How Much Should I Run a Day to Lose Weight?

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Calculate Calories Burned

A doctor can help asses your general fitness. (Photo: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Running is one of the most efficient ways of burning calories, according to Ace Fitness. A person weighing 160 lbs. will burn about 15.1 calories per minute; that's 302 calories over a 20-minute run. Heavier individuals expend more energy and will burn more calories. If you are incorporating running into your exercise regime for the first time, your doctor should assess your starting weight, general health and fitness levels to determine if running is suitable for you. Start gently, eventually building up to a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes continuous jogging, three days per week, with days off in between.

Reduce Calorie Intake

Lose weight with a combination of diet and exercise. (Photo: shironosov/iStock/Getty Images)

You need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose one pound of body fat, according to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. For healthy weight loss, you should achieve this through a combination of diet and exercise, rather than by exercise alone. If you burn off the equivalent of 250 calories per day through exercise and reduce your daily calorie intake by 250, you will reach the 3,500-calorie goal needed to lose one pound per week.

Bottom Line

Take injury prevention precautions. (Photo: Kane Skennar/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Running is one of the most calorie-busting forms of cardiovascular exercise there is, but it is important to take precautions to protect against injury. Always warm up before a run and cool down afterward, and wear running shoes that offer good arch and ankle support. Because running isn’t suitable for everyone--especially if you have orthopedic or heart problems or are considered obese--check with your doctor before embarking on an exercise regime that includes running. If you want to lose weight, combine regular exercise with reducing your calorie intake so you burn more calories than you consume.

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