Blog Posts by The Editors of Runner's World

  • “I Became a Runner and Lost 150 Pounds!”

    JEREMY OLIVER, 31
    Vice president at a community bank
    LOCATION:
    Columbia, Mississippi

    WHAT GOT ME GOING:
    When I found out my wife was pregnant in 2009, I wasn't exercising and I weighed 400 pounds. I wanted to be around for my son and I knew that I wouldn't be able to if I didn't change something. I had tried exercise programs before, but I never got to a point where it was part of my daily routine. I knew that I had to start exercising, and I had to do it in a way that I could stick with it.

    SECRET OF MY SUCCESS:
    Starting small and adding a little bit at a time. When you're 400 pounds, you can't just get out there and run the mile. So I'd go out to a track and run the straight and walk the rest of the lap. Each time I'd go out and add a straight and eventually got to a point where I could run one time around the track. That was a huge milestone. Now I'm not even getting my heart rate up when I'm running that far.

    START NOW: The Easiest Walk-to-Run Program, Ever!

    HOW RUNNING CHANGED

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  • “I Ran a Half-Marathon and Lost 100 Pounds!”

    Lonnie St. John lost one third of his body weight, then won his age group at the 2013 Vancouver USA Half-MarathonLonnie St. John lost one third of his body weight, then won his age group at the 2013 Vancouver USA Half-MarathonNAME: Lonnie St. John
    AGE: 43
    OCCUPATION: Medical Customer Service
    HOMETOWN: Troutdale, Oregon
    FAMILY: Awesome wife Roni; four children: Sam, 23; Nick, 21; Hannah, 18; and Christian, 16

    What prompted you to start working out?
    I've been overweight pretty much my whole life. 2012 started just like any other year. I made the usual "I'm going to lose weight" resolution. A funny thing happened though; I didn't stop once I hit a certain point like I had so many times in the past.

    How did you start? The first 20 to 30 pounds I lost just by changing what I ate. I didn't really start working out until later. Given that my physical base was pretty limited, I stuck to the elliptical machine for the first few months. By March I started venturing over to the treadmills at the gym and seeing what I could accomplish, which wasn't much. But I stuck with it and gradually built up to being able to run one mile. Then it was just a matter of showing up every day and putting in the effort.

    RELATED: 10

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  • “I Became a Runner and Quit Smoking!”

    Running helped Kelly Cassidy quit smoking, lose weight, and become a role model for her sons.Running helped Kelly Cassidy quit smoking, lose weight, and become a role model for her sons.NAME Kelly Cassidy
    AGE 44
    OCCUPATION Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist
    HOMETOWN Milford, MI
    LIVES IN Weston, FL
    FAMILY Husband Sean and two boys, Declan (2001) and Aidan (2003)

    What prompted you to start running?
    I was a busy mom and almost 40 years old. I felt really bad about myself and needed to do something to feel more confident. I needed to do something active other than working and taking care of my family. I also was not a good role model for my children, as I was a smoker. My father was a smoker and he had survived a heart attack. I was determined to decrease my chances of the same happening to me. My younger brother had quit smoking by taking up running. He ran 5-Ks almost every weekend and placed in his age group multiple times. He then ran a marathon. He was one of the first people to inspire me to do something.

    RELATED: 50 Inspirational Ways to Motivate Yourself


    How did you start running?

    My husband got me to start walking on a treadmill. I just had to watch

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  • 5 Surprising Ways Running Makes You Smarter

    We all know that running is good for your overall health, but new research is revealing that it can be benefit more than just your physique. Here are 5 more reasons you should hit the pavement.

    1. Running helps your brain grow.

    Don't worry - we're not talking bursting-through-your-skull growth. Running stimulates the creation of new nerve cells and blood vessels within the brain, an organ that tends to shrink as a person ages. Also, studies have shown that running may help increase the volume of the midbrain (which controls vision and hearing) and the hippocampus (which is linked to memory and learning).

    TRY THIS: The World's Easiest Walk-to-Run Plan

    2. Running helps your brain age better.
    In addition to preventing or reversing age-related shrinkage, running affects brain chemicals in a way that sets runners up to have healthier-than-average brains later in life. A study last year measured neural markers and cognitive function in middle-aged athletes and non-athletes, and while the

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  • "I Became a Runner and Lost Over 100 Pounds!"

    I was tired of feeling tired, sick, and worn out from just walking a flight of stairsI was tired of feeling tired, sick, and worn out from just walking a flight of stairsAndrea "Andi" Ball, 31
    Nurse
    Elkridge, Maryland


    WHAT GOT ME GOING: I
    was at my highest weight in January of 2011--103 pounds heavier than I am now--and I was so frustrated! I was constantly tired and knew that something needed to change. I started with classes at the gym and small diet changes. While recovering from a serious illness in June of 2011 that spiraled into acute renal failure, I got winded just walking a flight of stairs. I examined what I needed to do to be the best me that I could be. I started a couch-to-5-K training program two months later.

    TRY THIS: The World's Easiest Couch-to-5K Plan

    SECRET OF MY SUCCESS: What really helped keep me on track was making my goals very public plus joining a training group. When you tell people that you're training for something and they ask how training is going or what your next race is, it really helps to get you out the door on the days when your internal motivation may be lacking. It is a giant boost to have people "like" your

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  • Kick Your Sugar Addiction in 9 Simple Steps

    Sugar cravings are fine in moderation but take these steps to keep them in checkSugar cravings are fine in moderation but take these steps to keep them in checkNo matter how health conscious you are, you're bound to crave sweet things from time to time. But overloading on sugar can lead to lots of unwanted pounds and a wide range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

    In addition to sending your energy levels on a roller coaster ride, overdosing on sugar sends your hunger hormones into overdrive. The satiety hormones that tell your brain "I'm full!" aren't properly triggered, which means you end up eating more than you need to. Not only that, but sugar triggers a rush of endorphins, the feel-good hormone. Nice as it feels in the short term, if you overdo the sugar too often, you're likely to develop a craving for that sugar rush, which will lead to more extra calories, and more disappointment when you step on the scale.

    So it's no wonder that experts recommend limiting sugar intake. If you're a woman, limit your intake of added sugars to 25 grams per day. (That's about 100 calories, or 6 teaspoons.)

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  • The Truth About Running Vs. Walking for Weight Loss

    The whole question of what kind of exercise is best for weight loss or weight control is a tangled and complicated one. Does the exercise burn mostly fat or carbs? Does it stimulate "afterburn" after the workout is done? Does it leave you feeling extra-hungry so that you overcompensate by eating too much? All these factors are very hard to control in the lab over long periods of time, so there's something to be said for "free-living" experiments, where you simply observe a very large number of people over many years and try to figure out which behaviors led to which outcomes. (This approach has problems too, of course, like distinguishing cause from correlation--no single approach is perfect.)

    RELATED: Why Walking is Important for Exercise


    Anyway, that's a long-winded intro to a new study from Paul Williams at Berkeley National Lab. He's the man behind the National Runners' Health Study, which has been following more than 120,000 runners going back to 1991. His latest study, just

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  • "How I Outran Diabetes and Lost Over 100 Pounds"

    DANIEL ELIAS, 31
    Security Guard
    Woodbridge, Virginia

    HOW I GOT GOING: Every two years I'd have to go for a physical for work. It seemed like every time I went there was a problem--first it was high blood pressure, then sleep apnea, and then in 2012, they told me I had high blood sugar and potentially had type 2 diabetes. That really shocked me. The other signs were there, but once I heard "diabetes"--it runs in my family--I realized "I'm killing myself…I've got to stop this." I was 380 pounds at the time. The doctor gave me guidance on what to eat, and he told me to do at least 30 minutes of cardio each day.

    RELATED: How You Can Start Walking, Too

    SECRET OF MY SUCCESS: Since I was so heavy, I knew I couldn't run, so I started with the elliptical until I felt like I could get on the treadmill. A few months later my in-laws entered me in a 5-K. At that point I'd lost 30 pounds. I finished in under 50 minutes. It felt hard and my knees hurt, but I was so proud of myself. At that point

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  • Top 10 Foods that Boost Workout Results

    Keep your kitchen stocked with these nutritious essential to fuel your runs.Keep your kitchen stocked with these nutritious essential to fuel your runs.It's important to eat in a way that supports the exercise routine that you've worked so hard to develop. Keep your kitchen stocked with these bare essentials at all times so you stay energized for your workouts and healthy for the long run. Be sure to check out our recipe finder for ideas on quick healthy dishes to whip up with these ingredients.

    PLUS: Avoid the 10 Foods That Sabotage Workout Results

    FATS AND PROTEINS

    Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle, and helping you develop strength. While unsaturated fats help keep your heart healthy, your cholesterol low, and keep you feeling fuller for longer. About 25% of your daily calories should come from healthy fats, and another 25% should come from lean protein.

    1. Eggs: Packed with protein, lutein (for eye health), and a handful of vitamins and minerals, eggs are an inexpensive option that are easy and quick to prepare. Need to limit your cholesterol? Just use the whites, or use an egg substitute.

    2.

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  • 5 Surprising Truths About Calories

    Some calories weigh more than others and can stall weight lossSome calories weigh more than others and can stall weight lossIf you've been trying to lose weight, you've probably heard this rule: It's just a matter of calories in, calories out. That is, simply burn more calories than you consume, and the pounds will melt off. Right? Well, not exactly.

    If you are trying to lose weight, then you know that it's not that simple-or that easy.

    It turns out, some calories count more than others. Sure, there are 100 calories in two tablespoons of chocolate chips, and the very same 100 calories in broccoli. But there's a huge difference in the way that they affect your appetite, your energy level, and your long-term health.

    Here are 5 surprising things you didn't know about calories:

    RELATED: Learn the 5 Ways to Keep Calories in Check

    LOOK FOR COLORS About half of each meal should be fruits and vegetables. Not only are they low in calories, high in fiber, and filling, but a wide variety of produce will provide nutrients and minerals that help stave off diseases like cancer, and keep your bones, muscles,

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