How to start running when overweight

Runners come in all sizes and shapes and being overweight is not enough reason to avoid running. In fact, running is a great opportunity for overweight people to boost their confidence, improve their health, and help them lose weight.

Getting started with running is not always a walk in the park for the overweight people because they carry more weight and get winded easily. If you think you have extra calories, don’t let it be an obstacle to your running program as here is a step to step guide on how to run successfully.

1. Consult your doctor

First things first, before starting a regular running routine, it’s recommendable to consult your physician in order to get a medical clearance which says you are fit to run. Also, share your goals with your doctor and tell them why you intend to run.


That is, are you running to lose weight, for health reasons or for pleasure? Most importantly, allow your doctor to assess whether you’re medically fit and if you have any pre-existing condition or injury that could be dangerous for the running program.

2. Get the right gear

After your doctor approves your running plan, you can now start preparing for the running program by getting the right gear.

Being overweight means that your joints have extra weight and pressure which puts you at a higher risk of injuries. However, you can avoid general discomfort and injuries while running by choosing the right shoes.

If you want to start running but have no idea on what type of shoe to start with, go to a running specialty store and buy flat sports shoes that will support your weight. If you are a lady, remember to buy a sports bra as well to prevent your breasts from sagging and irreparable damage.

3. Start small

Running for the first time can be overwhelming but as a rule of thumb, start small and you’ll have amazing results. Running is a journey which you must be keen on when starting for a successful ending. This means that you should not commence running immediately; you will get injuries and burnout.

Woman running

Instead, begin walking for around 10-15 minutes outside your home or along your neighborhood. Given that consistency is the key, doing this activity prepares your body for exercise and after two weeks of walking, you can start your running program.

4. Use a run/walk strategy

After building your fitness through walking, you can develop a run/walk strategy that will help you build a running endurance.

For instance, you can start a brisk walking for about ten minutes to allow your body to adjust to the activity, which is distinguished by an increased heart rate as blood flows to the working muscles.

Then, run as you rest. In other words, run for one minute and rest for two minutes and repeat the cycle for at least fifteen minutes. Once you realize that your one minute run is easy, increase the run/walk strategy and then reduce the walking time as you increase the running time gradually.

5. Add some strength training

If you’ve not yet incorporated strength training in your running program, it’s recommendable to do so as it will help you burn more calories and you’ll also improve your running performance.


Besides, strength training prevents you from getting injuries meaning that you’ll be fit to stick to your running schedule.

Bottom line

Running has never been easy especially to overweight individuals. However, there’s always a solution to every problem and if you thought you can’t run as great as you should due to extra calories in your body, our step by step guide will be of help to you. As a rule of thumb, be consistent and focus on your goals.

  • 2018-12-19
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