Is Running the Best Exercise for Losing Weight?

Overweight Man Running

Even if we're being chased, most of us hate to run. It just seems like a lot of energy has to be expended, and unless you're in tip-top shape any pleasure gained from the exertion is quickly replaced by a whole lot of pain. Your body begins to sweat, your heart starts pounding, you suddenly feel abnormally de-hydrated and wait for it.... there's that unbearable pain in your side. But you've already decided that "No Pain, No Gain!", so you give it your best effort for a few days only to find out that you haven't lost a pound. In fact, you may have gained weight.  So what gives?

Well, when it comes to losing weight, the concept of "pain versus gain" doesn't work exactly as you might think. Yes it is true that you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight but you may not be burning as many calories as you think when pounding the pavement. Generally speaking, it takes a 45-minute run at a 10 minute-a-mile pace for a 150 lb. person to burn 500 calories. By comparison: an hour of playing tennis; or fifty minutes of touch football; or two hours of bowling; or working in the garden for ninety minutes; or playing your guitar standing up for a couple of hours; or lying still for seven to eight hours in bed will result in the same amount of burn.

In addition, the neighborhood runner usually has a specified route. It's may be down and back or up and over, but typically doesn't change much as the runner's body adapts to this route. About the time the individual feels they could make the run in their sleep is where his or her body starts to over-adapt. After that point, it is just like working out in the gym.. there is a point of diminishing return if this remains the sole source of their daily exercise. Although running will help to build muscles in the lower body, it takes additional strength training to tone the overall body as a fat burning machine.

If you are frustrated by failed attempts to implement an exercise routine that truly supports your efforts to lose weight, it may be time to talk to a professional weight loss specialists. At the Metabolic Research Center, our consultants will personalize a program to meet your specific needs including a tasty meal plan of real food as well as supplements and complementary exercises. And.. if you love running, we will show you how to mix it up to get more bang for your efforts. To get started today, visit or call the Metabolic Research Center nearest you.


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