When driving you often see women out running at this time of the year. They are often in good shape and it is plausible to think that they have recently lost weight and got into shape from running. This is partly true.
Running is a great way to get in shape and for women especially as it helps to tone and tighten the thighs and bum to give more slender legs. Most of the fit women you see in the Spring and Summer running around your local streets actually run all year round. Many only run on treadmills in the Winter months though, the evening Spring and Summer runs outdoors are a real treat.
But is running right for you? Well, unless you have a medical condition or injury which prevents you from running, running is right for everyone. Running is an effective way to exercise for fitness and weight loss for two simple reasons:
- It is free. You can run any time and anywhere so long as you have some suitable clothing.
- It is east to progress. To lose weight through fitness you have to aim to get fitter. That means to exercise harder each session.
If you go to an exercise class it may be the case that after the first few months you are no longer being pushed hard enough to get fitter. You may fall into a comfort zone and continue to maintain your current fitness levels but not be pushing yourself to increase cardiovascular fitness or muscular endurance.
However, if you run it is very easy to push yourself harder. You can do this by either running for longer or running raster. Generally as runners progress they will do a combination of the two and do one long run each week (usually at the weekend) and then on the other runs aim for faster runs. If you follow the same running route it is very easy to monitor your progress with a simple watch (most mobile phones have a stop watch function built in).
Another effective way to run is to perform interval sprints. Many people start jogging with a period of jogging then a brisk walk when they get out of breath. This same method of alternating maximum intensity with a recovery period can be used throughout a running career. As you get fitter you will be combining jogging with running and then running with sprinting.
Research has shown that sprint intervals are the best way to lose weight and also a great way to get fit faster. As you body to work at maximum capacity you force it to develop and change to allow you to work even hard next time. This is the basic principal of fitness training and also an effective way to burn more fat.
If you feel apprehensive about running by yourself then join a running club to find local women looking for running partners.