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Running And Weight Loss: Benefits, Tips, and more


Running is an effective way to cut down weight and burn excessive calories per day.

Several surveys have shown that people running twice or thrice a week have observed significant changes in their body structure.

Hence, you may also consider running in your weight loss initiative and enjoy the magic.

This article will discuss all the crucial things related to running and weight loss to encourage your weight loss interest.

Safety Tips

Running is one of the best[1] methods to cut down body fat quickly.

But, some people, especially beginners, start overthinking and forgets some safety tips that may prevent them from injuries or other side effects.

You may consider the following safety tips to get yourself into a perfectly balanced running routine.

  1. Listen To Your Body

    Generally, people thinking of losing weight may push themselves beyond safety lines.

    But, it would help if you do not consider doing the same as every individual has their respective limits.

    Hence, working or running according to your body or body’s capacity may prevent you from unwanted injuries.

    So, if you feel comfortable starting with jogging or brisk walking, go for it, as burning calories is necessary during weight loss.

  2. Start Slowly But Regularly

    Some people start with high energy but slow down with time and subsequently quit running. But, you should not do the same as it may not help in losing weight.

    Initially, running may feel tiring, but it would easily blend with your routine with regular running.

    You may consider starting by running thrice per week and increasing the frequency with time.

    But, running every day, in the beginning, might cause some injuries or pain in your body.

  3. Drink Sufficient Water

    Considering water over food could be a great way[2] to stay full and hydrated.

    Hence, you should drink a full glass of water after returning home from a run.

    The water would fill a significant portion of the stomach and prevent you from overeating during the weight loss process.

  4. Carefully Run Before Breakfast

    Running before breakfast could be highly beneficial[3] in terms of weight loss.

    But, it would be best if you do not push yourself while running before breakfast as it may cause some safety issues.

    Hence, consider doing fasted runs at an easy pace to get the best benefits.

  5. Strength Training Is Crucial

    Training your muscles and joints is vital while picking running as a way to lose weight.

    Hence, strength training your body would help comfortably adapt running to your routine.

    Moreover, strength training helps[4] build muscles faster; hence, more muscles would help burn additional calories.

Health Benefits Of Running

Running is an effective way to lower body fat and get a perfect body posture. But, regular running may also offer you several other health benefits.

  1. Burns More Calories Than Exercise

    You might not know that running helps[5] to burn calories more than other types of exercise.

    People doing high-intensity interval training, including running, may burn the highest calories per minute.

    Moreover, several surveys have supported that running offers additional benefits than other exercises.

  2. Helps Lower Appetite

     Recent research[6] has shown that people who run regularly feel less hungry or eat less.

    Running regularly may help to reduce the production of the hunger-causing hormone ghrelin and may increase the production of the satiety [7] hormone, peptide YY (PYY).

    Hence, by controlling the production of some crucial hormones, running lowers an individual’s appetite.

  3. Reduces The Risk Of Chronic Diseases

    Deposition of belly fat could be a significant cause of developing several chronic diseases like heart conditions, type 2 diabetes, etc.

    Additionally, diet and lifestyle changes could help in preventing the person from major health issues and diseases.

    This study[8] has revealed that people who regularly run at moderate-to-high intensity may quickly reduce belly fat.

    Moreover, running may make the muscle cells sensitive to insulin, resulting in sugar storage in the muscle cells.

  4. Reduces Falls In Older People

    Multiple surveys have revealed that regular running helps lower the risk of falls in older people.

    Some experts suggest[9] that regular running helps to keep the leg muscles strong and active. Moreover, it may help to make the legs responsive to falls, preventing further injuries.

  5. Strengthens Knee And Reduces Pain

    A review[10] of several studies and surveys suggests that running could be a potential reason for strong and healthy knee tissues.

    Moreover, people running regularly may make[11] their knees strong and reduce knee pain.

    It has also revealed that brisk walks or moderate running may reduce the risk of developing arthritis.

  6. Improves Sleep Quality

    Good sleep is vital to keep the body healthy and active. Hence, running is an effective[12] medicine to promote good sleep in an individual.

    Running may interfere with the melatonin level in the body resulting[13] in a sound sleep. Moreover, running may reduce the risk of developing several sleep-related disorders.

How To Start

  1. Motivation

    Before starting a running schedule, it is essential to work on the motivation factor. An individual must stick to the routine to get the desired results.

    Hence, you must work on some methods to stay motivated for more extended periods, like running with a friend or changing your workout plans, etc.

  2. Items To Purchase

    Running doesn’t require costly or heavy equipment to start. An individual could start with some minimum things and may upgrade with time.

    Some necessities for a runner could be a good running shoe, a comfortable t-shirt, running shorts, comfortable track pants, and a water bottle.

    Women may consider buying a sports bra to minimize the pain while running.

    You may consider buying reflective gears if you run early in the morning or late in the evening. Reflective kits would help reduce the risks of unwanted accidents.

Essential Rules To Get Started

  1. Frequency

    As a beginner, you must consider setting the frequency as a high frequency could be hectic and dangerous.

    You may start running three days a week to get ample rest and quickly hit the frequency.

    Running could be effective[14] for any age group as far as the individual consults with his physician before starting this form of physical exercise.

  2. Warm-Up Exercises

    Warm-up is an essential[15] task to do before you start running or any other form of physical exercise.

    Warm-up exercises like stretching, jumping jacks, etc., could help prepare you for the run.

    Moreover, you may begin jogging to make yourself prepared for running.

  3. Cool Down Exercises

    You must cool down the intensity before taking rest as it prevents pain and injuries. Dedicating a few minutes to cool down allows you[16] to get the best results.

  4. Total Time Taken

    Total time taken includes running, warm-up, and cool-down duration.

    A beginner may start by dedicating 20 minutes for running and 10 minutes for warm-up and cool-down, respectively.


Diet is another crucial factor alongside running that complements the effect in the weight loss process.
You must follow a good[17] diet with various nutrients to get the best results. A good and balanced running diet must include the following nutrients and food items.

  1. Carbohydrates

    You must add some carbohydrate-rich whole grains, vegetables, and fruits to empower[18] your body with fiber and energy.

    Fibers are an essential component that makes you feel full throughout the day. You may also include low-fat dairy products in your running diet.

  2. Proteins

    Proteins help[19] in building strong and dense muscles.

    Several experts believe[20] that one should consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to stay healthy.

    You may eat numerous vegan and non-vegetarian protein-rich foods to include in the diet.

  3. Dietary Fat

    The human body uses fat as a significant[21] source of energy.

    Hence, supplying the body with dietary fats would fulfill an individual’s daily needs.
    But, you should keep the dietary fat consumption marginal to avoid weight gain.

  4. Fruits And Vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables are the wealthiest sources[22] of vitamins like Vitamin A and C, minerals, and several active compounds like antioxidants.

    Moreover, different fruits and vegetables may fuel your performance and fasten your recovery after running.

  5. Water

    Never underestimate the daily fluid intake, as water plays a significant role in keeping energy levels regular.

    A study[23] has revealed that a runner should consume at least 1 liter of water for every 1000 calories burned.

    Moreover, drinking water helps avoid several conditions like sunstroke, dehydration, etc. Drinking an adequate[24] amount of water keeps bodily functions going.


A beginner must prepare a plan before starting running.
You should be aware of alternating between running and rest days to stay active and fit. Hence, you may run for 3-4 days alternatively to get the best results.
Week 1

  • Prepare yourself to run by doing some warm-up exercises for 5 minutes.
  • Start running for 1 minute at the natural pace and then slow down brisk walk for 2 minutes.
  • Continue the above steps seven times a day.
  • Conclude the session with 5 minutes of cool-down exercises.

Week 2

  • Start the day with 5 minutes of warm-up exercises.
  • Run for 2 minutes with high intensity and slow down to a moderate pace walk for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat the above task 5 times.
  • End the day with a 5-minute cool-down exercise.

Week 3

  • Begin with warming up the body for 5 minutes.
  • Start running with high intensity for 3 minutes and return to a moderate pace running for 2 minutes.
  • Continue these steps at least four times.
  • Finish the day with some cooling-down exercises for 5 minutes.

Week 4

  • Start the warm-up exercises and continue for 5 minutes.
  • Run for 4 minutes with natural speed and slow down to an average pace running for 2.5 minutes.
  • Repeat the process thrice a day.
  • End the day with cooling-down exercises.

Sincerely follow the above plan for one month to observe some changes.

You may continue running after one month, but make sure to increase the intensity with each week passing.


Running is a great way to lose weight, but you

must do it with dedication and discipline.

You may achieve the desired goals with minimum equipment and technique.

But, you must be aware of some basic things related to running. Hence, go through the above writings to get a brief idea of running and weight loss.


Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Paul T. Williams. Greater Weight Loss from Running than Walking during 6.2-yr Prospective Follow-up. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Apr; 45(4): 706–713. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31827b0d0a
  2. Water and Healthier Drinks. Benefits of Drinking Water. Available from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/water-and-healthier-drinks.html
  3. Kaito Iwayama, Reiko Kurihara, Yoshiharu Nabekura, et al. Exercise Increases 24-h Fat Oxidation Only When It Is Performed Before Breakfast. EBioMedicine. 2015 Dec; 2(12): 2003–2009. Published online 2015 Oct 30. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.10.029
  4. Luca Maestroni , Paul Read , Chris Bishop, et al. The Benefits of Strength Training on Musculoskeletal System Health: Practical Applications for Interdisciplinary Care. Sports Med. 2020 Aug;50(8):1431-1450. doi: 10.1007/s40279-020-01309-5. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32564299/
  5. Running and jogging – health benefits. Available from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/running-and-jogging-health-benefits
  6. T.D. Müller, R. Nogueiras, M.L. Andermann, et al. Ghrelin. Mol Metab. 2015 Jun; 4(6): 437–460. Published online 2015 Mar 21. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2015.03.005
  7. R P Vincent , C W le Roux. The satiety hormone peptide YY as a regulator of appetite. J Clin Pathol. 2008 May;61(5):548-52. doi: 10.1136/jcp.2007.048488. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18441153/
  8. Walter C. Willett, Jeffrey P. Koplan, Rachel Nugent, et al. Chapter 44Prevention of Chronic Disease by Means of Diet and Lifestyle Changes. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11795/
  9. Exercise for Your Bone Health. Available from https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/exercise/exercise-your-bone-health
  10. Gretchen Reynolds. Why Running Won’t Ruin Your Knees. October 22, 2020. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/search/research-news/11747/
  11. Grace H. Lo, Sarra M. Musa, Jeffrey B. Driban, et al. Running Does Not Increase Symptoms or Structural Progression in People with Knee Osteoarthritis: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Clin Rheumatol. 2018 Sep; 37(9): 2497–2504. Published online 2018 May 4. doi: 10.1007/s10067-018-4121-3
  12. Christopher E. Kline. The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2014 Nov-Dec; 8(6): 375–379. doi: 10.1177/1559827614544437
  13. Rebecca B Costello, Cynthia V Lentino, Courtney C Boyd, et al. The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: a rapid evidence assessment of the literature. Nutr J. 2014; 13: 106. Published online 2014 Nov 7. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-106
  14. Running tips for beginners. Available from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/running-tips
  15. Andrea J Fradkin , Tsharni R Zazryn, James M Smoliga. Effects of warming-up on physical performance: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):140-8.doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c643a0. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19996770/
  16. Bas Van Hooren and Jonathan M. Peake. Do We Need a Cool-Down After Exercise? A Narrative Review of the Psychophysiological Effects and the Effects on Performance, Injuries and the Long-Term Adaptive Response. Sports Med. 2018; 48(7): 1575–1595. Published online 2018 Apr 16. doi: 10.1007/s40279-018-0916-2
  17. Healthy Eating Plate. Available from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-eating-plate/
  18. Joanne Slavin and Justin Carlson. Carbohydrates. Adv Nutr. 2014 Nov; 5(6): 760–761.Published online 2014 Nov 3. doi: 10.3945/an.114.006163
  19. Protein. Available from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/protein.
  20. How much protein do you need every day? Available from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096
  21. Dietary fat. Available from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/fats-and-oils
  22. Joanne L. Slavin and Beate Lloyd. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. Adv Nutr. 2012 Jul; 3(4): 506–516. Published online 2012 Jul 6. doi: 10.3945/an.112.002154
  23. Barry M. Popkin, Kristen E. D’Anci, and Irwin H. Rosenberg. Water, Hydration and Health. Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug; 68(8): 439–458.doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x
  24. Water – a vital nutrient. Available from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/water-a-vital-nutrient

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