One teenager who worked out that to lose weight by running has bonuses!

A teenage friend of mine has developed a great motivation to lose weight by's called saving time, and it's helping her expend more calories to lose weight while fitting into her life.

Like me, she's not overly fond of exercise for the sake of it. She's at uni, has a part-time job and would like to keep her social life, and rather enjoys blanking out in front of the television on occasion, and she's a little partial to sleeping as well.

Like many teenagers she's busy, and she's always been self conscious about her weight, which she unaffectionately calls her 'blubber suit'.

I know how she feels. 'Blubber suit' is a great term for it, because it's like something that is worn over your body. You know underneath it there is a different body altogether, but the suit has stuck itself on top, and if you're not careful, is ever expanding.

One of her biggest things has been the food she grabs at uni between classes, and the snacks she eats on public transport getting there, but the other problem is the amount of moving she does.

Why lose weight by running? Why?

In terms of daily moving, there's quite a walk between some of her class buildings, and she walks to the bus stop, but she feels more exercise would be good, and speed up the weight loss process.

When we saw each other last I was limping. I have found myself overfilling my schedule again lately, and because of shortness in time, I decided to try and speed up some of the things that I do...firstly the walking trip to and from school.

Now, walking to school with the kids can only go so fast, so I just had to put up with it, but I figured that I could cut a fair amount of the time by running back.

I am not a runner, in fact it is one activity that has never inspired me or interested me, although I'm happy to watch others do it! So as I rounded the corner into my driveway I slipped, turned my ankle and hence the limping.

So, while my friend thought that my reasons were good, she said the results were one more reason why to try and lose weight by running was definitely not for her.

So, what changed her mind?

After leaving me, she did a bit of research on her own. She found articles and research that indicated a couple of interesting things that made her decide to give it a go.

1. She discovered that over 1 kilometre, the amount of calories burned whether you ran or walked was pretty much the same. So if you didn't burn significantly more energy over that distance, why would you put your body through that strain and run, just stick to walking.

2. The second thing that she discovered though, was that interval training, short bursts of high intensity exercise interspersed between slower recovery periods may be more beneficial for expending calories to lose weight and increase physical fitness than constantly maintaining any one intensity level...maybe there was something to this whole lose weight by running idea.

3. The third thing wasn't so much a discovery as one of those moments when 'the penny drops'. She wanted to increase her physical activity level, but couldn't really find any more time to dedicate to what if she used running as interval training where she already walked?

There was another part to this fantastic discovery...while the calories burned over running a kilometre weren't substantially more than those burned by walking, she could run a kilometre faster than walk it! So, she could expend more calories to lose weight and save herself time!

Putting it all together...

She started by running for 15 seconds in every minute on her way to the bus. It's a fifteen minute walk, so she was doing 15 sets of high intensity effort on the way...and found she was getting to the bus 2 or 3 minutes earlier.

To really test herself, she left home 4 minutes later than usual one day...nearly missed the bus, and had to run for nearly a minute to get it...

She wants to work up to intervals of 30 seconds in every minute. That way she says she can spend five more minutes in bed in the morning! Go for it!

She has found that she is hungrier on the bus at the moment, so she's included an extra piece of fruit and a handful of nuts for the trip.

On the walk home she says she's too tired to run intervals, but she thinks that as her fitness builds she might do one or two spurts, maybe...but for now she's pleased with how she's going.

Now that's fitting losing weight into your life! I on the other hand am still favouring my ankle (at least that's my excuse) and I'm not quite sure to lose weight by running is my thing...but who knows, next time I'm rushed I might just give it another go...anyone have an ice-pack I can borrow?

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