If you're looking for an easy, low-maintenance way to shed a few pounds off your midsection, resist the temptation to struggle through the latest fad diet or spend money on a yoga class. Instead, slip into some workout wear, lace up your running shoes and step out your front door to the simple solution that awaits you. Running at any speed will help you burn calories, although the slow, steady approach is the best way to lose weight.
Distance running is all about putting in enough time to burn calories and lose weight. You won't lose significant weight through three minutes of jogging per day, but if you stick with the workout and dedicate a longer chunk of time several days a week, results won't be far away. A 155-pound person who runs for an hour at just five miles per hour will burn 563 calories, and increasing her speed to seven miles per hour will result in 809 calories burned.
If you could sprint for an hour, it would be a better calorie-burning workout than distance running. Unfortunately, sprinting for more than short intervals is extremely difficult, so while sprints will help you build muscle in your lower body, they aren't as an effective fat burner as jogging. If you weigh 155 pounds and can sprint at a rate of 12 miles per hour for five minutes, you'll burn 63 calories. Of course, you won't be able to sprint for five minutes straight, so you'll have to break that time into 20- or 30-second intervals.
When trying to choose between sprinting and distance running to help you lose weight, pick the type of workout that suits you best. Both workouts are beneficial to your overall health, but in certain instances, one type of running is favorable. If you have a busy schedule and don't have 30 to 60 minutes to devote to jogging each day, try short intervals of sprinting for 10 minutes to burn plenty of calories in a short time. If you're considerably overweight and don't feel up to sprints, try a slow jog to help you lose weight.
Whether you've chosen to sprint or jog, either offers a list of benefits for your body. Both will improve your cardiovascular health and raise your heart rate, which helps distribute more oxygen throughout your body. Running at any speed improves your heart heath, lung function and bone density, while also releasing endorphins that help you feel happier.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.