Looking to get moving? Change up your sedentary lifestyle? Burn off your belly fat? Think twice before starting a running routine. “While any movement is usually better than none, running fails almost every test of a worthy exercise. It’s not efficient at building strength, which is the best way to increase metabolism and burn fat; it’s far from the best type of “cardio” you can do; and as many as 79% of runners are injured at least once a year.
Studies have shown that if you’re looking to lose belly fat, weight training and sprinting work better than running. And if you’re looking to improve cardiovascular health, “running is too middle-of-the-road” to improve heart health and cardiorespiratory capacity effectively. Researchers have found shorter sessions of anaerobic training (again, think sprinting, or “fast-paced resistance training”) are equally effective as long runs at improving heart health, and better at upping your aerobic fitness, improving endurance, and keeping muscle. But what if you truly love to run? That’s cool, just do it faster. Not only is sprinting more effective than running and it’s also safer.