Can Jogging Help You Lose Weight?

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Can Jogging Help You Lose Weight?

Jogging helps you burn calories and elevates your metabolism both during your exercise session and after. For those looking for ways to lose weight, aerobic exercise of moderate intensity like jogging is a convenient, inexpensive option. Just remember to combine it with strength training that builds muscle mass a couple of times a week for best results.

Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight when you’re overweight can have far-reaching benefits for your health.1 Calorie counting and cutting food intake may help you lose some of those extra pounds, but to lose weight the healthy way – and keep it off – you need to also include some exercise. And jogging is a great way to get in some exercise without breaking the bank.

Weight Loss With Aerobic Exercise

As the American Council for Exercise explains, aerobic exercise is a good way to kickstart weight loss. You can get your metabolism going as you jog, but what’s even better is that aerobic exercise keeps that metabolism elevated even after you stop working out.

How long and at what level it stays at depends on just how intense your workout has been. Because your body is burning more calories not just during but after you finish jogging, you can knock off the extra weight without going on an extremely low-calorie diet that could also rob your body of vital nutrients.

For those who are aiming at weight control, even a 15-minute session thrice a week may do. Build up gradually to a half hour session of aerobic activity like jogging. Aim at four sessions a week, five if you can manage that. If you need to lose a lot of weight, that number will have to be much higher, as you’ll find in the next sections.2 The WHO3 and the American Heart Association4 both recommend that all adults get in about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. And jogging can help you hit that number as you work towards your weight loss goals.

Why Jogging?

One reason many people are able to stick with jogging over other forms of exercise is because it also has psychological benefits.5 Some may enjoy the experience of running in the outdoors, getting some fresh air, or interacting with others as they jog.

Jogging is also a form of aerobic exercise that doesn’t need you to sign on for a class at a specific time of day. So you’re left with little or no excuse to skip a workout even if your routine changes a bit. From a health and weight loss perspective, studies have found that jogging can help reduce obesity and improve lipid profiles.6

How Many Calories Do You Burn With Jogging?

How many calories you burn will depend on how fast you jog and also for how long you exercise, plus your body weight. For instance, jogging at 5 mph enables you to burn anywhere from 240 to 355 calories depending on your body weight.

The good news if you’re trying to lose weight is that if you’re heavier, you stand to burn more calories for the same level of intensity of workout. So while a 125 pound person loses 240 calories, a 185 pound person loses 355 in the same half hour.7

How Many Minutes Of Jogging Actually Help Weight Loss

According to the National Institutes of Health, for weight control, you may need anywhere from 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity activity like jogging, every week. If you need to lose more than 5 percent of your body weight or keep off weight you have managed to lose, you may need to up that number beyond 5 hours a week.8

This might mean you will need to do some form of aerobic exercise every day, or that you may have to do longer sessions of jogging than someone who has to lose less weight. It will boil down to the math of how many calories you’re consuming versus how many you can burn off.

Why You Also Need Weight Training

Besides jogging, it is a good idea to include resistance or strength exercises. Try using the large rubber resistance bands, lift weights, or do crunches and push-ups. These help you strengthen the muscles in your body. Contrary to hearsay, this does not cause you to “bulk up”.9 In fact, strength training can actually help you build more muscle in your body.

Muscles burn calories even when you aren’t exercising or doing any physical activity. So by increasing the muscle mass in your body, you stand to increase the amount of calories your body burns both when at rest as well as when you are active. Focus on strengthening your abdomen and lower back, as well as trunk, arms, legs, shoulder, chest, and upper back.10

Health authorities in the United States11 as well as the UK recommend that everyone do strength training exercises twice a week in addition to the 150 minutes of aerobic exercise.12 So don’t rely on jogging alone to lose and keep off that weight. Instead, work out a regimen that sees you working various muscle groups to build muscle mass some days of the week. And keep up your aerobic activity like jogging on other days for burning off calories.

References   [ + ]

1.Guide to Behavior Change. National Institutes of Health.
2.Successful Weight Control.American Council on Exercise.
3.Physical Activity and Adults. WHO.
4.American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults.American Heart Association.
5, 6.Schnohr, Peter, Jacob L. Marott, Peter Lange, and Gorm B. Jensen. “Longevity in male and female joggers: the Copenhagen City Heart Study.” American journal of epidemiology 177, no. 7 (2013): 683-689.
7.Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. Harvard Medical School.
8.Be Physically Active. National Institutes of Health.
9.Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
10.Successful Weight Control. American Council on Exercise.
11.The American Heart Association Recommendation For Physical Activity In Adults. American Heart Association.
12.How to improve your strength and flexibility. NHS.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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