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How to Lose Weight With Couch Potato Running

By Shelley Frost

The transition from couch potato to beginning runner allows you to ease into a healthy exercise program that facilitates weight loss. Programs like the Couch-to-5K running plan start from the basics with only short bursts of running that almost any person can handle, even if you're used to planting yourself on the couch most of the day. As you begin running, your body burns more calories to help you lose weight faster. Combine the running program with other healthy changes to maximize weight loss.

Consult with your physician to make sure you are physically able to participate in a running program. Discuss any concerns about your health that could potentially be an issue with running, such as an old injury or asthma.

Write each workout in the beginning runner program on your calendar. This helps you remember when you need to run and helps you commit to the running sessions. Running regularly is key to burning extra calories and losing weight. In addition to the Couch-to-5K program, several beginning runner programs are available online from sites like Running Planet. Another option is to consult with a trainer to develop a personalized program or to join a running club for beginners.

Follow the running program without skipping ahead. If you push yourself too hard, you are more likely to give up or injure yourself. Repeat workouts if you don't feel you are ready to advance in the program.

Fuel your body with healthier foods so that you are better able to handle the runs. Focus on healthy grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein to get nutrients while keeping your calories lower than usual. For weight loss, you need a calorie deficit that is created by burning more calories than you eat. The combination of a healthier diet and the running program makes it easier to achieve the deficit.

Rest your body with breaks between runs. The Couch-to-5K program and many other beginning programs incorporate a day in between each running session. Get plenty of sleep every night, whether or not you have a run, to give your body energy.

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