Light jogging can be a really good way to lose weight and burn fat. To accomplish this, however, you must burn more calories a day than you consume -- and jogging can help you burn those calories. Keep in mind that just because you lose weight on the scale doesn't mean that you have lost fat. Weight loss can mean a combination of fat loss and water loss.
The amount of calories you'll burn while jogging depends on the intensity of the jog and your weight. Walking 3.5 mph, which could also be a light jog, will burn 204 calories an hour if you weigh 160 pounds, or 255 calories an hour if you weigh 200 pounds, according to MayoClinic.com. In contrast, a run at 5 mph for an hour will burn 606 calories if you weigh 160 pounds, or 755 calories if you weigh 200 pounds.
If you want to maximize the amount of fat you burn, you might try combining light jogging with sprinting. High-intensity interval training, or HITT, involves alternating light jogging for two minutes with a high-burst sprint of one minute or less. Don't worry if your high-burst sprint time is quite a bit less than a minute, even 15 to 20 seconds -- the main point is alternating between a fast and slow pace. Studies have shown that using HIIT will cause you to burn more fat than just running at the same pace for the same amount of time.
Mix it Up
Mixing up your light jogging routine with weight training can also aid in weight loss and fat burning. You might even choose to carry light hand weights with you while you jog in order to accomplish both at the same time. Building muscle helps you burn more calories during the day and helps increase your body's metabolism rate, which is the rate which you burn calories even while at rest. As an added benefit, weight training will also strengthen your muscles so that you're less likely to injure a muscle while jogging.
Diet and Nutrition
Jogging alone won't help you lose weight if you don't also watch what you eat. According to MayoClinic.com, dieting has a stronger effect on weight loss than physical activity, although doing both together is the most effective. One pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories. If you cut 500 calories a day out of your diet, you will lose a pound a week. If you eat fewer calories and stay active, you'll have the best chance at losing weight and keeping the weight off.
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