will lose less weight as a consequence. That’s why it is widely recommended to add a weight lifting workout to jogging as well, in order to force the body to speed up metabolism. During weight lifting, tiny injuries are caused in the muscles, which need to be healed; in order to accomplish this, the body consumes energy.
Increase intensity rather than distance
No matter what kind of exercise you do, the most important thing, if you want to lose weight, is to increase the intensity. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of playing with the time instead: they may start with jogging for 10 minutes, and then, when they get used to this, they increase the amount of time. This strategy is very efficient in building resistance; on the other hand, if you want to burn fat, it will be less than enough. The University of West Ontario published the study that compared the results of an intense, but short workout with those of a longer, less intensive cardio workout. The members of the first group sprinted for 30 seconds 4-6 times, whereas the members of the other group did cardio for 30 to 60 minutes. Wondering what the results were? The first group burned twice the amount of fat, because the process going on in their bodies during sprinting was the same as what goes on during weight lifting. The body needs to regain the energy burned, so it has to transform milk acid into glucose, which regulates the hormonal levels in the blood after an intense workout. As a consequence, the body gets activated more intensely, and it has to burn more calories to have enough energy to accomplish the process above.
Don’t focus only on burning calories
One of the most common misconceptions is that the body burns calories mostly during workout; the reality is that basic body functions such as sleeping, eating and standing also require calories. Compared to these, calories burned during exercising are of an insignificant amount. Of course, this doesn’t mean we should spend the rest of our lives on the couch; exercise has lots of benefits. In fact, what happens during exercise will affect the processes going on in the body after the workout. For example, jogging burns calories, whereas sprinting and weight lifting build muscle mass. This is important because the more muscle the body has, the more needs to be burned during everyday activities for the body to keep functioning.
Try other types of cardio workouts as well
If you prefer slower, lighter types of exercise, we will need to disappoint you. If you exclusively practice such kinds of workout, you won’t experience any results after a while, as these kinds of exercise actually prevents muscles from growing. Therefore, it is worth inserting a short, but vigorous exercise from time to time, such as cycling.
Although exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, at the same time it is a stress factor as well. Stress affects hormones, and these, in turn, affect body fat. When you exercise, cortisol is released in your body, which may cause problems if there is too much of it. Namely, too much cortisol can cause resistance to insulin, which, besides the fact that it is the beginning of diabetes, also causes a greater accumulation of fat, especially around the abdomen. In a study published in Hormone Research, long distance runners struggle with increased cortisol levels, which may cause inflammation, collapsing muscles, thyroid problems and obesity.
How long is the ideal workout? One hour of cardio a day is plenty – on the other hand, don’t forget that intensity is very important in the fat burning process.