Running has always been a staple of fat loss, and for good reason: it works! You can burn from 8.5 to 11 calories per minute depending on your pace. That’s pretty good bang for your buck. So when we want to burn fat or drop a few pounds most of us turn to the treadmill or the great outdoors. In fact, the traditional advice for fat loss is to do long, slow, steady-state cardio.
The thing about running is that it’s tried-and-tested: you want to lose weight, you run and run and run and run… The more you run, the more weight you lose, right? Turns out, it is. Here’s how to make your running much more effective and turn you into a fat-burning machine.
1. Turn up the intensity
When it comes to fat loss it’s more about intensity than distance. Rather than sticking to the long, slow, steady-state running, add some high-intensity intervals to the mix. Here’s how: jog at your normal pace for 60 seconds, then up the intensity for 30 seconds. The level of intensity you want to reach is where you’re out of breath, but still able to maintain the intensity for those 30 seconds.
Repeat for 25 minutes or as your fitness levels allow. Studies have shown that high-intensity intervals will also burn more fat after your workout.
2. Hit the hills
If you’re used to running on flat ground, then hit the hills to burn more calories. For every degree of incline, you get about a 10 percent increase in total calories burnt, so a gentle hill will burn about 50 percent more calories. Run up the hill at a high intensity for 10 – 30 seconds, jog back down and take a 30 – 60 second rest. Repeat 4 – 12 times or as your fitness levels alow.
If you’re in the gym, set the treadmill to a 5 percent incline for the run, then reset for the jog back. Not only is this going to burn a lot more fat, but you’ll also be hitting your glutes a lot harder, so you’ll get a perkier butt too!