Running Is One of the Best Ways to Lose Weight

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm never going to tell you what you want to hear.

I intend to keep on telling you the brutal, soul-crushing truth about what it really takes to achieve ambitious health and fitness goals because sugar-coating things doesn't do you any favours.
When it comes to getting in shape there are no miracle cures. There is no quick, and there certainly is no easy. Accept it, or continue being fat.

Hate mail coming in 5, 4, 3...

When it comes to health and weight loss, there are no end of people who will blow BS sunshine up a certain part of your anatomy with the sole purpose of getting you to open your wallet. When someone tells you what you want to hear, it's usually just a sales tactic.

Not everyone is as blatantly criminal as Kevin Trudeau (see above link). Others simply misinform about the amount of effort it takes, or that the really hard exercises that no one likes doing actually aren't necessary. This has led to running often getting a bad rap, because I'm willing to bet that almost no one likes running the first several times they do it. I sure hated it.

Non-runners think running sucks, so they will pour derision upon it, reporting that it is unnecessary or even unhealthy, and that you can achieve all your fitness goals with something easier like walking or weight training.

For example, there is a popular myth about how just lifting weights will cause a massive metabolic boost that will melt off the flab, but I busted that myth months ago. Also, when you consider how thousands of years of evolution has programmed us for a large amount of activity and to store fat easily, a few brisk walks each weekisn't going to cut it for weight loss either.

A modest effort equals a modest result. If you only work out for short periods at a moderate intensity then don't expect to add a lot of quality years to your life or impress the hell out of your old boyfriend at your next high school reunion. I don't want to discount the health benefits of moderate exercise, because doing something is better than doing nothing. Besides, you've got to start somewhere. However, if you've got lofty fitness goals, then it's time to kick some ass.

And running kicks ass.

When it comes to exercise, the more you do and the harder to you do it, the greater the benefits you receive (as long as you take time to rest and adapt). Large amounts of running have proven cardiac benefits, including boosting good cholesterol and lowering the bad, as well as reducing blood pressure.

From a weight loss perspective, there are very few activities that burn more calories than running does, and none of them are nearly as practical. While cross-country skiing may burn a few more calories per hour than running, how often can you go out your front door and strap on your skis to get some exercise? Also, how easy is it to take those skis on a business trip? Running gear packs much easier.

This is my primary argument: In addition to being highly effective for improving health and losing weight, running is unbelievably practical and time efficient as a form of exercise. It's not cheap, as good shoes cost money and they do wear out and need replacing, but it can be done anywhere and in any weather if you're properly prepared. You don't need a treadmill or a gym membership; you only need the will to get your gear on and head out the door.

My kids have an 80-minute karate class twice a week that I have to drive them to. I see many other parents passing the time sitting in their idling SUVs reading the newspaper and eating McDonalds. While they're complaining they have no time to exercise, I'm out for a run.

When I travel I use the Internet to map out running routes in advance and pack the requisite gear for the weather. When I have to drive kids across town to some birthday party I kill the time on the nearest running path.

Running keeps me slim and it keeps me healthy, and I will continue doing it until my body says I can't. If you want to join me, then make sure to check out my next article where I'll teach you how.

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