Can I Get In Shape Just By Running?

You’re going to the beach and you want to be in a beach body shape. However, you don’t really like lifting weights so you want to know if it’s possible to get in shape just by running. 

Running can’t get you in shape by itself. Running can shed off the fat that is covering your muscular structure and improve your endurance but it doesn’t improve the size and strength of your muscles. A combination of cardiovascular and strengthening exercise is the best way to get in shape.

Ahead, we will discuss what running does to your physique and why running alone is not enough. We will also look at how you can get in a better body shape without lifting weights. Lastly, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about running and getting in shape. 

What Running Does To Your Physique

Running is one of the best and most accessible exercises there is. Aside from a good pair of running shoes and a pair of shorts, you don’t really need much to start running. That is why it’s a popular choice among those who don’t want to spend a penny on gym memberships.

Depending on the intensity and duration of your runs, running can do many good things for your physique such as burn fats, reveal your abs and tone your body. However, overdoing it can also burn your muscles and make you look skinny.

If you want to learn more about running and its effects on your physique, visit this article. 

Running Alone Is Not Enough

If you are someone who isn’t genetically gifted with big and toned musculature or someone who has lived a rather sedentary life, running alone is not enough. 

Running burns fat (and sometimes muscle) but it doesn’t cause muscle growth – especially on your upper body. So if your muscle fibers underneath are not developed well enough, you may not look like you’re in shape even if you’ve lost a lot of weight.

But the good thing is, you can tone your muscles even without lifting weights by supplementing your running with bodyweight exercises and varying the intensities of your runs. 

5 Tips to Getting in a Better Body Shape With Running

Do resistance exercises at least 3 times a week – No matter how much you run, you’ll never be able to grow your muscles without doing resistance exercises. 

To get in shape (and I mean, beach body shape), you need to do some kind of resistance training whether it’s lifting weights, using bands, or your bodyweight. 

Here’s an example of a full-body bodyweight exercise you can do at home. 

Vary the intensity – Don’t just run at the same pace over long periods of time. Do threshold exercises, intervals, and sprints. Different intensities induce a different results to the body.

Sprints and other fast-paced runs help develop lower extremity muscles and improve metabolism while long-distance, slow runs burn fat. 

Run uphill 1-2 times a week – Uphill running provides resistance to your body and therefore helps tone your muscles on the legs. It’s also a great glute workout. 

Don’t overdo it – Once you’re already enjoying running, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of wanting to run for very long durations. Unless you want to make it your sport, don’t run for more than an hour each day. 

This is to avoid the catabolic effects of long-distance running that burns lots of fats along with muscle mass. And it also prevents fatigue and burnout that can work against you. 

Eat a healthy diet – In the fitness industry, there’s a saying “You cannot outrun a bad diet” and that saying is true. If you want to achieve a glorious body, you have to sacrifice your bad eating habits. 

  • Stay away from sugar
  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid junk foods
  • Stay away from fried food
  • Eat lean meat/reduce animal fats

A friend of mine also supplemented eating healthy by using the Okinawa Flat-belly tonic and it worked wonders for her. 


Can I Get Six Pack Abs Just by Running?

It depends. If you’re genetically gifted or have been doing ab workouts for a while now, running will reveal those abs by burning the fat covering it. 

However, if you’re looking forward to building six-pack abs from scratch, you need to do ab exercises such as leg raises and sit-ups. 

Can Running Get You Toned?

Yes, running is a great way to tone your body by reducing your overall body fat percentage. However, you still need to do resistance exercises to define your muscles. 

How much should you run a day to get in shape?

Running for 20-45 mins a day 3-5 times a week supplemented with 30-45 mins of resistance exercise is enough to get you in shape. 

Final Thoughts

Running is a fantastic way to get in shape but you still have to consider the other aspects, especially strength. 

Combining cardiovascular exercises with resistance exercises is the best way to get in shape. 

Nicho Mauricio

Running wasn't always my favorite sport. I was a CrossFit athlete and I loved every bit of it. But since the pandemic began, I was forced to stay away from the gym and train at home instead. Things got boring. That's when I decided to trail run with my friends. I instantly got hooked. So I started training and researching all things running. As a beginner, I want to buy only the best running gear and do only the best practices. This blog is where I share what I've learned in my journey and my experiences as a runner.

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