Have excesses during the festive season driven you to take up running in the New Year? If so, you’re on the right path!
Running is a great way to burn kilojoules and fat, and even if you think you can’t run, the results might tell a different story.
Beating belly fat requires three simple steps. One: cut out or reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates you eat, as they are the single biggest reason for adding fat around your waistline. Two: do cardiovascular training, such as running, at least three times a week. Your body requires regular training to increase your metabolic rate and burn more kilojoules. And three: add a weight-training routine to your running programme. Being more toned will help you burn fat even while you’re sitting at your desk.
Your first run is usually more mentally than physically challenging. Wondering how anyone can run for more than ten minutes is normal if you’re new to running, but you do have a huge advantage over regular runners – you don’t have any bad habits yet. Start by jogging/running for a minute, followed by a few minutes of walking, repeating for 30 minutes. This is the normal way to get started, so don’t feel defeated – just keep going. Time on your feet is the most important factor when you start to run for weight loss.
The right start
Avoid bad running habits and get it right first time. Instead of walking to warm up, try two easy drills. The first is running with high knees. If your legs lift higher than your hips towards your belly button, you’ll train your lower stomach muscles, helping you achieve that flat stomach. The second is bum kicks. Keeping your hands on your bottom, flick your heels back until they touch your hands. This will warm your muscles up, as well as improve your posture. Good posture is very important when you run. If you don’t slouch, your stomach will look flatter, your running style will improve and you’ll experience fewer injuries. Breathing will also be easier too.
Most people who start to run will experience niggling aches and pains somewhere in their body during the first four weeks. This is usually nothing serious – your body is adapting to the stresses that running places on it, so don’t let it put you off. Remember, running is one of the best kilojoule burners there is.
BAD VS GOOD CARBS
Some carbs sit on your stomach while others give you energy
Refined carbs that contain sugar…
- White bread
- Fizzy drinks
- Lollies and chocolate
The more natural the better…
- Brown rice
- Wholemeal bread
THE MAGIC NUMBER
Training for a flat stomach
A flat stomach requires at least three cardio and three toning sessions a week. Any less is maintenance, meaning you won’t gain weight, but you won’t lose any either. Be creative with toning sessions. Tightening your tummy while at your desk or lifting both feet off the floor can form part of your training programme. The more you do, the better your results will be.