Am I Too Heavy to Run? – The Overweight Runners Guide
Since many people start running as a form of weight loss, it is not surprising more than half of these people are classed as overweight. This is why they decide to take up running, as running is one of the best ways for obese people to lose weight.
However, there is a catch.
The extra weight and lack of bone strength from non-exercise can cause issues when starting out. Hence why many obese people wonder if they are too heavy to run or not.
In this article, we discuss obese runners, how they can get started, and importantly answer the question ” am I too heavy to run?”.
So, keep reading to find out more!
Is Running Good For overweight people?
Generally, the short answer is yes. However, there are some cons, unfortunately.
When starting out the excess weight is placed on your joints, tendons, and bones. This can often result in injuries, such as stress fractures, shin splints, ankle and knee issues.
However, on a more positive note, staying obese poses more risk to your health than starting out running. So, to answer the question ” is running good for overweight people?” 100% it is!
Other factors like mental health, confidence, and overall health can be greatly improved by using running as a form of weight loss.
However, if you choose this journey, make sure you take your time and be patient. Pushing the running too quickly can discourage, and demotivates people pretty quickly. It can also increase the chances of joint and tendon pain during the first few months of your journey.
Am I Too Heavy to Run? – What Should You Know?
A question often asked is ” am I too heavy to run? or am I too fat to run?”.
This is a question that often goes through obese people’s minds. However, it is important to understand, no matter your size, or fitness level you can start running from tomorrow.
It is important though to walk and jog first, rather than force your body through a certain distance or time. The first month is one of the most important times for a new runner. This is when they are most likely to get an injury or even burn out from lack of motivation.
So, it doesn’t matter if you are 90kg or even 120kg, both weights of beginners runners should follow the same path. That means doing short periods of jogging, followed by a period of running. The running should increase by only a few minutes at a time. Once you reach 30 minutes of total running, you can then start to reduce the time walking.
Overall, running 30 minutes nonstop should take anywhere between 8-12 weeks if done properly. However, it is important to note that there is no set time frame, and taking your time is a much safer way, than trying to reach a certain distance, speed, or time running.
Once you reach 30 minutes of nonstop running, you should be able to ramp up the time running much quicker. However, it is still important not to push things and keep the increment no more than 10% each week. Then include a recovery week (reducing mileage by 50%) every 4 weeks to help the body shed any fatigue from the previous 3 weeks.
Before Starting A Running Program When You’re Overweight
Before you take up running there are some important factors you should consider.
One is seeing your doctor first. Your doctor can make sure there aren’t any underlying problems and give you the all-clear to start running. They may also put you through an extensive physical assessment to make sure there aren’t any heart problems.
It also may include:
Once you have been given the all-clear by the doctor, you can start running and walking as we talked about. It is always wise to book an appointment with a physiotherapist for a general check up after the first month.
Pick the right clothing & Footwear
Last but not least is your running clothing and footwear. When starting out running as an obese person, it is important to be comfortable, prevent chafing, and have enough cushioning and support in your shoes.
A good pair of shoes is a must. Because you are carrying excess weight, shoes that have the right amount of cushioning is important. Not only that, but support is an absolute must, as most overweight runners tend to pronate. So, providing the right amount of cushioning and support will prevent any injuries from happening. Alternatively picking or having the wrong pair may end up causing shin splints, knee pain, and Achilles issues. So, it is wise to speak with a running store or someone knowledgeable in this area to help guide you when buying shoes.
Last but not least is clothing. While it may sound simple, picking the wrong clothing can cause major discomfort. things like chafing and irritation of the skin are common with obese runners. So, stay away from tight-fitting clothing and pick workout clothes that breathe and feel comfortable on the skin.
Alternatively, using anti-chafing cream can provide some relief to areas that are prone to chafing.
Am I Too Heavy to Run – Closing Thoughts
No matter your weight or fitness level, running can help improve your overall health and help you lose weight. However, for many people, it can be a long and tough journey. So, it is important to keep yourself motivated, especially during the first few months. Then as your weight starts to drop and your fitness levels improve, it will start to feel easier and more comfortable.
If you are struggling during these first few months, look at getting a running coach that can help keep you on track and motivate you when times get tough. Alternatively, find yourself a running partner with the same goals, so you can both motivate each other on your journey.
Good luck and stick with it! Then in a few months, you will start to see it all payoff!