Does Running Tone Your Stomach? How To Lose Stomach Fat While Running
Regardless of why you run, running has been proven to be one of the most beneficial exercises to improve health and weight loss. Many people associate running with weight loss, so it is expected that people think running can help shed fat from your stomach, but does running tone your stomach as well?
Does Running Tone Your Stomach?
While running helps to control weight, unfortunately, it won’t necessarily transform your stomach into a six-pack.
But saying that, with every stride, multiple muscles help to stabilize and control your movements. Your abdominal muscles play an important in preventing lower back pain and help with your stride.
Because of this, your abdominal muscles are constantly working to support the body. So by adding continuous running to your workout regime it becomes the perfect go-to option to help lose fat around the stomach.
We all know a strong core is vital in running and because of this there are many abdominal muscles used in running. The main specific muscles used are the Rectus Abdominis and Intercostal muscles. The Rectus Abdominis is a set of muscles that follow the centerline of your abdomen muscles. These muscles are regarded as being long and flat and located to either side of your abs.
The intercostal muscles on the other hand are found between the ribs. These muscles are used mostly during breathing (exhalation and inhalation) while running and can often cause sore ribs when subject to a greater load.
Because the abdominal muscles connect your upper and lower body, they are important in keeping the body’s posture inline. They also have an important effect on your gait when running.
Since running places a constant load on the abdominal, it is coming to see many runners with defined abs. This doesn’t mean that running alone tones your stomach, it is just one of the many variables.
If you are looking to tone your stomach look to combine running with a clean healthy diet and control your calorie intake. Doing all three things will bring you closer to that six-pack you always wanted.
Does Running Burn Belly Fat and Love Handles?
Since running is an incredible exercise for burning fat, it’s one of those exercises that is difficult to beat. In fact, according to multiple studies, running is one of the best forms of exercise to burn belly fat.
Unfortunately, even if you run regularly, you may still not be able to remove all of that excess fat around the stomach. In many cases, this is caused by the person’s diet and not by how much running they are doing.
Protein bars, energy drinks, and gels are often the foods that prevent the last remaining fat around the belly from disappearing. So by limiting the intake of sugary foods during training, you may be able to lose that unwanted weight quicker. Don’t worry though, other foods can help provide you with energy on your run, and recover after training.
How Often Should You Run To Lose Stomach Fat?
IF you want to lose stomach fat by running you are going to have to stick to a routine. Running one day per week isn’t going to help you shed that unwanted belly fat.
To lose any excess weight you are going to need to build up to running 30 minutes or more. Ideally, 60 minutes of running provides the vest weight loss, but as a new runner, you will need to build up to that distance.
First, start by focusing on four to five sessions of running a week. You may need to build up to this amount, so in the meantime replace some running with cycling or swimming.
But that doesn’t have to be four to five sessions of running. Instead, fit in three 30 minute runs per week, then add a swim and a gym session or dance class. Diet permitting, you’ll soon be burning the sort of calories necessary to chip away at that stomach fat.
How To Lose Stomach Fat While Running?
One of the misconceptions runners have is thinking that the more mileage they run the more stomach fat will be burned. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. While the Sunday long runs are great for aerobic fitness, they aren’t necessarily the best for shedding calories.
Unless you can hold a decent amount of mileage each week, you should consider some cross-training. Since most amateur runners aren’t running close to 100k a week, introducing some cross-training can help burn excess calories while providing some added benefit to your running.
Cross-training can be added in the form of swimming, rowing, or even cycling. Since all of these require your core to work to stabilize the upper body, it is also a great addition to improving your core strength.
These secondary exercises should be kept to low intensity and low impact, so they don’t affect your recovery outside of running.
Another way to lose stomach fat while running is to incorporate some trail running. Trail running provides a better total body workout than road running. This is because of the terrain, hills, and increased heart rate. Although your pace is likely to be slower, the constant movement of running around logs or rocks and the uphill and downhill segments make up for it.
Last but not least, incorporate interval running. Studies have shown that adding high-intensity intervals into your training is more likely better at burning fat. By varying your speed as you do with intervals you will help to increase your metabolism and burn more calories.