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How to start running overweight and improve the condition?

How to start running overweight and improve the condition?

6. 1. 2023 5 min. reading

Do you want to use running to lose extra pounds, improve your fitness and health, but you don't know how? Read our tips on how to start running with overweight and step towards an active lifestyle!

What is overweight and how to measure it?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), overweight is determined according to the BMI - body mass index. This is the ratio of a person's weight and height. There are several online calculators on the web that will calculate your BMI for you.

  • 25 - 29.9 = OVERWEIGHT
  • 30 - 34.9 = OBESITY (CLASS 1)
  • 35 - 39.9 = OBESITY (CLASS 2 - SERIOUS)
  • 40 and over = OBESITY (CLASS 3 - SEVERE)

Many factors affect the number you get, such as the ratio of fat to muscle in the body, body hydration, and the phase of the menstrual cycle in women. It is not 100% accurate and you take it only as a guide or indicator. Take a look at which individuals the BMI value may not work for.

How to start running without fitness?

The gold advice - don't hurry at the beginning and be patient. For a body that is not used to movement, running is not a suitable starting activity. It could lead to health problems, and injuries and running would become your enemy. Getting in shape is not a sprint, but a long-distance run, so allow yourself space and gradually experience new habits. Set small, realistic goals and persevere!

A few tips for your start:

  • Get off the bus one stop earlier and walk home 
  • Choose the stairs instead of the elevator - In the subway, in the office, in the house, anywhere!
  • For shorter distances, choose walking instead of public transport
  • Go for walks in nature, in the forest, in the mountains - In addition to improving your condition, you will also gain positive energy from nature
  • Sometimes go barefoot in the forest or buy barefoot shoes - These will help you perceive the ground better and have your toes in a natural shape.

It means that walking is suitable at the very beginning. Yes, the simple walking. It is the most natural movement and also very effective. Just pick yourself up and go out!

Attention, if you walk (or run) on a hard surface such as asphalt or gravel, you need to pay attention to your joints, especially if you are overweight. Therefore, do not forget about the right supplements, such as BCAA or collagen.


From walking to running - How to do it?

After some weeks or months, start combining walking with running. The body will be more prepared and adapted to movement. Start with short distances and a moderate pace - according to your feeling. What can your runs look like?

  • Alternating walking with running - For example, 300 m fast walk / 200 m run at a moderate pace (Indian run)
  • Very easy run in the range of 20 - 30 minutes / 2 - 3 km
  • Join a running group near you - Discover the power of the running community!
  • Find a running partner and run together
  • Install a running app that will motivate you

The duration and length of the run are very individual, so follow your feelings and listen to your body. Don't forget to warm up a little before each run and move your joints in a circular motion. Spend a few minutes stretching after your run.

Top4Running Tip: Do you want to support your fitness and health even more? Try strength training in addition to running. By strengthening the muscles, the joints will get better support, you will reduce the risk of injury and you will feel better! Again, start slowly and consult everything with a trainer who will show you how to do it. Get the right clothes and go for training!

AplikaceNaBěháníA running app will help you map your progress!

Running with overweight - What to watch out for?

Running is not as easy as may look. Pay attention to the correct technique. Before your first run, consult it with an expert - a physiotherapist, fitness or strength trainer, and your general practitioner. What to focus on?

  • Pressure on joints and spine - Every step of running puts a lot of pressure on the joints, so start slowly, get shoes with high cushioning and try to run mainly on soft surfaces.
  • Breathing problems in overweight people - It is advisable to undergo stress tests or an EKG examination to find out the cause. Breathing problems and high heart rates can cause other health problems. The results will show if running is a good activity for you.
  • Learn to breathe properly - Use the full capacity of your lungs and increase your performance. Concentrate on breathing through your nose into your belly and maintaining a regular breathing rhythm. A ratio of 2:2 or 3:3 is optimal. It means that you breathe in for 2 (3) steps and breathe out for another 2 (3) steps. You can also try breathing exercises. You can find more in our article about proper breathing while running.

Running shoes for overweight people

The right choice of shoes is key - for your health and the joy of running. Choose shoes with sufficient cushioning, which soften every impact with the ground and can partially compensate for higher weight or errors in running technique. Suitable candidates are these shoes:

Running mindset

Beginnings can be difficult, but patience, persistence, and consistency pay off! Set your REASON WHY and stick to it. Do you want to lose weight? Be healthier? Have a better condition? It can be anything. Also, remember that exercise is a celebration of the body, not a punishment for what you ate. Don't compensate for food with exercise, but eat well, because you need the energy for your performance. And if one day it doesn't work out, don't despair! Everyone has bad days. Persevere, walk, run, and most of all - enjoy the whole process!

So, ready to get started? We guarantee you will have an amazing running adventure!