Does Running Help You Lose Weight?

So you have decided to run for a while to help you shed those extra pounds. Congrats! While exercise is great for you, it doesn’t hurt to know what extra benefits you’ll get from running.

Weight Loss

One of the most obvious benefits of running is the weight loss. If you’re looking for a way to lose weight, there are numerous studies that show that running can help. A 2013 study from Durham University in England found that people who ran 30 minutes a day, five days a week, lost more weight than those who walked or cycled for the same duration. The study also found that participants who ran regularly lost twice as much weight as those who changed their workout routines midstream.

A study from Northwestern University in Chicago found that overweight and obese women who participated in an 8-week structured run program lost more weight than those who did cardio exercise or nothing at all. The researchers concluded that participating in a structured run program is a viable option for those who want to lose weight and improve their health.

Better Health

There are numerous other health advantages to running. A study from Tufts University in Boston assessed the health of 25,000 people and concluded that running is ‘fitness equivalent to walking to the park for an hour a day’. In other words, it’s pretty healthy. An article in the New York Times noted that ‘running is one of the simplest and most accessible modes of exercise, and it’s been linked to a variety of positive health effects.’

Aside from the obvious cardio advantages, running also improves muscle strength and balance, which in turn can lead to fewer falls and injuries. And did you know that running regularly can help prevent some types of cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, there are some notable links between exercise and certain cancers. For example, the society states that ‘running is linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer and possibly endometrial cancer.’

Live Longer

This one might be a bit of a stretch, but running does seem to live longer. A study from the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas, followed nearly 10,000 men and women for more than 12 years and concluded that those who participated in a structured run program had a 23% lower risk of death compared to those who did not. The researchers also determined that for every hour per week that a person ran, the risk of death decreased by 12%.

So, is running a viable option for those who want to lose weight and live longer? It certainly can be. If you’re looking for a way to lose weight and are not sure where to start, consider running. It might just be the answer you’re looking for.