Can you start running when you are overweight?

Can you start running when you are overweight?

Running is a good way to shed pounds and decrease stress. If you are overweight, it can be a little intimidating at first. We’ll let you know how to start and give you some advice on how to get started and a plan so you can keep going.

Where to Start

The first place you need to start is at your doctor’s office. Talk with your doctor about your goals and any pre-existing conditions you have that may impact your running. The doctor will have advice for your specific needs.

Next, you are going to need some running gear. Luckily running is a relatively inexpensive sport as basically all you need are some running shoes. A heart rate monitor can also be helpful if you want to keep from overtraining and track your progress. Some get more advanced and have training programs on them, but if you are just starting out, running shoes are all you need.

Find the Right Shoes

Can you start running when you are overweight? running shoes

Finding the right running shoes is extremely important as the shoes will help protect you from injury and make your overall run more comfortable. The extra weight your body is carrying can put pressure on your joints, which is amplified when running. Having the right running shoes lessen the strain on these joints and absorbs shock when your feet hit the ground.

One way to find the right shoes is to use this running shoe finder. The tool will give you a starting point of what shoes to start looking at. If you are still unsure, head to a specialty store.

There are a few benefits when going to a store that specializes in running shoes such as:

  • They have trained salespeople to help you
  • Have a running gait analysis done
  • Try on different shoes for fit and comfort
  • Check out orthotic inserts with shoes
  • Make sure you find glue for shoes that will help in case of needed repairs

Start Walking

Now that you are cleared by your doctor and have the right shoes, you can start out slow. You don’t want to start out running right away as it can cause injuries. Start walking on a trail, around the block, or on a treadmill. Even five or 10 minutes of walking is beneficial.

Keep a daily routine of walking and increase the time every day. As you increase the amount you walk, you will notice it gets easier and easier over time. Once you hit 30 minutes, you can start running.

The following will walk you through a more detailed routine that alternates between running and walking so you can work your way up to a 30 minute run.

Running and Walking

A combination of running and walking is a good way to get started running and increase your endurance. To begin, follow these steps:

  1. Warm up with a five minute walk
  2. Run for one minute
  3. Walk for seven minutes

This is a simple starting routine that will help you get to your goal, which should be about 16 minutes. This will take you through two cycles of the above routine.  Do this routine for one week - three times a week. Once you complete week one, move on to the next week and so forth. For the following routines, aim for doing each routine three times a week.

Week two routine:

  1. Walk five minutes
  2. Jog two minutes
  3. Repeat three times

Week three routine:

  1. Walk three minutes
  2. Jog four minutes
  3. Repeat four times

Week four routine:

  1. Walk two minutes
  2. Jog five minutes
  3. Repeat four times

Week five routine:

  1. Walk two minutes
  2. Jog eight minutes
  3. Repeat three times

Week six:

  1. Walk two minutes
  2. Jog nine minutes
  3. Repeat three times

Add Strength Training

Strength training will increase lean muscle mass to help you run longer and faster. In addition, it helps prevent injuries while you are running so you can keep up with your exercise regimen. You don’t necessarily have to join a gym to do strength training as there are bodyweight exercise routines for beginners - no weights needed.

Have a Plan

Now that you have a routine, what is your plan? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to lose a certain amount of weight? What is your end goal?

It is important to have a plan with small goals in place. Celebrate when you reach these small goals to keep you motivated and before you know it, you will reach your end goal. But don’t stop there, create another goal and keep going.

Another way to stay motivated is a heart rate monitor. If you did decide to buy one, this is a good way to track your progress and trends as you further your running routine.

One thing to remember is to keep going. It’s hard to get started and stay motivated at times, but it will be even harder if you stop and have to start all over again.

Listen to Your Body

Can you start running when you are overweight? headache

As you are going through your running journey, listen to your body. Try not to do too much to soon as this can cause injury. If you start to feel pain in your body, slow down and talk to your doctor.

One common thing people have experienced are migraines after running. If this happens, try slowing down your routine and walking more. The migraines or headaches can be your body telling you that you are doing too much. Again, it is important to talk to your doctor when any new symptoms arise.

Running Can be Done

While taking the first step can seem like a daunting task, it can be done. By going through the proper channels and steps, running can be beneficial for your mind and body. Starting slow and following a routine can limit injuries. Furthermore, having small goals in place can help keep you motivated and reach your bigger goals.

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