According to researchers at the University of Jyväskylä, running helps prevent weight or fat gain in the long term.
It is one of the many preconceived ideas that persist about sport. No, running does not necessarily make you lose weight. On the other hand, it would prevent the increase in body fat in the long term. Explanations.
Running stabilizes weight
According to researchers at the University of Jyväskylä, who conducted a study on the subject, while running would not immediately lead to weight loss in runners, it would help sprinters and athletes stabilize their weight and percentage. of fat over time.
“Our data clearly shows that lifelong running exercise, whether long-distance sprints or repeated short-distance sprints, maintains lower body fat levels than normal. ‘a typical physically active lifestyle and also more than participation in competitive strength sports“, assures Dr Simon Walker, professor of exercise physiology at the Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences.
Older sprinters and endurance athletes would also present “lower body fat than young strength athletes and physically active controls“, report the scientists.
Proof, according to them, of the effects of sport over time.
Gaining muscle mass
The other advantage of running? It would help maintain muscle mass.
Individuals participating in resistance training throughout their lives appear to better maintain their muscle mass.than those participating in sprint and long-distance running sports“, relates the same study.
Faced with these results, Dr Walker believes that combined training (resistance and endurance) would be ideal:
“In terms of improving body composition through both increased muscle mass and maintaining fat mass without affecting health, it appears that a combined approach is recommendable. We know that both tissues, fat and muscle, influence overall health and function in opposite ways. The best strategy would therefore be to optimize both.”
Other health benefits should be noted
Faced with these results, Alexandra Murcier, dietitian-nutritionist, would like to provide a little health reminder.
“You should never take up exercise just to lose weight. The benefits of sport are numerous and varied: reduction of stress, maintenance of muscle mass, improvement of sleep. she says. Moreover, “Weight itself doesn’t mean much. Muscle weighs more than fat. It is therefore more interesting to look at overall body composition”, she believes.
In general, the expert therefore recommends following a healthy lifestyle – and if you really want to lose weight, analyzing your energy expenditure (expenses versus intake).