How Running Can Help You Shed Unwanted Pounds
By Ryan Raman
Running is an incredibly popular way to exercise.
In fact, it's estimated that in the U.S. alone, more than 64 million people have run at least once in the past year (1).
Running is also linked to many health benefits, and is one of the best types of exercise to help you lose weight.
This article explains how running can help you shed unwanted pounds.
There Are Many Types of Running
There are many different styles of running, each with their own unique purpose and benefits.
These are the most popular types:
- Base runs: What most people would call a normal run. They are short-to-moderate length runs around 6 miles (10 km) and done at your natural pace.
- Long runs: Longer versions of base runs done at the same pace but over a greater distance of around 10–12 miles (15–20 km). They help improve your overall fitness and endurance.
- Interval runs: Short, intense runs repeated several times with short breaks in between. For example, 5 x 0.5 mile runs with 1/4 mile (400 meters) light jogging between each interval. These runs train your running power and speed.
- Hill repeats: Similar to interval runs but done uphill. For example, 10 x 1-minute hill repeats. They train your running power and speed while improving stamina.
- Recovery runs: Slow runs done after harder runs like hill repeats to add extra distance to your overall run. For example, a 4-minute run at a comfortable pace after a harder run.
- Progression runs: These mimic competition-style runs by starting slow and finishing at a faster pace. They build endurance, speed and reduce fatigue. For example, 5 miles (8 km) at a natural pace, then 1 mile (1.5 km) at a fast pace.
Summary: There are many types of runs, each with their own purpose and benefits. Normal runs are considered base runs.
It Burns More Calories Than Most Exercises
Losing weight requires you to burn more calories than you consume, and exercise can help you do so.
Running is a great option, as it burns more calories than most other types of exercise because it requires many different muscles to work hard together (2).
In particular, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) involving running burns the most calories per minute by using various muscles at their maximum power.
The difference in calories burned by running versus by other exercises is supported by research.
For example, a study with 12 men and 12 women compared how many more calories running 1 mile (1,600 meters) burned than walking the same distance on both a treadmill and track.
Results showed that, on average, running 1 mile on the treadmill burned 33 more calories than walking, and running 1 mile on the track burned 35 more calories than walking (3).
33–35 calories may not seem like a huge difference at first, but over a 10-mile run, this may equal burning 330–350 more calories than walking the same distance.
A report by Harvard University compared the calories burned over 30 minutes by people at three different weights and found similar results.
Specifically, they discovered that a 155-pound (70-kg) person could burn 372 calories in 30 minutes running at a moderate pace of 6 miles per hour (10 km per hour).
This is as many calories as are burned during vigorous swimming and martial arts, and even more than those burned during a 30-minute game of basketball (4).
Summary: Running is an excellent choice of exercise for weight loss because it burns more calories than many alternatives.
High-Intensity Running Continues to Burn Calories After Exercise
Doing any exercise regularly will help you lose weight, but only a few types of exercise will continue to burn calories even after you finish working out.
High-intensity types of running like hill repeats and interval runs can continue to burn calories up to 48 hours after you work out (5).
These exercises use many muscles and need more energy afterward to recover. This is often labeled the "afterburn effect" among the fitness community.
In one study, 10 men cycled for 45 minutes at an intense pace to calculate how many calories they burned after the workout and for how long.
The average participant burned 519 calories during their workout and an extra 190 calories over the 14 hours following the workout (7).
Although the above example uses cycling as an example, the "afterburn effect" applies to high-intensity running, too. Cycling is simply a convenient way to measure calories burned in a controlled laboratory study.
Summary: High-intensity running like sprints, intervals and hill runs can continue to burn calories long after a workout due to the "afterburn effect."
High-Intensity Running Suppresses Appetite and Helps You Eat Less
Many people try reducing their calorie intake by eating less food or changing the food they eat.
Unfortunately, these strategies may sometimes only increase hunger and make losing weight a challenge.
The exact processes surrounding this response are unclear, but one way high-intensity running may reduce appetite is by suppressing the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and producing more satiety hormones like peptide YY (PYY).
A study in 11 men found that running for 60 minutes or strength training for 90 minutes reduced ghrelin levels, compared to no exercise. Only running increased PYY production (8).
Another study with nine men compared the effect of 60 minutes of running and no exercise on ghrelin production. They found that running lowered ghrelin levels for three to nine hours in comparison to no exercise (9).
Summary: Running may help you lose weight by lowering the production of hunger hormones and increasing the production of satiety hormones.
Moderate-to-High Intensity Running Targets Harmful Belly Fat
Carrying excess belly fat is extremely bad for your health.
An analysis of 15 studies and 852 participants found that aerobic exercise reduced belly fat without any change in diet. However, training at moderate-to-high intensity was most effective at reducing belly fat (14).
Another study of 27 middle-aged women found that high-intensity running considerably reduced belly fat, compared to low-intensity walking/running or no exercise (15).
Lastly, a study of 45 healthy but inactive women found that high-intensity interval exercise three times per week significantly reduced body fat and belly fat, compared to steady pace exercise or no exercise (16).
Summary: Many studies have found that moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise like running targets harmful belly fat, even without dietary changes.
Running Has Many Other Benefits for Health
Aside from weight loss, running has been linked to many other health benefits.
A few specific health problems that running may help prevent or alleviate include:
- Heart disease: A 15-year study with over 50,000 participants found that running at least five to ten minutes a day, even at low speeds, reduced heart disease risk up to 45 percent (17).
- Blood sugar: Running can lower blood sugar by making muscle cells more sensitive to insulin. This helps sugar move into muscle cells for storage (18, 19).
- Cataracts: One study found that moderate-pace walking and vigorous running both reduced the risk of cataracts, with more exercise directly resulting in a lower risk (20).
- Falls: Running may reduce the risk of falling among the elderly. Research shows that elderly participants who run are less likely to fall because their leg muscles are more responsive (21).
- Knee damage: A common myth is that running is bad for your knees. An analysis of 28 studies refuted this misconception, finding strong evidence that links physical activity with stronger knee tissue and healthier knees (22).
- Knee pain: Running may also help reduce knee pain. A study of participants with an average age of 64 years found that running was not linked with knee pain or arthritis. Instead, participants who ran more actually had less knee pain (23).
Summary: Along with weight loss, running can provide various health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease, reduced blood sugar, lower cataracts risk, lower falls risk, stronger knees and less knee pain.
How to Get Started
There are many items available for running, but most beginners can get by on the bare minimum.
This includes good running shoes, a comfortable top, a water bottle and running shorts, tights or comfortable pants.
It is highly recommended for women to wear a sports bra while running to reduce pain. Reflective gear is highly recommended as well if you plan on taking your run during early hours or late at night. This will help to prevent any accidents.
Here are a few basics you should know before beginning a running workout:
- Frequency: To get started, aim for 3 to 4 days of running per week. This allows for enough recovery time between workouts.
- Warm up: Before every running workout, it is important to warm up and stretch in order to prepare your body for the run. Start by stretching, followed by 5 minutes of walking at an easy pace. Then, slowly progress to a power walk.
- Cool down: At the end of your run, make sure to cool down with 5 minutes of walking, gradually decreasing the speed as you go.
- Total time: Aim for around 30 minutes total. This includes 5 minutes for a warm up, 5 minutes for a cool down and 20 minutes of running/walking in between.
Summary: Running is easy to begin and requires minimal equipment. A beginner should aim to run for 30 minutes 3 or 4 days a week, including 5 minutes of warming up and cooling down.
Sample Running Plan
If you would like to enjoy the benefits of running, here is a month-long plan to get you started.
A beginner's plan will start with alternating between running and walking, increasing the minutes spent running every week.
Do each set of activities 3 to 4 days per week.
- 5 minutes warming up
- 1 minute running at your natural pace, and then 2 minutes moderate-pace walking—repeat 7 times
- 5 minutes cooling down
- 5 minutes warming up
- 2 minutes running at your natural pace, and then 2 minutes moderate-pace walking—repeat 5 times
- 5 minutes cooling down
- 5 minutes warming up
- 3 minutes running at your natural pace, and then 2 minutes moderate-pace walking—repeat 4 times
- 5 minutes cooling down
- 5 minutes warming up
- 4 minutes running at your natural pace, and then 2 minutes moderate-pace walking—repeat 3 times
- 5 minutes cooling down
After the month is over, try to progress by running for longer at your natural pace or walking less between each run. Try adding different styles of running as you feel more comfortable.
If you are not used to regular exercise or have any preexisting medical conditions that can be affected by exercise, consult a health professional before starting any exercise program.
Summary: A beginner's running plan should alternate between running and walking. As you progress, increase the time spent running weekly or decrease the time spent walking between runs.
How to Stay Motivated
Sticking to a dedicated running plan can help you achieve long-term success with your weight loss goals.
The trick to staying motivated is to keep it fun so you won't be tempted to make any excuses to avoid your workout.
Keep your workouts interesting by changing your running route every few weeks or adding in different types of runs like intervals or hill repeats.
Running with a friend that challenges you can keep you accountable and provides extra safety if you run during the early or late hours of the day.
If you find it difficult to motivate yourself early in the morning, try laying your running gear out the night before to save the effort in the morning.
Signing up for marathons or other competitions when you are comfortable can also provide you with extra motivation for running and keep you focused.
Summary: Changing your workouts often or running with a friend can make your routine fun and help you to stay motivated long-term.
The Bottom Line
Running is an excellent form of exercise for weight loss.
It burns a lot of calories, may help you continue to burn calories long after a workout, may help suppress appetite and targets harmful belly fat.
What's more, running has many other benefits for your health and is simple to begin.
Unlike many other types of exercise, running requires little equipment, can be done anywhere and there are many ways to keep things interesting.
If you find it difficult to motivate yourself to run, try finding a running partner or changing routines frequently to add variety to your workout.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
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On Monday and Tuesday of the week that President Donald Trump held his first rally since March in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the county reported 76 and 96 new coronavirus cases respectively, according to POLITICO. This week, the county broke its new case record Monday with 261 cases and reported a further 206 cases on Tuesday. Now, Tulsa's top public health official thinks the rally and counterprotest "likely contributed" to the surge.
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By Tim Radford
German scientists now know why so many fish are so vulnerable to ever-warming oceans. Global heating imposes a harsh cost at the most critical time of all: the moment of spawning.
Nearing the Brink<p>Since <a href="https://climatenewsnetwork.net/abundant-fish-need-cool-seas-and-protection/" target="_blank">fish in the temperate zones already experience a wide variation</a> in seasonal water temperatures, it hasn't been obvious why species such as <a href="https://climatenewsnetwork.net/sardines-swim-into-northern-waters-to-keep-cool/" target="_blank">cod have shifted nearer the Arctic, and sardines have migrated to the North Sea</a>.</p><p>But <a href="https://climatenewsnetwork.net/ocean-warming-spurs-marine-life-to-rapid-migration/" target="_blank">marine creatures are on the move</a>, and although there are other factors at work, including overfishing and <a href="https://climatenewsnetwork.net/fish-cant-smell-well-in-more-acidic-seas/" target="_blank">the increasingly alarming changes in ocean chemistry</a>, thanks to ever-higher levels of dissolved carbon dioxide, temperature change is part of the problem.</p><p>The latest answer, Dr Dahlke and his colleagues report in the journal <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.aaz3658" target="_blank">Science</a>, is that many fish may already be living near the limits of their thermal tolerance.</p><p>The temperature safety margins during the moments of spawning and embryo might be very precise, and over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, marine and freshwater species have worked out just what is best for the next generation. Rapid global warming upsets this equilibrium.</p>
By Sherry H-Y. Chou, Aarti Sarwal and Neha S. Dangayach
The patient in the case report (let's call him Tom) was 54 and in good health. For two days in May, he felt unwell and was too weak to get out of bed. When his family finally brought him to the hospital, doctors found that he had a fever and signs of a severe infection, or sepsis. He tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection. In addition to symptoms of COVID-19, he was also too weak to move his legs.
When a neurologist examined him, Tom was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes abnormal sensation and weakness due to delays in sending signals through the nerves. Usually reversible, in severe cases it can cause prolonged paralysis involving breathing muscles, require ventilator support and sometimes leave permanent neurological deficits. Early recognition by expert neurologists is key to proper treatment.
We are neurologists specializing in intensive care and leading studies related to neurological complications from COVID-19. Given the occurrence of Guillain-Barre Syndrome in prior pandemics with other corona viruses like SARS and MERS, we are investigating a possible link between Guillain-Barre Syndrome and COVID-19 and tracking published reports to see if there is any link between Guillain-Barre Syndrome and COVID-19.
Some patients may not seek timely medical care for neurological symptoms like prolonged headache, vision loss and new muscle weakness due to fear of getting exposed to virus in the emergency setting. People need to know that medical facilities have taken full precautions to protect patients. Seeking timely medical evaluation for neurological symptoms can help treat many of these diseases.
What Is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?
Guillain-Barre syndrome occurs when the body's own immune system attacks and injures the nerves outside of the spinal cord or brain – the peripheral nervous system. Most commonly, the injury involves the protective sheath, or myelin, that wraps nerves and is essential to nerve function.
Without the myelin sheath, signals that go through a nerve are slowed or lost, which causes the nerve to malfunction.
To diagnose Guillain-Barre Syndrome, neurologists perform a detailed neurological exam. Due to the nerve injury, patients often may have loss of reflexes on examination. Doctors often need to perform a lumbar puncture, otherwise known as spinal tap, to sample spinal fluid and look for signs of inflammation and abnormal antibodies.
Studies have shown that giving patients an infusion of antibodies derived from donated blood or plasma exchange – a process that cleans patients' blood of harmful antibodies - can speed up recovery. A very small subset of patients may need these therapies long-term.
The majority of Guillain-Barre Syndrome patients improve within a few weeks and eventually can make a full recovery. However, some patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome have lingering symptoms including weakness and abnormal sensations in arms and/or legs; rarely patients may be bedridden or disabled long-term.
Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Pandemics
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, many neurologic specialists have been on the lookout for potentially serious nervous system complications such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Though Guillain-Barre Syndrome is rare, it is well known to emerge following bacterial infections, such as Campylobacter jejuni, a common cause of food poisoning, and a multitude of viral infections including the flu virus, Zika virus and other coronaviruses.
Studies showed an increase in Guillain-Barre Syndrome cases following the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, suggesting a possible connection. The presumed cause for this link is that the body's own immune response to fight the infection turns on itself and attacks the peripheral nerves. This is called an "autoimmune" condition. When a pandemic affects as many people as our current COVID-19 crisis, even a rare complication can become a significant public health problem. That is especially true for one that causes neurological dysfunction where the recovery takes a long time and may be incomplete.
Though there is clear clinical suspicion that COVID-19 can lead to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, many important questions remain. What are the chances that someone gets Guillain-Barre Syndrome during or following a COVID-19 infection? Does Guillain-Barre Syndrome happen more often in those who have been infected with COVID-19 compared to other types of infections, such as the flu?
The only way to get answers is through a prospective study where doctors perform systematic surveillance and collect data on a large group of patients. There are ongoing large research consortia hard at work to figure out answers to these questions.
Understanding the Association Between COVID-19 and Guillain-Barre Syndrome
While large research studies are underway, overall it appears that Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare but serious phenomenon possibly linked to COVID-19. Given that more than 10.7 million cases have been reported for COVID-19, there have been 10 reported cases of COVID-19 patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome so far – only two reported cases in the U.S., five in Italy, two cases in Iran and one from Wuhan, China.
It is certainly possible that there are other cases that have not been reported. The Global Consortium Study of Neurological Dysfunctions in COVID-19 is actively underway to find out how often neurological problems like Guillain-Barre Syndrome is seen in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Also, just because Guillain-Barre Syndrome occurs in a patient diagnosed with COVID-19, that does not imply that it was caused by the virus; this still may be a coincident occurrence. More research is needed to understand how the two events are related.
Due to the pandemic and infection-containment considerations, diagnostic tests, such as a nerve conduction study that used to be routine for patients with suspected Guillain-Barre Syndrome, are more difficult to do. In both U.S. cases, the initial diagnosis and treatment were all based on clinical examination by a neurological experts rather than any tests. Both patients survived but with significant residual weakness at the time these case reports came out, but that is not uncommon for Guillain-Barre Syndrome patients. The road to recovery may sometimes be long, but many patients can make a full recovery with time.
Though the reported cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome so far all have severe symptoms, this is not uncommon in a pandemic situation where the less sick patients may stay home and not present for medical care for fear of being exposed to the virus. This, plus the limited COVID-19 testing capability across the U.S., may skew our current detection of Guillain-Barre Syndrome cases toward the sicker patients who have to go to a hospital. In general, the majority of Guillain-Barre Syndrome patients do recover, given enough time. We do not yet know whether this is true for COVID-19-related cases at this stage of the pandemic. We and colleagues around the world are working around the clock to find answers to these critical questions.
Sherry H-Y. Chou is an Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh.
Aarti Sarwal is an Associate Professor, Neurology, Wake Forest University.
Neha S. Dangayach is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Disclosure statement: Sherry H-Y. Chou receives funding from The University of Pittsburgh Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the National Institute of Health, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Dean's Faculty Advancement Award. Sherry H-Y. Chou is a member of Board of Directors for the Neurocritical Care Society. Neha S. Dangayach receives funding from the Bee Foundation, the Friedman Brain Institute, the Neurocritical Care Society, InCHIP-UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media Seed Grant. She is faculty for emcrit.org and for AiSinai. Aarti Sarwal does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Reposted with permission from The Conversation.
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By Jake Johnson
Unity Task Forces formed by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled sweeping party platform recommendations Wednesday that—while falling short of progressive ambitions in a number of areas, from climate to healthcare—were applauded as important steps toward a bold and just policy agenda that matches the severity of the moment.
"We've moved the needle a lot, especially on environmental justice and upping Biden's ambition," said Sunrise Movement co-founder and executive director Varshini Prakash, a member of the Biden-Sanders Climate Task Force. "But there's still more work to do to push Democrats to act at the scale of the climate crisis."
The climate panel—co-chaired by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and former Secretary of State John Kerry—recommended that the Democratic Party commit to "eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035," massively expanding investments in clean energy sources, and "achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for all new buildings by 2030."
In a series of tweets Wednesday night, Ocasio-Cortez—the lead sponsor of the House Green New Deal resolution—noted that the Climate Task Force "shaved 15 years off Biden's previous target for 100% clean energy."
"Of course, like in any collaborative effort, there are areas of negotiation and compromise," said the New York Democrat. "But I do believe that the Climate Task Force effort meaningfully and substantively improved Biden's positions."
Today the 6 Biden-Sanders Unity Task Forces are unveiling final language. The Climate Task Force accomplished a gr… https://t.co/gz3broq2qe— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1594240617.0
The 110 pages of policy recommendations from the six eight-person Unity Task Forces on education, the economy, criminal justice, immigration, climate change, and healthcare are aimed at shaping negotiations over the 2020 Democratic platform at the party's convention next month.
Sanders said that while the "end result isn't what I or my supporters would've written alone, the task forces have created a good policy blueprint that will move this country in a much-needed progressive direction and substantially improve the lives of working families throughout our country."
"I look forward to working with Vice President Biden to help him win this campaign," the Vermont senator added, "and to move this country forward toward economic, racial, social, and environmental justice."
Biden, for his part, applauded the task forces "for helping build a bold, transformative platform for our party and for our country."
"I am deeply grateful to Bernie Sanders for working with us to unite our party and deliver real, lasting change for generations to come," said the former vice president.
On the life-or-death matter of reforming America's dysfunctional private health insurance system—a subject on which Sanders and Biden clashed repeatedly throughout the Democratic primary process—the Unity Task Force affirmed healthcare as "a right" but did not embrace Medicare for All, the signature policy plank of the Vermont senator's presidential bid.
Instead, the panel recommended building on the Affordable Care Act by establishing a public option, investing in community health centers, and lowering prescription drug costs by allowing the federal government to negotiate prices. The task force also endorsed making all Covid-19 testing, treatments, and potential vaccines free and expanding Medicaid for the duration of the pandemic.
"It has always been a crisis that tens of millions of Americans have no or inadequate health insurance—but in a pandemic, it's potentially catastrophic for public health," the task force wrote.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a former Michigan gubernatorial candidate and Sanders-appointed member of the Healthcare Task Force, said that despite major disagreements, the panel "came to recommendations that will yield one of the most progressive Democratic campaign platforms in history—though we have further yet to go."
We rein in #pharma's greed by: 1) Allowing Medicare to FINALLY negotiate Rx drugs FOR ALL AMERICANS 2) Using Rx d… https://t.co/6k9iUCLMp7— Abdul El-Sayed (@Abdul El-Sayed)1594238411.0
Observers and advocacy groups also applauded the Unity Task Forces for recommending the creation of a postal banking system, endorsing a ban on for-profit charter schools, ending the use of private prisons, and imposing a 100-day moratorium on deportations "while conducting a full-scale study on current practices to develop recommendations for transforming enforcement policies and practices at ICE and CBP."
Marisa Franco, director of immigrant rights group Mijente, said in a statement that "going into these task force negotiations, we knew we were going to have to push Biden past his comfort zone, both to reconcile with past offenses and to carve a new path forward."
"That is exactly what we did, unapologetically," said Franco, a member of the Immigration Task Force. "For years, Mijente, along with the broader immigrant rights movement, has fought to reshape the narrative around immigration towards racial justice and to focus these very demands. We expect Biden and the Democratic Party to implement them in their entirety."
"There is no going back," Franco added. "Not an inch, not a step. We must only move forward from here."
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
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