Why I Gave Up Running For Weight Loss

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Hi guys, in this video, I’m going to tell you my personal story about why I gave up running for weight loss. And I’m going to tell you why you might want to give up running as well if weight loss is your goal.

Hi, it’s Ivana helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.

If you’d like the sound of that, please do subscribe and hit the bell.

Just before we get any further, I want you to know that this video is not for runners. If you enjoy running, you’re a competitive or recreational runner and you love it. I would never try to discourage you from doing something that you enjoy that’s exercise.

Who This Video Is For

If you’re thinking, “Ahhh, I need to lose weight. I really need to start running again.”

“Oh, I have to go running again. I wish I didn’t need to do this to lose weight.”

This video is for you.

If running isn’t your thing. I’m going to explain why you don’t have to do it to lose weight and what you can do.

At the end of this video, I’m also going to share the specific medical condition that I have that makes running a bad choice for me.

I used to run occasionally just for fitness or to maintain my weight as a competitive karate athlete.

But in 2012, I ran at 10 K. I ran a half marathon, and then three weeks after that I ran the Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront marathon.

It was pretty much just a bucket list item for me.

Here’s what I want you to consider.

If you’re deciding whether you want to start running for weight loss or not, the first thing is:

Do you really enjoy running for weight loss?

Because if you want to maintain your weight, you want to achieve weight loss and maintain that weight loss. Running for weight loss may not be ideal for you.

You need to pick something that’s sustainable for you. If you find running boring or the thought of it just makes you, then it’s not for you and I’m giving you permission not to do it.

What does running do to your body?

How do you feel after running? Does it make you feel good or are you starting to develop aches and pains?

Maybe it’s back pain or knee pain or ankle pain from running.

Not everybody is conditioned enough to do running. Particularly if someone’s carrying a lot of extra weight running is actually not the best way to get started. If you’re carrying a lot of extra weight, it does affect the amount of impact that you have on the ground.

Muscular Imbalances

The other thing is that most of us have muscular imbalances of some type that’s completely normal. It’s nothing that you need to freak out about or anything like that. I actually have a hip issue myself, which really came out in about the 16th in the marathon. The longer you run in, the more often you run, the more likely those muscular imbalances are to show themselves.

It’s not that the running is causing the problem as such, but you need to be aware that sometimes you need to do other things. And that means exercises that will help correct those muscular imbalances as well as the right stretching.

If particular areas are tight and then causing pain and imbalance as well in your movement patterns, you need to correct those things before you spend a lot of time running. A lot of people think of running as like, Oh, I need to run to get I fit. But I like to think of it as you need to be fit in order to run. If you’re finding that your it band is hurting after running, even if it’s short periods of running, you get irritation around the knee. There are things you need to work on before you consider a lot of running in your plan.

Running Makes You Hungry

Another thing I want you to consider is that running makes you hungry. Excessive cardio can really build up your appetite to the point where you are negating all those calories that you’re burning off. When you’re doing that cardio.

How Running Interferes With Appetite Management

Obviously if weight loss is your goal, then appetite management is a really key thing. Another important consideration is that your body adapts to running. So this means initially, while your body is not used to running, you’re going to be burning more calories.

And as you get more practice and you’re running more often, your body adapt. That means you’re going to be burning fewer calories, doing the same activity, your body becomes more efficient and it’s no longer as exciting for weight loss as it once was.

This is one of the reasons that people get frustrated with running.

They’ll lose a lot of weight at the very beginning, and then they’ll continue to run the same amount. And they’re wondering why they’re no longer losing any weight or they’re starting to climb back up again.

If they’re not managing their caloric intake, well, then they’re using the running to burn off those calories. It means that you have to keep increasing the time that you’re running in order to get the same result.

So it can be very frustrating to try to lose weight in that way.

Here’s what you can do instead:

Walking is probably the best thing that you can do to add on to a muscle building program.

You basically use your energy for your strength training for your weight training. And then you’re just going to be doing gentle cardio, like walking. The walking is a lot less likely to burn off your muscle mass. And that’s exactly what I’ve done. When I gave up running, I decided that I was going to do walking. Instead, you won’t burn the same amount of calories. You do have to go for a longer walk than you would run. You can enjoy the scenery a little more. Now I had two reasons for giving up running for weight loss.

The first one, the aforementioned recurring hip issue. Although I basically got that under control with the right training and stretching, I don’t necessarily want to aggravate it.

GERD And Running For Weight Loss

The main reason I gave up running is because I suffer from GERD, gastroesophageal reflux, disease, heartburn, and acid reflux on a chronic basis.

I’ve had this for about 20 years and only in the past few years, have I discovered that my reflex is triggered by exercise? So I, in fact, activities like running actually bring up the condition or make the condition worse. So I need to be very careful with not only running, but also weight training. I can’t necessarily lift really, really heavy weights because intra abdominal pressure also can cause issues for reflux.

If you happen to have GERD or acid reflux just as a symptom occasionally, please do leave a comment below.

And if you’re interested in a video about this topic, I would love to do that for you as well.

GERD Prevention & Treatment

Here on my website, you’ll find some information in terms of prevention and treatment, giving up running for weight loss doesn’t mean that I’m not physically active or that I don’t run for short periods.

What To Do Instead Of Running For Weight Loss

Often when I’m playing with my son, we’ll play zombie tag or we’ll play soccer. And then I like to do a little bit of tennis too. So there is some running around so I can get away with a little bit, but I need to make sure that I’m quite careful about anything that’s high impact. So I try to stick to low impact activities.

Walking is excellent for everybody.

I recommend it.

I personally have a recently discovered scootering with my son as well, which is a surprisingly good workout. In the winter I also do skiing and skating. So you can mix it up a little bit when it comes to the cardio side.

Weight training, the thing that you should be consistently doing, building strength.

That should be the one thing that stays. And that’s the best thing for weight loss for maintaining your muscle mass.

As you get older, if you’d like to run occasionally, that’s totally fine. But if you’re finding the whole idea of running just a little bit too much to take, I hope that I’ve convinced you, that you don’t actually have to run for weight loss and that you can enjoy other activities that will help you lose weight without having to pound the pavement.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 8-year-old boy. She is a YouTuber, writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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