Stepping on the scale can be scary for most girls, but if you are willing to invest 30-60 minutes a day and swap your soda for water, then losing weight is completely achievable! To lose 1 pound per week, you need to exercise, and burning just 500 calories a day will help you reach that weekly weight loss goal. Plus, if you give up your daily soda and other junk foods, then you’ll accelerate your weight loss to reach your goal even faster.
Running is one of the easiest ways to burn calories, it is also unintimidating to those who are not athletic, and best of all: you don’t need a gym! Running is also a full body workout which will help you get lean muscles, a toned tummy and it helps your body release endorphins, which is a chemical that makes you feel happier!
Running or jogging 1 mile burns approximately 100 calories, but you burn more calories by running faster and incorporating hills. Running hills also works out your derrière, so don’t avoid them if you want to tone up that area.
A few reminders if you are new to running:
- Dress appropriately. Wear running shoes, a good sports bra, a t-shirt and fitted shorts or fitted workout pants. Your bottoms should not be loose. Loose shorts and sweatpants or jeans will be very uncomfortable to run in.
- Always, always stretch! Stretch before and after your run. Stretching is key to not getting cramps and not getting too sore… but expect to be sore after your first few runs.
- Do not eat any heavy foods or spicy foods before your run. In fact, try not to eat anything for at least 1 hour before your run. If you are a bit hungry, snack on something with high fiber and high carbs to give you energy, such as a banana or cereal and milk.
- It’s OK to walk, but never actually stop moving. If you are new to running, try to alternate between running and walking. For example, sprint for 2 minutes and rest for 1 minute. Build up your time as your endurance increases.
- Aim to run 1 mile in 10 minutes. If you are running around the track at your school, 1 mile is equivalent to 4 laps around the track.
- Make sure to hydrate during your run. Drink at least 2 bottles of water during your workout.
- Breathe deeply. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathing in through your mouth will get you tired faster…and you may swallow a few bugs (yuck!)
- If you start to get a cramp on the side of your stomach: Also known as a ‘side stitch’, then slow down or walk for a couple of minutes, drink water and gently pinch that side of your stomach as you breathe deeply until the pain goes away.
- Run with a friend! Having a workout buddy is a great motivator and will keep both of you on track as you compete or cheer each other on!
Remember: Healthy weight loss is losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. Anything more than that and you risk having health problems and you will most likely will not keep that weight off. And never give into skipping meals or taking diet pills. Being fit is a lifestyle, not a ‘diet’ so find something that you enjoy and stick to it.