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Jogging Guide for Beginners

Jogging Guide For Beginners
Last Updated on July 27, 2020 by Ashwini G
Jogging is one of the most popular exercises. It is a great way to keep yourself healthy, and there is ample scientific evidence to suggest that jogging reduces the chances of you suffering diseases, obesity, hypertension, etc. In this article, we will talk about the best jogging plan for beginners. It will help you improve your health and that too without any need to take a gym membership or spend money on expensive gym equipment.

Why Should You Start Jogging?

Jogging has many benefits, and here we will talk about some of the most significant ones.

Jogging Helps Reduce Weight

Jogging or any similar aerobic exercise (running, walking) is a great way to burn body fat and reduce weight. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that people who 4.9 km managed to lose nearly 10 percent more body fat than the control group. A 10-minutes jogging regime can help an individual burn up 270 calories.

It Helps Improve Lung Capacity and Bone Structure

Jogging and other aerobic exercises are excellent for improving lung capacity and strengthening respiratory muscle activities. Jogging has also been proven to be effective at improving bone health and is beneficial for postmenopausal women who suffer from bone erosion.

Jogging Improves Mental Health and Reduces Stress

Studies show that any form of exercise, whether aerobic or anaerobic, helps in reducing anxiety and depression. Jogging is also found to be useful in boosting mood and helps you feel better.

Jogging is Beneficial for Cardiovascular Health

A 2002 study shows that people who jogged regularly had better cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels than those who didn’t. The exercise is known to improve heart health, and the increase in physical activity is useful in improving the cholesterol levels in overweight people.

It Improves Spine Flexibility

Jogging is known to hydrate the spine, and it doesn’t exert excess pressure on the discs. Studies show that jogging regularly could provide better disc hydration.

Jogging Improves Insulin Action

All aerobic exercises help improve insulin sensitivity as well as the carbohydrate mechanism. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology says regular jogging exercise helps in improving insulin action and secretion by up to 87 percent.

How to Jog Properly?

Jogging is a simple exercise and doesn’t need any special preparation. Still, these tips are useful in making this exercise more efficient.

Preparations for Jogging

Equipment: You don’t need any specialized equipment for jogging except for a good pair of jogging shoes. A nice pair of jogging shoes provide additional comfort and support to your feet and reduces the risk of injury.

Location: You can jog in your garden, on a treadmill, or in a park or on the streets. However, you need to be careful while jogging outdoors. The weather, time, and traffic are key factors that you need to consider while jogging outdoors.

Jogging Technique

Jogging is easy to do, and you don’t require special equipment or techniques to do it. Still, knowing the proper way to jog helps you increase the efficiency of your exercise. So, here is the proper body posture that helps you reach your peak performance while jogging.

Head: Your head position and motion is critical in any exercise. If you don’t position your head properly, you will feel tired quickly, and that is why you need to keep your head relaxed and erect while jogging. You should keep your head straight and not down as improper positioning would make it feel heavier due to gravity.

Shoulders: Your shoulders are the next important body part, after the head, that needs a proper posture. You need to loosen up your shoulder, or you will get tired quickly. Ensure that your shoulders are not tense while you jog, or you will get stiff shoulders and muscle pains later.

Upper Body: Proper positioning of your upper body is necessary to breathe efficiently. The torso is responsible for keeping the body stretched and aligned while moving. A stable torso helps you reach a higher speed without losing extra energy.

Arms: Arms can help you achieve higher speeds or reduce your speed, depending on their position. The arms should be swinging forward and back at your sides to decrease unnecessary torso rotation. The arms should make an angle of 90 degrees at the elbow for maximum efficiency.

Lower Body: The proper alignment of hips is necessary to reduce back pain. As hips are close to the center of gravity of our bodies, you need to keep your body straight to reduce drag. Proper head and torso alignment automatically improve hip posture.

You need to focus on your leg movements as well. If you are lifting your knees too high, you will lose speed. So, keep them low for faster and smoother motion. Lastly, ankles play a crucial role in speed and power. Ankle rotation should be minimal, or you will end up straining them.

How to Jog?

It is highly likely that you either haven’t exercised before or haven’t exercised for quite some time. In such a situation, you should start by walking first. Choose a suitable time of the day and walk for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day for five days a week during the first month of your exercise. Walking isn’t a strenuous task, and it helps you prepare your body to handle the stress of jogging or running more effectively. Once you are comfortable with walking 30 minutes a day without getting exhausted, it is time for you to begin the actual jogging exercise. Before jogging, perform some simple stretching exercises. These exercises help in making your muscles more flexible and reduce risk straining your muscles and injury. After you have stretched properly, you are ready to begin jogging. The proper way to jog is by running at a slow pace for five to seven minutes, followed by two to three minutes of walking to help your body relax.

Jogging Regime

During the first week, your jogging technique should be walking for one minute, followed by jogging for another. You need to keep doing this for about 15 minutes for five days a week. If you are able to jog for fifteen minutes without exhausting yourself, you are ready to move to the next level. In the second week of your jogging exercise, increase the time that you jog for by a couple of minutes. Now, you should be jogging for three minutes and walking for one minute. You need to do so for 20 minutes a day during weekdays. If you are comfortable with the increase in pace, then you can move to the third week of the exercise, otherwise, follow the plan for week 2 for another week. During the third week, your jogging plan would be like this. Jog for five minutes followed by a walk for one minute, then jog for ten minutes, followed by a one-minute walk and finally jog for fifteen minutes. Do this over the weekdays and take rest on the weekend. The fourth week of your jogging plan would involve jogging for fifteen minutes, followed by a break of one minute and then jogging for fifteen minutes again. You need to follow this plan for five days for two weeks, with weekends being rest days. As you enter the sixth week, you will increase your jogging time once again. You will jog in three 15 minutes segments with two one minute breaks in between. If you are able to do it comfortably, then from the seventh week, aim to jog for an hour with three one-minutes walks every fifteen minutes.

Building a Habit

Motivate Yourself: A lot of people take up exercise only to quit after a month or so. It is essential to keep yourself focused and motivated during any exercise. So, it is time to discuss ways to keep yourself motivated as not to miss a single day of this exercise. One of the most common reasons why people quit any exercise is because it is boring. So, you need to make jogging enjoyable and keep yourself engaged in this activity. Jogging is a great way to lose weight, and a lot of people take up jogging for this reason. If you are one of those people, then you should convince yourself that jogging is essential to losing weight along with proper diet and other habits.

Fix a Time: The common reason why people skip exercise is that they are busy. However, jogging takes hardly 10 minutes of your day in the early days. So, you can easily accommodate it in your daily schedule. Jogging in the morning is one of the best options. You not only wake up early, which has its own benefits, but you also get fresh air with fewer people and vehicles on the road, thus having ample space to run. It is also the time when you are fresh and can jog for up to an hour without any problems. It also increases your efficiency as you can take a shower after jogging as a part of your daily routine. Otherwise, you would need to take a second shower after your exercise. Some people also like jogging in the evening. If you don’t consider yourself to be a morning person, then jogging in the evening is a great option. You can jog after you get back from work or after having dinner. It can easily fit in your schedule. Jogging after dinner is great, as it helps you burn down some of the calories that you consumed. We have people who like to exercise in the morning, and we also have some people who like to exercise in the evening. Then, there is a third kind group who prefers to exercise during the lunch break. Getting out and getting some air during a lunch break, especially if it is a long one, helps you burn some calories and freshens up your mood to tackle the second half of your work more actively. This time is perfect for people who make excuses about not getting enough time to jog in the morning or in the evening.

Jogging to Work or School: If you live close to the place where you work or go to study, i.e., within 2 to 3 kilometers, then you can also try to jog there. This plan works best if the place has facilities to help you freshen up. Alternatively, you can jog back to your home instead. Remember to carry spare clothes if you are jogging to your school or workplace so that you can get rid of your sweaty clothes before starting your work.

Prepare a Backup: At times, people are unable to go for a jog due to bad weather. In such scenarios, you need to have a backup plan. One of the best options is to get yourself a treadmill at home. However, the treadmill isn’t cheap. So, you can jog indoors. Now, one of the major reasons that can prevent you from jogging is an injury. An injured leg can stop you from jogging for at least a week. It is a well-established fact that breaking a habit is a lot easier than making one. So, you need to perform an exercise; however, simple it is at the time you jog. Doing this would not only keep you engaged but also have additional benefits.

Useful Advice

Don’t Overexert Yourself: Start slowly and build on it. A lot of people try to jog for an hour from the first day only to get completely exhausted and unable to continue the next day. In a worse case, you can get injured and won’t be able to exercise or work properly for quite some time. Look at the signs from your body that tell you to stop.

Proper Diet: Diet is as important as exercise, especially if you want to lose weight. So, develop healthy eating habits. Remember not to jog on a full stomach, unless you are doing it at night. Keeping yourself hydrated is also important. Take a bottle of water with you as you jog.

Breathe Properly: Proper breathing technique is essential to perform at your maximum. Breathe deeply and evenly. If you find it difficult to breathe, then stop exercising as you have reached your limit. If the breathing problems persist, consult a doctor.

Rest: When you jog or run, your muscles undergo stress and get damaged. So, it is important that you take rest to help your body heal. It is recommended that you take a couple of days of rest either on the weekends or in-between the exercise.

Jogging FAQs

Does Jogging Help Reduce Weight?

Any form of aerobic exercise such as jogging and running, when coupled with proper diet and health habits, helps in losing weight.

Do I Need Special Equipment for Jogging?

No, all you need are some comfortable clothes and a good pair of shoes. There are specialized clothes and shoes for jogging, but they are not necessary.

How Long Should I Jog?

In the beginning, start by jogging for a couple of minutes for the first few days, then gradually increase the time by 4-5 minutes each week. By the end of one month, you should be able to jog for 30 minutes without much difficulty.

Do I Need to Jog Every day?

Yes, you need to jog every day, except rest days, as developing a healthy habit requires you to show dedication, and it can only be done by exercising every day.

Which Exercise Is Better Jogging or Running?

Running is more effective as compared to jogging. However, running requires more effort, and you are more prone to get injured while running. Excessive running has side effects, which is not the case with jogging.

Jog to Your Happiness and Health

As you can see, jogging has lots of benefits, and it can be done quite easily. The exercise doesn’t require any specialized equipment, but having a good pair of jogging shoes helps immensely. So, if you are planning to reduce weight or improve your general health and fitness, then jogging is a great exercise. So, if you were planning to begin jogging, then this article would help you a lot in preparing yourself for the exercise.

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