So.. Running is good for you?

I have recently been advised to lose some weight for the sake of a health condition (liver disease) - not that i'm overweight anyway. Does the couch to 5K actually give good results? I'm not one for vigorous activity - but i thought this would be a good option ?

EDIT: Maybe i should be more worried about changing the 'fat' into 'muscle', and not so much the overall weight as a whole? A leaner me at the same weight would be a great outcome as my BMI is already measuring at 24.

Last edited by

Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

15 Replies

  • couch to 5k would be a good option, however you need to also look at the whole picture. You will need to look at what you eat as well.

    But from a calorie burn perspective couch to 5k will do that side.

  • That great, thank you! I forgot to mention I do have a diet plan in place also, this is just the starting grounds for exercise, and hoping that by the later weeks this will be enough!

  • If you do decide to take up the couch to 5k don't forget to keep us posted.

  • Hiya, 

    The C25K is a great programme and it works.

    I've recently completed it and the wife is on week 7. It really does take you from nothing to a 30 minute run.

    It won't however lose you the weight until you run for a lot longer periods. It will give you a nicer shape but weight loss is 80% diet 20% excercise.

    That said the benefits to your heart and health in general will be massive from running


  • Thank you! I forgot to mention I do have a diet plan in place also, I am hoping that by the later weeks this will be enough - as well as the great health benefits

  • Lots of great health benefits but not particularly recommended for weight loss. It firms everything up and is fantastic for heart and lungs, but you'll need to address what you eat if you need to lose weight!

  • Thank you! I forgot to mention i will have a diet plan in place - I was just hoping that Ct5K will supplement the amount of recommended exercise needed in the later weeks.

  • Neither was I. I thought breaking into a sweat was unseemly and I avoided it all my life. Til the wheel fell off my wagon and I was forced to confront my worst fear that I'd got to clean up my act.  A lady at WW put me on to this programme and I never looked back.  It's a fantastic programme. Only 9 weeks so not too long out of anyone's life. It will certainly give you your life back if you're struggling with ill health. If you take time to read the posts there are some truly inspirational folks here.  C25k has turned many life-long non-runners into addicted runners, and I'm one of em!

    All you need to remember is to go slowly. That's it.  I'd start today

  • Hiya, Thank you for the words of wisdom!

    Likewise I have fallen off the wagon somewhat, after some recent news of having liver disease. With the cure of weight loss to stop it inflaming. So i am really hoping that this does the trick - and judging by this community it really does! I'll be sure to start tonight. If i started tonight, the end of the 9 weeks is the 1st of June - what more motivation would anyone need! :)

  • I had the motivation of improving my health. It couldn't be any worse at the point aged 56 when I started, all self-inflicted mind you.  I could kick myself that I'd left it so late but can't do anything about that now.  I was running up hills yesterday like a kid, music blaring in my lug 'oles, it was a blast.  I've never felt so alive.  I have lost 4 stone 7.5 lbs along the way, a stone of which has disappeared since I started running.  Healthy eating is important too so ditch any stuff in your house that will sabotage your efforts in that regard. Clearing the decks is a good plan, and starting with a clean sheet will give you clarity.  

    I feel motivated for you!  Crack on. You can compare notes with those at the same stage in the program as you. See the links to the right (in blue text), week by week.  

  • I would do it. I enjoy running now and wouldn't want to miss it. I started in October last year and clothes I bought at that time hang off me now. I can't wear them without a belt but they were a snug fit when I bought them. My scales don't register any change but my body has obviously changed a bit. You don't sound overweight so I expect it is fat around the waist and stomach that needs to come off. You might not see drastic results in the 9 week programme but keep at it and together with your diet, it should work.

  • Thank you for reassurance! This is what I am aiming for - a conscious effort for change. My liver and the surrounding area is inflamed due to fat, so you're exactly right. I'll hope for the best :) 

  • Well, you can't actually change fat into muscle, that is a myth. Fat is fat and muscle is muscle. You can burn fat and you can build muscle, but you can't really do both at the same time.

    However, you are correct in surmising that t is  areduction in bodyfat that you need rather than just weight loss per se. When people lose weight by means of calorie restrictive diets they generally lose fat and lean muscle mass in roughly equal proportion - which is why you see 'skinny fat' people whp trumpet amazing eight losses. This is undesirable, because it is the fat that is harming your liver not muscle mass, and also ( and this is the big trick the 'diet' industry thrives on) because if you lose, say, 10kg and half of that is muscle mass, your metabolism will slow down accordingly because there is less muscle to support. So you wll need fewer calories to support yourself in daily life. When you come off the diet and go back to eating as you did before, you will not only put back the weight you lost, you will actually put on more than before, because your caloric surplus is greater, and worse still, it will all go bac on as fat.

    Which is where exercise comes in - doing regular exercise will increase your metabolic rate and also encourage the body to conserve lean muscle tissue and burn fat cells instead. This will accelerate fat loss and result in a leaner, healthier you.

  • AND - that exercise needs to be done in the aerobic zone ie with elevated heart and breathing rates but only elevated to a point where you can still talk easily.  It is a known "fact" that exercising harder than this does burn more calories - but firstly most people cant keep up exercising at this level for very long (whereas they can exercise at the aerobic level for long times) and even if they could, the calories burned come mostly from blood sugar/glycogen which is then replaced very quickly from your first "sugar hit" when you eat afterwards.  Regular consistent long periods of aerobic exercise is the way to go for fat loss.

  • Coupled with dieting / healthy eating, running can be very effective.

    I started the programme at the end of January at 102kg 36.6% fat mass, today I am 92.7kg 30.2% fat mass and I am keeping loosing about 1kg and 1% fat mass per week.

    I am not even dieting in strict terms; I already had pretty healthy eating habits and I just eliminated added sugar (e.g. in my coffee) and salt (e.g. in my salads).

You may also like...