Here’s How to Start Running When Overweight and Out of Shape – 12 Simple Tips

How to Start Running When Overweight and Out of Shape
How to Start Running When Overweight and Out of Shape

Why and how to start running when overweight and out of shape? Running will not only help you lose weight and get into your ideal body but also help you stay fit. 

However, starting to run when overweight and out of shape can be an obstacle, but it should not. Being out of shape or overweight should motivate you to start running. The statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) are very alarming and should be your source of motivation:

  • Since 1975, the number of people who are overweight has nearly tripled.
  • Most people suffering from obesity live in developed countries where overweight and obesity kill more people than hunger.
  • In 2016, over 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight, and 650 million were obese.
  • In 2018, 40 million children under 5 were overweight or obese.

The good news is that obesity is preventable; we can do something about it. Among all the people who are overweight or out of shape, very few are willing to make a lasting change.

But the following tips will help you take the essential steps to alter your life and finally live a healthier lifestyle. 

See also: 10 Benefits of Running – What Does Running Do to Your Body – Science Backed.

Table of Contents

How to Start Running When Overweight and Out of Shape?

Follow these 12 Simple Tips to help you start running when overweight and out of shape.

1- Get Your Physician’s Clearance

Running is among the best means to lose weight and build cardio endurance. Additionally, it helps to improve your mental strength with direct exposure to nature. Direct exposure to the outdoors might decrease anxiety, relieve anxiety, boost your mood, and give other health benefits

However, if you have not been exercising for a while, you need to consult your physician before starting to run. Your doctor will suggest some safety measures as well as assist you in your brand-new running routine. It is always better to be safe than sorry. 

Be open with your doctor and share with her or him the reasons you want to start running along with your training and weight loss goals. Your physician might advise a thorough physical assessment. 

See also: 10 Pros and Cons of Running for Weight Loss – Science-Backed Studies

2- Know Why you Are Running 

Remember why you are running: If you are having a difficult time keeping your head in the game, think of why you are running. What are your objectives? Is it for a healthy lifestyle, losing weight, or getting stronger? Whatever that objective is, visualize it throughout your run.

If you are running to be in shape, envision yourself at the beach wearing your favorite bikini or living longer to see your kids graduate from college. 

Consider just how cool it is that you can do this. Think about individuals less lucky than you who are not able to do what you can do physically. Always remember to be grateful for your ability to move your body as you did today; that is a gift. 

When you are clear about your reason, sticking to your running plan will be easier, even when it becomes hard. Since you are on this post, I imagine you are out of shape.

Your Why might change with time. Once you reach your ideal shape, you might target to run faster or become more muscular. There is nothing you cannot achieve if you know your why.  

Yes, you are currently overweight, but keep your eyes on the bigger picture that you are on the road to a better healthy lifestyle.

See also: 14 Tips for Preparing and Running Your Best 10K

3- Set A Goal

The first thing to do is to set a tangible and measurable goal. For instance, running a 5K (3.1 miles) without stopping. 

How will you measure your success in your physical fitness when you do not know what you are aiming for? 

The good news is that once you have a tangible goal in mind, it will become easier to form a plan for getting there. 

My advice is to start small and slow: learn how to set SMART running goals.

4- Alternate Between Runs and Walks your First Few Weeks 

Start simple and build up slowly, so you can prevent injury. Make your run manageable: Keep a comfortable, conversational pace when you start running.

Remember, if you cannot speak complete sentences, then slow down. Test your speed by speaking to yourself.  

For your first few weeks’ runs, aim for consistency. Start by walking or alternate walking with running. Walking helps prepare your body for running. There is no shame in walking. 

To start running when you are overweight, you should begin where you can. Remember, fitness is a journey. Prepare your body for its journey to fitness. Remember that you are not competing with anyone; your main goal is to improve yourself. 

Your body needs to adjust to running slowly; hence gradually pacing yourself is critical. 

The best way to start running when you are out of shape or overweight is by walking for at least 20-35 minutes a day, three times a week at a fast past, not windows shoppers pace. Go for the stairs instead of the elevators whenever you can. Once you are comfortable with walking at a rapid pace, you can slowly start running. 

See also: How Long Does it Take To Get Good at Running: 5 Things To Keep In Mind

5- Invest in the Best Running Shoes

Running is a very cheap way to get in shape. You only need a T-shirt and appropriate footwear. Visit a good running store; they will evaluate and suggest shoes that are suitable for you. 

Choosing your running shoes is a crucial step to take seriously. Do not select your running shoes based only on the brand name or how beautiful they look. 

As an overweight runner, your running shoes must be comfortable to prevent injuries. Look for running shoes that provide you with sufficient cushioning for your feet that will help absorb shock and protect your knees. 

See also: Benefits of Exercise Bike Versus Treadmill – Which One Is Best for You?

6- Try New Routes and Discover your Neighborhood

Sometimes running can feel hard and tedious. Make it a habit to find and try a different way or go on brand-new, motivating roads. 

Try adding variety to your running routine. For example, every time you go for a run, decide to explore your community and discover new streets.

See also: 36 Best Running Apps For Beginners and Elite.

How to Start Running When Overweight and Out of Shape
Here’s How to Start Running When Overweight and Out of Shape –

7- Make Running Social by Finding Running Buddies

These days, discovering and joining free running groups is not difficult. The appeal of these running groups is that they bring in runners of all levels together because they are more focused on taking pleasure in the sporting activity instead of competing

If you are not feeling confident about how far you have or have not run, a social run is an excellent place to begin. You will discover lots of people with similar goals as you, making it easier to loosen up and feel confident.

It is always a good idea to find running bodies. You can find online running clubs; most have beginner-friendly sessions and joggers of all levels and ages. Sites like are full of running clubs located near you. 

One of the simplest ways to add a little variety and motivation to your running life is to find different running partners. You do not need to be too selective regarding whom you run with.

You can also try joining a group for long weekend runs and discover the joy of running and group exercising.

Several benefits are associated with joining running clubs. You will improve your running skills; make new like-minded and passionate friends who will hold you accountable. 

How to Start Running When Overweight and Out of Shape
Here’s How to Start Running When Overweight and Out of Shape –

8- Do Not Worry if it is Hard at First

We all struggle with motivation, sometimes, even the pros.

And everyone finds running hard at some point – it is perfectly reasonable to find it hard at the beginning or after a break.

See also: 12 Best Tips On How To Love Running

9- Strengthen the Whole Body

Believe it or not, your running program needs to include more than just running. It is an excellent concept to mix other exercises into your training program. Strength-training one to two times a week can also help with injury avoidance.

 Running will help you get in shape, but in the long run, this might affect your metabolism to decline. Adding weight lifting and other exercises to your running tactics will supplement your weight loss.

Studies show that weight lifting will help you burn fat and build lean muscle. Weight lifting will improve your strength, bone density, and the quality of your life and also help reduce chronic conditions like diabetes, back pain, and arthritis

It is vital for runners also to lift weights. Studies show that strength training will help you from falling apart.

Other research evaluated the association between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and cancer mortality in men with overweight and obesity.

The researchers found that among men with overweight and obesity, higher CRF is associated with lower cancer mortality. Increasing your cross-training will prevent a considerable number of cancer deaths. 

See also: 40 Fat Burning Exercises That Are Proven To Work – Backed by Science

10- Create a Running Habit

 Once it becomes a habit, running and exciting feel more comfortable, and it will not take as much self-discipline even when you do not feel like it, points out Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit.

  • PlanDuhigg claims every behavior is composed of a group of cues (time, place, music), a reward (chocolate, massage, smoothie), and a routine (the running). Jot down your cues and rewards, and post your plan somewhere you can see it.
  • Maintain a habit: Go for a run at the same time of the day and play the same type of music. As Duhigg suggests, the cues must be consistent. This will help you create neural pathways that make your running routine a habit. 
  • Reward yourself: Treat yourself to something you appreciate after working out, so your brain associates exercise with an instant incentive. “You have to teach the mind through experience,” says Duhigg.
  • Build a support system: Add to your everyday things that will make you feel good, says Duhigg. Surround yourself with good friends or go to a park run, and track your miles to see your progression.

11- Be Patient Once it Comes to Noticing Progress

It is necessary for people who run to lose weight to keep in mind that it will take weeks of hard work to start seeing real results.

Do not get discouraged if you feel like you are not seeing prompt results while adapting to those first few weeks of tension on the body.

If you keep at it, you will see your body adjusting eventually, indicating that running will feel less complicated. Also, you will have the ability to run faster or longer than you did in the beginning.

 And also, if you feel unmotivated, always remember this: Just going out there and even beginning to run is itself a success.

Being patient with yourself and providing your body the time it requires to get used to this new sport will settle down the road. Simply think of how terrific it will certainly feel to recall in a few months and see how far you have come.

See also: Does Running Burn Fat: Helpful Running for Weight Loss Tips For Beginner

12- Clean Up Your Diet

To lose weight and stay fit, you will need to clean up your diet. Exercise and healthy eating are essential to a healthier lifestyle and running to get in shape.

Your objective should not be to go on a “diet” to lose weight but live fully by eating nutritious foods that are good for your body

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute invented the DASH Diet, which was ranked as the best diet, the healthiest diet, and the best diet for diabetes. This type of nutrition promotes six to eight portions of grains, four to five vegetables or fruits, six lean meat (chicken or fish), nuts or seeds, and two to three portions of fats. Studies show that the diet reduces weight and blood pressure, particularly when complemented by exercise.

Do not suddenly change your diet; slowly adjust by making daily small food changes until you clean up your diet. For example, start by having a healthy breakfast, add a healthy snack, and drink more water instead of soda.

See also: 32 Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast – Based on Science

Wrapping Up

Running is one of the most accessible ways to start exercising. That has fantastic benefits for our health. It is not impossible to run while you are overweight.  

Try slowly to incorporate a few of these tips every week. Before you know it, you will complete your first 5k or marathon and live a healthier, happier lifestyle.


Hello friends, I am Altiné I am SO excited you are here! I believe in YOUR POWER to transform the world through a healthy lifestyle and diet, and that physical activity and diet are EVERYTHING when it comes to your health and well-being. My goal is to offer you a simple and science-based approach to building muscle, losing fat, getting happy and healthy, and living a meaningful and impactful life for you and your loved ones. So YOU can look better, feel better, live better, and go make more impact. Let’s do it.

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