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Ester Marsh column: Does running help you lose weight faster?

Anything that can make you burn more calories than you take in is going to help you lose weight. The reason why running is so successful for weight loss is that you typically burn more calories while running. I say typically because some people can burn more calories walking fast than running slow! If you continue to eat the same, not adding calories, and start exercising, you normally will lose weight. If you eat more calories because you are exercising, you will stay the same or even gain weight. So your food intake and exercising goes hand in hand. Some people who will read this will laugh at this next comment. If someone asks me how to lose weight because exercising alone is not helping them, I recommend “the push away exercise” After a puzzled look, I explain they need to “push away” from the table! Too many time people eat too many calories and therefore gaining (or not losing) weight.

I did some checking and the following are averages for a 138-pound person who exercises for 30 minutes. To get exact calories burned is a huge process and a sports medicine department, many colleges, and our Research Center in Kannapolis have the equipment and skilled personnel to get your exact, personal calories burned. The cost for that is often very high but than again the research center sometimes needs test subjects for these kind of tests. The following numbers are averages and it shows the higher the intensity of the workout, the higher the calories burned. Again, this is for a 138-pound person exercising 30 minutes: Walking a 15-minute mile pace for 30 minutes burns around 150 calories. Walking a 13-minute mile pace burns about 166 calories. Running an 11.5-minute mile pace burns 298 calories. A 9-minute mile pace burns 364 calories. An 8-minute mile pace burns 414 calories. A 7-minute mile pace burns 480 calories. A 6-minute mile pace burns 546 calories. As you can see, the higher the intensity, the higher the calories burned in the same amount of time. Now, don’t forget, the higher the intensity of your workout, the higher the risk of injury and/or overuse.

Running is not for everyone. I would check with your doctor if you are thinking of starting a running program to make sure that running is for you. I highly recommend a running program led by skilled runners, trainers or physical therapists. For the ones interested in starting a safe running program, you can still join the Salisbury Rowan Runners which runs another beginner runners program in conjunction with Novant Health Medical Center. The beginning runners class starts this Tuesday, March 21, at 6 p.m. in the lobby meeting room at Novant Hospital right here in Salisbury and will run for 8 weeks. Each night begins with a 30-minute classroom session on such topics as nutrition, stretching and strengthening, shoes and other needs, safety, running form, injury prevention and much more. After the classroom session, participants will run/walk for 30 minutes. At the end of the 8-week session, all participants will complete a 5K run/walk. The fee for the program is $65 and all participants receive a one-year membership in the Salisbury Rowan Runners club, a club T-shirt, and an entry to a 5K hosted by SRR. The fee is payable on the first night. Please contact David Freeze at 704-310-6741 with any questions. Or you can go to SRR website: www.salisburyrowanrunners.org.

New this year is our Buck Hurley 5K! It is the same day as our annual triathlon which will be held Sunday, May 7, starting at 7:30 a.m. The Buck Hurley 5K will start at 7:45 a.m. There will be a new course for the 5K for the triathlon and the 5K! All the funds raised for the triathlon and 5K will support our Annual Giving Campaign which is going on right now. We raise the money for families and individuals, whether young or old, who can not afford to pay for a membership or programs. The YMCA will never turn anyone away due to the inability to pay. I am very proud to be a part of this organization. So, if you are in need of financial support to be able to have child care, a family or individual membership or want your child to be able to participate in a sport, please come and get the paperwork to get this started. If you are interested to donate to this amazing cause, please send a check to the JF Hurley family YMCA att. Annual Giving Campaign at 828 Jake Alexander Blvd West, Salisbury, N.C. 28147, or drop it off at the front desk or go to our website www.rowanymca.org. Thank you!

Ester Marsh, Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley YMCA

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