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Jogging—All around benefits

After working each day, I would run up and down the long drive where I lived several times. In a few weeks I saw an improvement and the weight was coming off. I was now more encouraged and started jogging on the main road and any place that I could. After a few months time, I was almost back to my normal weight. I felt good about myself and what I had accomplished. The jogging gave me more energy than I had ever had before.

Jogging has its advantages and disadvantages. Time is a big factor to most of us. We don’t have the time to spend hours in an exercise program each day or even every other day. Jogging takes less time to burn calories and to achieve cardiovascular fitness. A heavier individual would burn more calories quicker than a smaller individual for the same amount of exercise. How many calories an individual would burn would depend on the duration of the workout. Jogging conditions the heart, improves muscle tone and strength, and relieves stress. It can also help with a variety of other health problems such as osteoporosis, heart disease and arthritis. Some of the disadvantages of jogging are: Due to the high impact, jogging is more likely to cause joint problems. Other injuries can be from placing stress on the muscles although; with the proper shoes and proper stretching, you can greatly reduce your risk of injury.

Before you decide to get into an exercise program of any type you should get a medical clearance from your doctor, especially if you have a heart problem, high blood pressure, over 60 or are or have been a smoker. When you start your jogging program, start off by stretching all your muscles. Begin by walking to get your body use to the new program. Gradually build up to a faster pace and then on to a short jog. Your feet may be tender from always wearing shoes. You can condition your feet by jogging barefoot. At first you may want to jog on the grass but then work up to jogging on pavement to toughen up the feet. Don’t overdo, set a pace that is comfortable for you. Pushing yourself will only be discouraging and you will become tired of the program. If you are not feeling well or just don’t feel up to doing the routine, then don’t. It is more harmful to push yourself if you really are not up to it. If you find you are out of breath after a jog, or cannot carry on a conversation while jogging, you may need to slow the pace. Jog properly, landing on the ball of your heel and let the rest of your foot follow. Push off from your toes as you begin your next step. Let your arms swing and keep your back straight, don’t hunch up. It is only natural to lean forward some while jogging up hill. Relax your body. You can do more harm to your body by being tense. Make sure that you bring cool water along to keep your body from dehydrating. Always stretch your body again after a work out.

Wearing proper gear is important. You don’t have to pay a fortune for a pair of running shoes. A comfortable pair of shoes will do in the beginning. As you get more advanced in your jogging program, you may find that you are willing to spend more money on a good pair of running shoes. Avoid wearing thin or dress socks. You may want to wear athletic socks; it may help in the reduction of blisters. If you find that you are getting blisters, you may want to try applying petroleum jelly to your feet before jogging. You should wear light, loose fitting clothing. Light or white clothing will help keep the body cooler and loose fitting will let you move freely. If you are jogging at night, wear bright colors so you can be spotted easily but don’t jog at night unless it is absolutely the only time that is available for you.

Safety when jogging is important. Never jog in an unfamiliar place. Jog facing the traffic. Change your route; don’t jog in the same areas every time. Keep alert! Be aware of you surroundings. Carry a whistle in case needed to alert someone that you need help. If you are being followed, go to the nearest house and call the police. Stay away from bushes where someone could hide. If you can, jog with someone that you know. Always take a key to your home with you so you can get back in and never leave your home unlocked while you are jogging.

I have continued to jog throughout my life time for one reason or another. Jogging can be fun and relaxing as well as getting exercise and reducing stress levels. Enjoy the view. Put on a headset and listen to music. Make jogging fun, relaxing, enjoyable, and spend some quality time for yourself. You will be amazed at the benefits you will receive.


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