This summer weather has been practically perfect. Not too hot, mostly rainy in Northeastern Ohio – great for outdoor runs.
Are you one of the many still hitting the trails but not seeing the weight loss you’re looking for? Running is a great cardio exercise, burning calories from the minute you set foot out the door. One of the problems with running is when you get really good at it; you become super efficient at burning calories so if you’re looking to drop some pounds you’re going to have to work harder to get the results.
Run in the Grass, Sand or on the Trails
Do not be afraid to run in the grass rather than the concrete sidewalk, in fact you should prefer it. Running on the grass, in the sand or on trails in the Cuyahoga Valley will create more muscle and burn more calories easily and quickly during your 30 minute to 40 minute runs. When you run on dirt or other soft surfaces your body works harder to maintain balance (core strength), keep from falling (shin, calf and quadriceps strength) and push forward (quads, hamstrings, qlutes and core) and all of these movement use muscle.
When you make your muscles stronger and bigger you need more calories to maintain this growth. When more calories are shuttled to muscles for their growth there’s less calories laying around your body being turned into fat. If you have too much body weight and you’re looking to lose a few pounds try to create more muscles while maintaining a healthy diet. This will allow the extra calories need for muscle growth to come from your lean protein and excess calories already stored.
If you’re out running on sidewalks why not set up your game and step into the tree lawn? You’d be amazed at the strength and endurance it takes to run 30 minutes in the grass, sand or trails.
Build Some Muscle-Burn Some Calories
Along with building muscle by running in the grass, build actual muscle with some actual strength training. Building muscle all over your body; back-shoulders-arms-core-legs will make your runs faster and let you burn more calories with each outing. You can do this without a gym membership so there’s no excuses needed! If you ever can get some free weights for your house they will only benefit you, but until then;
- Core strength- lower leg lifts, Roman crunches, planks, side-planks
- Glutes (your bum)-body weight squats, lunges
- Quads and Hamstrings-lunges, walking lunges, reverse lunges, dead-lifts
Push-ups are an amazing exercise using almost every muscle to maintain posture. Try for regular push-ups, not modified, and do 3 sets of ten. Your runs will thank you!
Run with a Faster Buddy
If you want to get faster and burn more calories run with a faster friend. Seriously, there is nothing more stimulating than a run with person who’s 15-30 seconds faster than you. Don’t try for a friend who’s a minute or two faster, you won’t be able to keep up and you risk injuring yourself in the process. But if you’re running a 10 minute mile and a buddy runs a 9:15-9:30 minute mile, ask to join them once every week, 10 days or two weeks. They’ll slow down slightly for you (it’s only courteous) and you’ll speed up (to save face of course!) and you’ll build strength and endurance within a few weeks.
Running faster one day means your body needs a break the next time, to rest and recover. Join a fast friend every week or two and you’ll increase your speed and strength within a month. It’s that easy!
Exercise and a healthy diet are the key to weight loss and weight maintenance. Start today with no excuses, not even the weather!