“to run or not to run” that is the question

Did I mention that I hate to run?!?  When my friend Tommy told me that I needed to run for at least 30 min every day if I wanted to start loosing weight, I cried. I pouted everyday but managed to drag myself onto the treadmill. He explained that if I wanted to burn the unwanted fat on my body, I not only need to lift weights to build muscle but I needed to get my heart rate up to help burn the stored fat on my body.

A good way to get your heart rate up would be by running either on a treadmill or outside on a track,trail, or road.  You may ask yourself, “Do I have to run the entire 30 min?”. Surprisingly, the answer is,”no”. You can run, then walk, then run again. Research shows that interval training increases fitness and burns more calories over a short period of time than steady-state cardio (running continuously, non-stop).

Interval training are workouts in which you alternate periods of high-intensity exercise with low-intensity recovery periods. So what I initially did is run for about 2-3 minutes and then I would walk for 1-1:30 minutes.  I would repeat that for 30 minutes.  I slowly tried to increase my time to 5 min of continuous running and then 2:30 min of walking briskly.

As my endurance level increased, I would add in some sprint intervals during my workout.  This is where I would sprint for 15-30 seconds and then walk for 1min.  I would do 5-10 sessions of these during my 30 min cardio workout.

Even with this knowledge, I still struggled to put my running shoes on and get out the door. My motivation was a commercial I saw around this time that showed a woman running and she had a fake butt attached. As she ran, it fell off. She ran her ass off! Yes! I remember laughing so hard. It was that commercial that became my motivation and vision that  I would carry with me while I ran.  I would tell myself, “my butt will fall off”.  So first thing in the morning when I woke up, I would put my running shoes on and I would go for a run before I did anything else that day, and as I ran, I would tell myself, “my butt will fall off! I can do this!”

So I challenge you to find your motivation, put on your running shoes and get out there and run. Running will not only help you burn fat but will also help strengthen your entire cardiovascular system.

Here are some references you might find useful with more info:

  1.  http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/form-exercise-strengthens-cardiovascular-system-heart-blood-vessels-4830.html
  2. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/running-to-lose-weight
  3. http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/interval-training-short-workouts-really-pay

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