Before you read through the rest of this blog post, check our our previous post titled “Gaining Strength Increases Your Metabolism”. Understanding what controls your metabolism is super important to really embrace the most effective training. Now, to today’s topic. Running. Lot’s of people love it. It’s an awesome way to get some exercise that provides tons of health benefits for long term health and preventing a whole list of conditions you don’t want to get. If you are running at all, I love that you are doing it. But runners come to me asking what they need to do to reduce their body fat. They usually mention that they have been running more and eating less, but still not getting the results they want.
If you read that previous blog post, you may now know the answer already. The reason they are not losing any body fat is for two reasons. First, they are not doing any strength training to develop their muscle at all. Strength training does not have to include weight lifting at the gym, but it can also be body weight or calisthenic exercise where you are using your body for resistance to build strength. Second, they are not eating enough to develop that muscle at all. You see, some people believe that they will lose fat if they just start doing more cardio. They may or may not change their diet, but they try their best to make it happen with increased cardio. Let me ask you this. What % of your day is spent doing exercise? I’ll take a guess and say somewhere around 20 minutes to 1 hour, not including all the rest breaks you may take if you are at the gym. So, if I spend a maximum of 1 hour doing exercise out of 24 hours in the day, where will I burn the most calories? The answer is when I am actually NOT exercising.
Cardio exercise can simply be defined as exercise that you can maintain for several minutes without burning out. You burn a lot of calories while doing it, but you don’t burn many calories afterward to recover or develop muscle. Doing resistance training (lifting weight in the gym or doing calisthenics) may burn less calories during the actual workout, but you end up burning more calories all day afterward as your muscle recovers and develops your muscles to become stronger.
In conclusion, running is great. Lifting weights is great. But everyone needs a balance of both to maximize your metabolism, health, and quality of life.