Many people who go on a fitness journey have a goal of shedding excess pounds. While being a little heavy and curvy is not bad, losing weight can improve your overall health. In fact, even a small drop in the scale can lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars. This will reduce your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other illnesses.
To become stronger and healthier, people incorporate regular exercise into their routine. Many hit the gym and use different equipment to burn body fat and tone their muscles. Others try more trendy activities such as yoga, pilates, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
But, one of the most common exercises for those who want to lose weight and be healthier is running.
Running for a Healthier Body
Running is an easy exercise because it does not require any special equipment — just good running shoes to minimize foot pain. It does not require any special training, either; pretty much everyone knows how to run.
It is an aerobic exercise that can improve heart health. One previous study found that running for just five minutes a day can add more years into your life and lower your premature death risk.
It is also a great way to burn calories. A 160-pound person running at a pace of 5 mph can burn 606 calories within an hour.
Moreover, running is good for your brain. It has been proven to boost mood because it triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin, the hormones responsible for feelings of happiness. Physical activity improves mental health by making the brain more resilient to stress and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
When Exercise Becomes a Problem
However, it is possible to lose too much weight from exercise. People who engage in vigorous physical activities regularly burn more calories than an average person who has a sedentary lifestyle or does moderate exercise. Pro athletes can burn upward of 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day.
For example, table tennis players lose around 300-800 calories for an hour of training. Many of them train twice a day for two to three hours each.
To compensate, they have to eat more than usual. There is a rumor that 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, a swimmer, consumes about 12,000 calories in a day. Whether it is true or not, his diet should include an immense quantity of food because he regularly undergoes intensive training. Otherwise, if he eats too little, he will not have the energy to keep going.
The Runner’s Diet
Your goal is to lose weight and be healthy, not to be stick-thin. Being too skinny would not be good for your body, either. You might become sluggish and lose the energy to do even the most basic tasks. Your body might also react in negative ways. Your hair might start falling out, for example, or you might stop getting your period.
If you think you have gotten too thin from running, eat. There are options. Some services offer mobile IV therapy drips for those who are not getting enough nutrients from their diets and need a boost of energy for an important event, such as a marathon, or to address different ailments.
However, eating the right amount of food is still the long-term solution. While counting calories may be boring and, sometimes, unhealthy, you will need to do it if you want to gain weight. It will help give you an idea of how many calories you consume in a day and how many calories you need to reach your ideal weight.
You would not have to down a cheeseburger many or chicken nuggets. You still need to eat a well-balanced meal even if you are trying to gain weight. Protein is a popular supplement used by athletes and regular people who are physically active.
If you are hungry throughout the day, even if you are eating three meals, maybe you need to eat more frequently. A steady intake of food will help you maintain your blood sugar levels and prevent you from feeling hungry or without energy for the rest of the day. A handful of nuts or fruits and vegetables to munch on in the middle of the day will help boost your energy and add to the total amount of calories you consume throughout the day. Dried fruits like raisins, dates, prunes, figs, sultanas, and apricots will aid in healthy weight gain.
Exercising, including running, is healthy. However, losing too much weight is not. If you see the number in the scale going lower than you intended, you likely are burning too many calories throughout the day. You need to increase your intake of food to reach your ideal weight.