Who hasn't experienced this? You've just enjoyed a hearty slice of pizza, and now you're plagued by a guilty conscience. For many people, there seems to be only one reliable way to fight the battle against a potbelly: slip on your sneakers and head for the treadmill or around the block.
But is running really the all-purpose weapon par excellence for fighting off excess pounds? Or are there more effective methods?
Basically, any form of sport or exercise burns calories and can help us lose weight. In terms of energy consumption, running on the treadmill or on the road even performs better than sports with other exercise equipment such as cross trainers or bicycle ergometers.
The following is a comparison of the average calories burned while jogging:
- Walking (middle-slow): 200 calories
- Jogging (slow): 280 calories
- Jogging (fast - running): 450 calories
These values refer to 30 minutes of exercise for a person weighing about 70 kilos. So jogging not only improves endurance and reduces stress, but also burns calories.
Running trains our cardiovascular system, activates various metabolic processes and increases our general fitness - factors that also benefit fat loss. And yet: To lose weight optimally and, above all, in the long term, there is a more effective solution - and it's called strength training.
Strength training: The calorie and fat burner
One aspect in particular must be taken into account to ensure that the pounds fall off in the long term: It is not only the calories and fat cells that we consume during training that count. Because even those who run for an entire hour burn no more than 500 to 600 calories.
This is roughly the amount we consume again with the next proper meal. It is therefore much more important to increase our calorie consumption outside of training hours. This is where the benefits of strength training come into play.
Basal metabolic rate and afterburn effect
Strength training attacks the hated fat deposits in several ways. Especially important: the increase of the basal metabolic rate. The relatively high intensity of strength training builds up muscle tissue.
The enlarged muscles require additional energy, which increases the body's overall need for nutrients. The rule of thumb here is that for every kilogram of muscle, the daily requirement increases by about 100 calories.
The so-called afterburn effect - the period after training in which the body is still running at full speed and burning additional energy - is also many times higher after intensive strength units than after moderate endurance training. For example, increased metabolic processes in the body could still be detected up to 24 hours after training. The advantage: even at rest, i.e. when watching TV, sleeping or eating, we burn significantly more calories.
While the hourly energy consumption of endurance and strength training is still roughly balanced at 500 to 600 calories, iron sport is the winner due to the increased basal metabolic rate and the longer afterburn effect.
Another advantage: By integrating dynamic exercises such as stability training on wobble boards or vibration plates into the workout, you also activate your deep muscles. This not only improves the interaction of the muscles and body awareness, but also increases the ability to react. Older people in particular can benefit from good reflexes in many everyday situations and thus prevent injuries.
And there is another point in favor of strength training: the fun factor. Only those who approach their training with a good dose of enthusiasm will remain motivated and on the ball for the long term. Hours of running can quickly become monotonous, especially for newcomers. Strength training can be made much more varied by combining barbell, bodyweight, TRX or coordination exercises.
For many years, fitness magazines persisted with the myth that if you want to lose fat, you have to train in the moderate endurance range. In the meantime, sports medicine has come to different conclusions, which has an influence on many trend sports and the design of optimal training programs.
Of course, that's no reason to hang up your running shoes right away. Especially for those who want to lose weight, running is an excellent way to train both basic endurance and the cardiovascular system. Running is a useful addition to any workout, and in combination with Tabata sessions it has a good after-burn effect. Combined with a balanced diet and a constant calorie deficit, the personal dream figure is then within reach.
Ultimately, jogging is better suited for stress reduction, because you are outside in the fresh air. The higher speed during training convinces many athletes as a further advantage. Of course, weight training is also a good way to reduce stress, but if you work out at home or are surrounded by 20 people in the gym, you may find it harder to switch off than out in the fresh air.
There are better sports for burning fat. Nevertheless, you'll get good results with three up to four jogging sessions per week. If you want to make your training plan effective, combine strength training for muscle building and fat burning with jogging for endurance and cardiovascular health.
Still have questions about calorie consumption while jogging and what you can achieve with running? Find out more in the FAQ below.
Jogging exercises the legs, i.e. thighs, calves and hips. The movement also works other muscles of the body, including the abdomen.
One hour of jogging burns about 500 to 600 calories.
Jogging improves endurance and cardiovascular health. This reduces the risk of heart disease. In addition, running is best for stress relief.