Running to Burn Body Fat

Ditch the Steady Cardio

Though a long running session at a slow pace has its benefits, for maximum belly fat reduction, opting for this training approach is futile and a waste of time. Instead, if you’re looking to get rid of belly fat in the shortest time possible, then interval running is the way to go. Also referred to as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT for short) in the fitness circles, this type of training is ideal for burning body fat in the shortest time span. In fact, doing running intervals burns 3 times as much fat as running at slow and steady pace, according to new research from the University of New South Wales, in Australia.

In addition, interval training boosts metabolism levels through the roof, builds muscle mass-especially core muscles-and improves speed and endurance levels like nothing else.

Interval running combines intervals of high intensity running (80-90% of your maximum cardio capacity), with low intensity jogging breaks for recovery and rejuvenation. The on/off pattern is key for burning colossal amounts of calories without risking injury or overtraining.

A 35-Minute Interval Running Workout

Here is how to proceed with an interval running session:

  • Start with a warm-up. Jog slowly for 10 minutes to loosen up your muscles and get your cardiovascular system ready for the intensity ahead. A decent warm-up improves blood flow and helps you prevent premature fatigue and injury.
  • Increase your running pace to perform your first high intensity interval. Your first high intensity interval should be at no more than 80% of your max for one full minute. Your breathing should be heavy at the end of the 1st interval.
  • Take your first recovery break for 1-full minute. Jog faster than your warm-up pace and get your breathing under control.
  • Repeat the cycle 7-8 times.
  • End the session with a cool-down. Make sure to gradually reduce your running pace into an effortless jog, breathe deeply and stretch afterwards.

The length and intensity of each interval depends mainly on your fitness levels and training goals. If the one-full minute is too much, shoot instead for 30-seconds and build on that. Trying to run in someone else shoes will only get you injured and discouraged, instead find your own sweep spot and gradually progress forward.