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Why Running for Weight Loss Isn't Such a Good Idea After All?

Rizwan covers health, fitness, digital marketing, technology and business.


Our ancestors seldom had to engage in long-distance running. For this reason, our bodies have not genetically evolved to make us good long-distance runners. You may think that that can change with practice. But when it comes to weight loss, the question is: would it not be better to use a feat or feats we are genetically designed to be better at than running for quicker and more effective weight loss?

That’s not the only reason why I think running for weight loss can be counter-productive. Running and especially long-distance running can have a serious toll on muscle development. It can actually destroy the muscle fiber in the body. That in turn, can adversely impact your weight loss goals because the less muscle you have, the less calories you burn during periods of inactivity.

Running for weight loss is also a bad idea because you may not always have the best conditions available for running. For instance, if you’re an outdoor runner, the weather may impact your weight loss goals.

Running and especially long-distance running is known to release cortisol or stress hormone in the body. This makes running a particularly bad exercise for losing weight for people suffering from mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Don’t be surprised if the symptoms worsen or if you’re unable to stick you to your weight loss and other life goals. The additional stress from the runs is likely to blame.

If the areas in your surroundings aren’t conducive for outdoor running, you may have to spend additional time just to get to and from your running spot.

Keeping these factors in mind, wouldn’t it be better to invest your time, efforts and money in an activity or series of activities that better addressed all of these issues associated with running for weight loss?

The Answer: Burpees

Burpees are one of the most effective exercises for losing weight. They are extremely versatile and can be done practically anywhere, be it indoor or outdoor. You can do as many of these simple body movements as you like.

What’s more, as you get better at it, you can time yourself and aim to finish your burpee sets quicker and quicker for even better weight loss results.

Earlier, we mentioned the versatility of burpees. Burpees are so versatile that you can never get enough of them. All the way from simple, 1-pump burpees to advanced 5-pumps and navy seals, there’s always a burpee style you can benefit from for the day.

How to do a basic 1-pump burpee?

For a cardio workout, you can do quicker reps of 1-pumps all the way to fatigue. Rest some, and then get back at it. After all, the grind never stops!

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For body strength and muscle hypertrophy, consider the 5-pumps or even the pull up burpees, where you hit the ground, do a burpee, get back up and then do a pull up.

How to Add Running to Your Weight Loss Routine?

Of course, you can further promote weight loss by incorporating running into your fitness routine. It only gets scary when you decide to settle with running and running alone for weight loss. That’s when all sorts of problems start to spring, and that’s not healthy for your physical and mental health.

Even if you do incorporate running into your weight loss goals, I would strongly recommend that you consider sprint training which, compared to long-distance running, takes lesser time, burns more calories and leads to lesser muscle damage. Some studies report that sprint training can actually help you build muscle.

Diet is a Huge Part of Any Weight Loss Program

No matter what physical activity you do, your weight loss goals are incomplete without a proper diet. There is a long list of what constitutes a healthy diet, but here’s my favorite 5-minute high-protein smoothie recipe that helps me skip 1-2 daily meals and stay in a calorie deficit.

Blend a cup of yogurt, a handful of berries, a handful of mixed nuts (or peanut butter), a sliced banana, some dates, .5-1 cup of your favorite protein shake, a cup of raw oats, and some water for a satiating smoothie that will keep you full and energetic for most part of the day.

Feel free to throw it in 2-3 times a day, though you may want to keep the protein powder out of the next servings.

A Starting Point for Your Weight Loss Goals

It can seem daunting to lose weight. You may be unsure where to start. Here’s my recommendation:

Start with burpees. They’re tried and tested, and they work. The military loves it; fitness enthusiasts and gym goers all love it for one reason and one reason alone: burpees give results.

Do as many as you can. Rest some, and then repeat.

Meanwhile, head to your local Walmart and get the ingredients for your smoothie and a blender, if you don’t have one already.

As for the proper meal of the day, you can research healthy options and go for whatever you like.

Aim to put in so much work throughout the day that by the time you have a proper meal, you can actually treat the body to a satiating meal. Again, aim to keep it healthy with a mix of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.

End Word: Keep it Simple

The end word, keep it as simple as you can. You need to grind. This post breaks down everything else and makes it simple for you so you can focus your energies on one thing and one thing alone: grind!

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