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Lose More Calories While Running

written by: Stephanie Michael • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 8/9/2011

If you're interested in an exercise that helps you burn calories, lose fat, increase cardio vascular health, and tone your entire body then you should think about running. Running is a great way to burn a lot of calories while improving your overall health.

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    How Many Calories Are Burned While Running?

    A 130lb person running five miles at about 5mph burns about 460 calories. At that rate, running burns only about 100 more calories than power walking or walking briskly. So if you want to be able to get the maximum benefits of running, you'll want to keep at least a 6mph pace. Thats about eleven minutes per mile and would be considered by most a brisk jog. Running at 7.5mph (eight minutes per mile) you can burn close to 800 calories. Thats a lot of calories burned for just one hour of work.

    A heavier person will burn more calories than a lighter person doing the same activity so if you weigh more, your calories burned will be higher than the ones above. Don't be tempted to run longer than one hour to increase calories burned, though. Doing cardio like running for more than one hour can be harmful to your body and prevent you from losing weight.

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    Start Slow and Listen to Your Body

    It's important for you to start slow and build your strength. Always listen to your body, sometimes you'll feel really good and other days you wont. Just keep at it because the name of the game is persistence When you begin running you may only be able to make it a mile, but if you are consistent and run 3-5 times a week or more you will soon find yourself going farther and farther. As you increase your endurance you can work on your speed and slowly build up to your target.

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    Use Interval Training to Build Endurance

    A great way to build your endurance while getting faster is to use interval training. After a short warm up you simply alternate between fast and slow paces. Use four-minute intervals and try to give about 80% every time there is a faster interval. For the last interval, give it 100% and I end the workout with a cool-down. By alternating with faster and slower intervals, you will be able to increase your distance and speed at the same time.

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    Keep Your Run Interesting

    Find new scenic routes using a route finder or run through sand or water when possible. If you live near a beach, lake, or shallow river utilize the landscape to make your run a little harder and a little more interesting. The fluctuating landscapes will keep your attention as the ground beneath you challenges your muscles. If you have access to a lap pool or even just a large pool try jogging in place for 30 minutes at a time. Working against the water burns more calories than jogging on a treadmil.

    The point here is that if you like to run, you'll do it more often and increase your total calories burned during each day.

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    Set Goals and Work to Meet Them

    Set goals for distance or speed. If you can easily run two miles then set a goal to be able to run six after a four-week period training. Or if you run a twelve minute mile, make a goal to shave down your time to a ten minute mile. A great motivator is a running event such as a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or full marathon. If you can run eight miles comfortably, try signing up for a half marathon, give yourself two to three months to train and stick to it. Make sure to really take training seriously to avoid injury on race day.

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    Drink Plenty of Water and Eat Well

    Losing weight while running will be a lot easier if you make sure to stay hydrated. Your body needs water to convert food into usable energy and to bring nutrients to muscles Make sure to stay hydrated before, during, and after your run. Your diet is also very important if you want to lose weight and burn more calories while running. Running uses a lot of energy and that energy has to come from somewhere. Eating high-protein, high-fiber foods and complex carbohydrates will ensure your body has the right kinds of fuel to keep you moving forward. On longer runs you make need to bring a snack so make sure to bring any additional fuel your body may need.

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    Calories burned during exercise,

    Running calorie calculator,

    Route finder,