You don’t need to be a certain size or shape to be a runner. As with any aerobic exercise though, running can be a solid tool to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
A 2020 study from the University of Kentucky found that individuals with BMIs (body mass index) ranging from 25 to 35 experienced significant fat loss after participating in an aerobic exercise, like running, for six days per week for 12 weeks. The study also found that maintaining a healthy fat-to-muscle ratio is important for many other aspects of well-being, like heart health, joint health and hormone regulation, to name a few.
Running might also help you feel comfortable in your own skin and appreciate what your body is capable of, no matter your size or weight.
Lauren Ross, a registered dietician and trail runner from Houston, TX, shared her thoughts on body image and overcoming self-doubt as a runner in an email to Fleet Feet. “I'm not here for you to look at,” she says. “I'm here to see how far I can push my limits...What I look like doesn't impact my ability to do those things.