Why Jogging is Bad for Fat Loss

Singapore is a ‘jogging nation’ and jogging is the favourite exercise(if they ever do exercise in the first place) for most people in Singapore. Just look at the tens of thousands who participate in the Standard Chartered Marathon every year. Joggers jog for various reasons, some believe jogging allows them to look good, some jog because they enjoy it, some jog just for the sake of being active.

But is jogging really effective for fat loss? No! It can in fact be counter productive for people who want to lose fat.

Jogging is a form of steady state, low intensity activity which means that you keep at a slow speed which you can sustained for a long period. The most prominent reason that why people think jogging can help in fat loss is that the longer you jog, the more calories you will burn, hence more fat is lost. However, there are many problems in that.

Firstly, the human body is very smart and will always try to adapt to the activity it is being put through. Therefore, as you jog, you will get more and more efficient at jogging. You get to use LESS calories by getting better at jogging. For example, when starting out you may burn 300 calories by jogging for 30 minutes. As time goes by and you get more proficient at jogging, you can only burn the same amount of calories (300) by jogging(at the same pace) for an hour. See, this works in reverse to what you want!

By jogging for long periods of time, it actually puts your body in a catabolic state, which means you start losing muscle. Having muscles actually raises your metabolism rate so there you go, jogging actually DECREASES your metabolism rate. If your goal is to lose fat, you would want to retain as much muscle mass as you can or even increase, and jogging contradicts what you want ultimately.

Jogging is not only bad for fat loss, it is a sucker for injury. Most people start off jogging as they think jogging is simple and does not require any technique like weight training requires. This is a very big misconception and many joggers have poor running form which can lead to injuries. Furthermore, jogging places a lot of unnecessary stress on our joints. Jogging is a high-impact activity. Let’s say someone runs a 10 minute mile. That about 1500 repetitions with forces ranging from 1.5x to 2.0x bodyweight through the ankles, knees and hips joints in 10 minutes. It is no wonder that studies have shown that joggers report a injury rate of 60% within 6 months of jogging.

I’m not here to demonize jogging. Any form of activity is a great idea and I believe more people should be as active as possible. That is to say jogging is better than lying on your couch and eating potato chips all day long. However, jogging is not exactly ideal for weight loss and there are better alternatives out there.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is great for fat loss and it involves alternating short bursts of high intensity of work followed by resting. There are many forms of HIIT like sprinting, cycling, burpees intervals and kettlebells. An example would be the stationary bike: cycle all-out for 30 seconds and rest for 45 seconds and repeat for a number of sets. The work:rest ratio will depend on your current fitness levels and you have to experiment it yourself to find a sweet spot. Always aim to improve by increasing your work:rest ratio as you progress.

Kettlebells are also a great tool for HIIT. As most moves performed with the kettlebell are very intensive in nature, kettlebells can burn your fat away much much faster compared to jogging. An example of HIIT using kettlebells would be to swing for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat the cycle 4-5 times.

Typically, HIIT sessions are usually completed within 10 minutes. Inactive beginners may only be able to sustain for 3-4 minutes.

HIIT continues to burn calories after the workout is over. The key factor in determining post-workout metabolism is intensity. So the harder you work during HIIT, the more calories you will burn afterwards. High intensity training also signals your body to burn a higher percentage of fat calories for many hours after your workout. Yes, this means you continue burning fat even when you’re sleeping!

Now that you’ve read this article, you have no more excuses not to exercise (the right way of course). Even if you’re a very busy person, it is still possible to squeeze out 10 to 15 minutes each day to keep active. You may want to consider getting a kettlebell so that you can workout at home as and when you like.

taken from http://www.kettlebells.sg/why-jogging-is-bad-for-fat-loss/