There are two schools of thought on how long you should run if you want to lose weight. The old school and the new school. Discover the best way to run for weight loss in this article.
Constant Rate Cardio
This is the old school of thought. Scientists figured out that fat is lost when the heart rate is elevated. This is also very good for the health of your arteries and the rest of your circulatory system.
It was also thought that you needed to raise your heart rate for a minimum of 20 minutes if you wanted to burn the fat.
So the general recommendation was for 3 cardio sessions per week and each lasting a minimum of 20 minutes.
Over the years, many people have lost weight using this method. I should add that with any type of running you need to eat less as well. If you do not change your eating habits then you will not lose much weight.
High Impact Interval Training
The new school of thought is towards high impact interval training, also known as HIIT.
Researchers at leading universities found that the mechanism of fat loss was much more complex than previously thought.
For instance, if you start to run at a constant rate then your body will eventually adjust itself to be more efficient and burn less fuel (fat). If you think about how most humans and animals have evolved, food has not always been so easy to come by. Therefore it made a lot of sense for the body to be able to cope with different situations and try to conserve fuel.
In today's world of junk food and food mountains, there is simply no need for this mechanism. So how can we overcome it?
The best way to stop the body from trying to conserve fat and instead to burn it is to place unpredictable demands on it. This means that a constant speed of running is the wrong thing to do. Instead, we want to keep the body guessing and varying the demands on it.
You can try HIIT today by running for 30 seconds then sprinting for 30 seconds. Change back to running for 30 seconds and again to sprinting. Repeat back and forth in this way for a total of 10-15 minutes.
Even though your total workout time is less than for constant rate cardio, you will burn much more fat this way. And you'll burn more fat not just during the workout but also for the rest of the day because HIIT has been shown to raise your steady state metabolism even when you're sitting at a desk.