Regardless of your shape and size, going for a light jog or run can help you shed some pounds. It’s a terrific way for you to get in shape and boost your mod and confidence. However, you should do so carefully because there are a few things to consider when running if you are really overweight.
If you are overweight and want to start going for a run, we want to congratulate you on taking that first step. However in this article, we want to cover the exact steps you should consider before beginning your journey.
So, let’s get started!
1. Check With Your Doctor
The truth is, NO article or video online can tell you what you should be doing with YOUR body. We have no idea what your body is like, what conditions you have, and so on. This means that before engaging in such rigorous exercise as running, make sure to consult your doctor and assess your plan with them/go over any potential health risks. If you had any conditions or injuries in the past – definitely make sure to bring these up with your doctor as well.
It’s possible that you will be given an exercise stress test on a treadmill in your doctor’s office to see if there are any cardiovascular issues. If you pass, you should generally be good to start jogging. If not, discuss what you have to do first before you are able to run.
2. Get the Right Shoes
Don’t underestimate this part because it’s extremely important. Not wearing the right shoes for running can put excess pressure on your joints and make you more susceptible to injuries, leading to body damage and discomfort. Especially so if you are overweight as your joints are already feeling a lot of pressure.
So when you pick out your shoes, go to a specialty running shoes store and speak with the reps there as to what shoes will be best for your foot and body type. They might tell you that you need shoes with extra cushioning, or maybe good arch support. Maybe they’ll tell you something totally different that you didn’t even expect to hear!
As a general rule of thumb, you should replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles, although this will of course vary depending on the type of terrain you run on, how you run, and your weight. If you are a bit more overweight, you would generally need to replace your shoes more often.
3. Start Small
Don’t try to run a marathon the first day. If you try to do too much, too soon, you might injure yourself as your body isn’t used to that stress. Not to mention you might burnout and just not want to run anymore at all. If you’re been inactive for at least a few months, we suggest that you start by walking to get your body used to the movement.
Any sort of walking will do, whether it be on a treadmill, outside, or even in a swimming pool if you have access to one. 5-10 minutes a day is all you need to get started to get used to the exercise. The main thing to do here is be consistent, so if you have to start really small just so you can do it every day – take that option. Once you get to the point where you can walk for 30 minutes without any pain or discomfort, you can add some running to the mix. More on that in the next point.
4. Switch to a Run/Walk Strategy
Once you get comfortable walking, you can switch to doing a bit of running.
You don’t have to go on long runs right away – you can mix the running with the walking and do “interval” training. This is a great way to build up your endurance in a very safe and comfortable way.
We recommend that you start a 10-minute walking session before jogging or lightly running for 1 minute. Then walk for 2 minutes. Then jog/run for another minute, and keep doing that on and off. If you feel really comfortable, make your walk a “power walk”, meaning walking a faster walk, as if you’re walking with a purpose. This will ensure a good cardio workout if you can feel comfortable doing so.
You would then just repeat this cycle for 15-20 minutes, and finish off with a 5-10 minute walk to allow your heart to slow down. You do NOT want to end on a run and then just sit right away – you need to give time to your heart to naturally slow down, otherwise it could cause some heart problems.
And that’s it for our tips on how to run safely when overweight!
We hope you found this article useful, and we’ll see you in the next one!