According to the latest statistics, one in every three adults is considered overweight and another 42.4% are obese.
If you have excess body fat, there are some concerns that you need to think with before grabbing your running shoes. I’ve trained thousands of people over the last two decades and I definitely have a few things to say about it so that you stay safe and continue making progress towards your fitness goals.
In this article we will go over the key factors involved in overweight people running for exercise and what safety concerns that you need to consider.
Let’s just jump into the facts: Running is a high-impact exercise.
You’re too heavy to run if your body can’t cope with the impact. If your joints, muscles, and tendons can’t handle the pressure of running, then it’s better to opt for something easier until you are up to the task.
Running is excellent cardio and can help you lose weight fast. But it puts considerable pressure on your joints. If you’re overweight or obese, this pressure increases tremendously.
Nevertheless, being overweight doesn’t mean that you can’t run or do a lesser gradient. All you have to do is to understand your body’s limits and adjust your regimen to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals without straining your body.
What if Running Is Too Much?
Running can be too intense of an exercise. And I’m not just talking about those with excess weight.
So, what do you do? This is where a personal trainer comes in handy. We know all sorts of ways to modify the exercises so that you can keep going.
Exercise Alternative #1: Walk for 5 minutes, jog for 1 or 2 minutes, repeat for 25 minutes total.
Exercise Alternative #2: Walk on a treadmill for 5 minutes, walk at a small incline for 5 minutes, repeat for 25 minutes total.
Exercise Alternative #3: Find some hills in your neighborhood. Walk the ups and downs and jog the flat areas.
Utilizing each of these variations, you can still get your heart rate up and get a great workout while minimizing the stress on your joints.
The point is not to get stuck on whether you can or can’t run. Use metrics, like your heart rate, to measure how hard you are working. Keep a log of your workouts so that you can compare your performance over time. You’ll see that you are able to get more work done in a smaller amount of time and you will feel better.
This is why being a personal trainer is so fun. I get to see people make progress, slowly but surely mastering their bodies and their environment.
Running is a great exercise to lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health. But if you’re new to running and want to lose weight, you can do a few things to ensure that it works for you.
1. Ask a Doctor
Do you suffer from any health issues? Are there some things your trainer should be aware of?
Only your doctor can clear you for working out, so make sure that you’re OK before embarking on your weight loss journey. The doctor can also suggest a meal plan that can help you get in shape fast.
2. Hire a Personal Trainer
If you’re new to exercising, you might do something wrong that causes more harm than good. This is why starting your weight loss journey with a professional trainer who tells you how to tackle your weight loss goals is always better.
He or she will assess your fitness level to design the best fitness program that works for you. A consistent, balanced routine will be better than pushing yourself too hard, as you might not be able to keep up with your working out regimen.
A trainer will guide you through each exercise and TEACH you all sorts of things. The knowledge here is the real value of a personal trainer. You should ultimately be so knowledgeable that you can train yourself.
3. Get the Right Gear
Believe it or not, your footwear and clothes can have a significant impact on your workout regimen.
Your clothes should be comfortable, breathable, and suitable for the weather.
Plus, if you like wearing your exercise clothes, you will be at the gym every day. This is a fact that I’ve observed repeatedly over the years. I don’t know why, but exercise clothes matter.
4. Start Slow
You might be eager to achieve your weight loss goals fast, but not listening to your body will put so much pressure on your joints. You might suffer from an injury that stops you from exercising for weeks or even months.
We can change our minds in a split second, but our bodies are limited by the laws of the physical universe. You can only burn fat so fast. There is no quick fix. But a personal trainer can help you optimize your diet, exercise, sleep, water intake, etc. so that you are maximizing your fat burning capabilities.
Plus, a personal trainer makes it fun. Thou shalt have fun whilst losing weight! There’s no rule against that.
5. Vary Your Exercise Routine
Including different exercises will be more fun, especially if you are new to the scene. It will help you find what you really enjoy, what you’re good at, and what you suck at.
Don’t run away from those things you’re not good at. Sometimes training your worst points end up giving you the biggest gains.
As we get older, most people stop learning new exercises. Balance, coordination, and agility all go down the drain. The way you keep these high is to train them. If you aren’t good at one of them, train it even more.
If you lose yourself in the game of training and improving your performance, the fat will just accidentally burn itself off while you’re having fun.
Rest days are important.
Your time in the gym puts a stress on your body. Your body then recovers and is better able to lift a certain amount of weight. But if you just keep stressing your body and stressing and stressing, you don’t get that recovery.
So, when your trainer says to rest, or your exercise program has a rest day, then rest.
With the help of your personal trainer, monitor your progress and see if any adjustments are needed. You might decide to adjust your workout sessions, include extra activities, or cancel some.
Keep a log of your workouts, a log of your weight, and a log of your diet. You can measure your resting heart rate, your flexibility, your energy level, you could take blood tests before and after, or have a stress test to see how your heart is doing.
There are tons of ways to monitor your progress.
Although running is one of the best ways to shed extra weight, there are some risks that you need to consider if you’re overweight.
- Joint injuries, especially in the knee, are pretty common in overweight people. You might have to lose some weight by doing other activities before running.
- Stress fractures can happen because of the shock and extra weight on your leg bones. Jogging and walking might be better if you’re overweight. I’ve known plenty of people with normal weight who have gotten stress fractures from running too much too fast on hard surfaces.
- Shin splints cause pain when you overuse the muscles while running. Ask a trainer or a running coach how to prevent these from happening. I’ve had them and they are beyond annoying.
- Back pain is common because of the extra weight on your spine when you run, so start slow and gradually increase your distance and speed.
Running is a great way to lose weight, but if you’re an overweight person, there are a few things you need to consider before taking it up.
If you’re too overweight to run, other exercises might work better for you. You should also consider other risks and consult your doctor.