Table of contents:
- What is considered to be overweight
- Is it true that running can harm the body?
- Is it okay to run if you are overweight
- How to know when you can start running
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
Certain risks exist, but they can be reduced if the issue is approached correctly.
What is considered to be overweight
Fitness advertisements suggest that a healthy person should have a very low percentage of body fat. The cubes and distinct relief of bodybuilders are confusing and make people of normal body weight consider themselves overweight.
To surely dispel all doubts, calculate your body mass index. This is not the most reliable indicator, since it does not take into account the percentage of muscle mass, but it is suitable for a rough understanding of the general picture.
BMI = weight (kg) / height² (m)
Normal weight is in the range from 18.5 to 24.99 kg / m². If this is your case, you can close the article and go for a run.
At values from 25 to 29, 99 kg / m² are said to be overweight, and at 30 kg / m² or more, obesity is diagnosed. As a rule, in this case, it is advised to replace running with more gentle cardio loads - swimming, exercise on an exercise bike. And for a reason.
Is it true that running can harm the body?
There are several reasons why being overweight can make running dangerous:
- High risk of injury. Due to the increased body mass, the muscles, bones and connective tissues of obese people experience more stress than the same structures in runners with normal body weight. Thus, an overweight person needs to take fewer steps to cross the line beyond which adaptation to stress ends and injuries begin.
Slow recovery. Overweight and obesity are often associated with chronic inflammation. This condition can interfere 1.
2. the body can cope with microtrauma received during training, which increases the risk of injury in the next lesson.
- Worsening joint problems. Extra pounds can cause joint problems without any jogging, and overweight people often suffer from this even before they start exercising. For example, obesity increases the load on the inner part of the knee joint, provoking cartilage defects and osteoarthritis.
Research on running injury risk confirms the harmful effects of excess weight. So, in one experiment, 930 novice runners were tested and found that a BMI of 25-30 kg / m² increases the risk of injury by 2.7%, and above 30 kg / m² - by 10.3%. At the same time, a body mass index of less than 20 kg / m² has a protective effect and reduces the chances of injury during training by 14%.
Another study, analyzing data from 532 novice runners, also noted that a high BMI significantly increases the risk of dropping out of training due to leg or back pain.
Similar data were obtained in an experiment with the participation of 848 amateur runners who were trained for the 6, 7 km race. In the group of novice athletes with a BMI of 25) participants, this indicator reached 25%.
Thus, obese people really take more risks going out for a run. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't even think about running. You just need to be a little more careful.
Is it okay to run if you are overweight
While being overweight does increase your risk of post-workout pain, not all fat runners end up injured (and not all healthy runners do without injury).
For example, in an experiment preparing for a 6.7 km run, out of 334 runners with a BMI above 25 kg / m², only 82 participants were injured. Moreover, any complaint of pain in the legs or back, due to which a person dropped out of the game for a week, was considered an injury.
The remaining 252 people from the group did not receive injuries that would have forced them to refrain from running. Moreover, the scientists noted that both groups of participants - both overweight and without - exercised the same number of hours during the experiment. That is, pain and injury did not prevent overweight people from completing their training.
What's more, regular exercise can have a positive effect on joint health even without losing weight. Norwegian scientists checked the data of 15 thousand women and 14, 7 thousand men over 11 years and concluded that obese people are more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis than participants with normal weight. But if they do vigorous exercise at the same time, the risk is halved.
Thus, being overweight is not a reason to give up running. It will most likely not harm your health if you select the load according to your capabilities and do not rush things.
It may take 3-4 years for obese people to safely transition to running. If the excess weight is not so significant, the body will be able to adapt in a few months.
How to know when you can start running
To avoid injury and not hate running after the very first session, follow these rules:
- Consult your doctor. Before starting a workout, see a podiatrist and cardiologist to rule out joint and cardiovascular disease.
- Start by walking. People of any physique are advised to start training with walking, and if you are overweight, this is simply a must. Over time, you can increase the load by increasing the speed or incline of the treadmill.
- Add power loads. Weight-bearing exercises can help you strengthen your legs and core. Strong muscles will keep your joints and spine in the correct position and reduce the risk of injury while running.
- Practice at a conversational pace. This is the speed at which you can carry on a conversation without panting or stopping. If you can't keep up a conversation even while walking fast, it's definitely early to run.
- Alternate intensity. As you increase your fitness level, you can switch to walking and quiet running intervals in a proportion that feels comfortable. For example, you can walk for 4 minutes, jog for 60 seconds, and repeat this 5-6 times in one workout. Gradually increase your running time and reduce the amount of walking.
- Increase volumes gradually. Do not increase distance or time more than 5% per week. For example, your half hour workout includes 6 intervals of 3 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking. You are used to such a load and you feel great. After 1–2 weeks, you can increase the running time in each interval by 10 seconds. With a high probability, your body will tolerate such an increase well.
Do not strive for records, look for a comfortable pace in which you can work without severe shortness of breath and pain, and running will only benefit you.
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