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In recent times, we have been bombarded with many new fitness fads and workouts. Each one claims to be “the” quick-fix remedy for good health and a fit body. It can be very confusing. You may struggle to choose one or the other. But jogging is a perfect workout that has proven to be advantageous in the longer run. It has stood the test of time and has ensured overall well-being.
What Exactly is Jogging?
Jogging is a form of sustained running or trotting at a steady and slow pace. It is much slower than running but is faster than walking. The main purpose of jogging is to maintain your tempo without causing much strain to the body. This is less taxing on the body, consumes much lesser energy and thereby, helps to sustain for a longer time.
Jogging is best suited for people who do not engage in rigorous fitness regimes. It is widely used by people to warm up and cool down the body during exercise routines or runs. People who prepare for runs and marathons take up jogging to build stamina and prep the body.
Reasons Why Jogging is Good for You
Jogging is a complete workout and also serves to prepare the body for an intense workout and other physical activities. You would be surprised to know that jogging does much more for your body than just helping with weight loss. It helps to build endurance and stamina in the body without being too harsh. It strengthens the muscles and bones and also keeps the heart and mind healthy. The long list of health benefits of jogging has been discussed below:
1. Jogging Helps in Weight Loss
A half hour jog easily burns around 300 calories. Jogging boosts the metabolism and is more effective than mere walking. A healthy diet along with regular jogging will melt those extra inches that you have always wanted to shed. Jogging not only burns fat but also helps you maintain your weight.
2. Improves Bone Strength
The advantage of jogging is that it maintains bone health. When you begin jogging, the bones experience some amount of stress and load. Jogging prepares the bones to bear this additional stress which it starts to endure on a regular basis. Jogging strengthens the bones and prevents bone trauma and injuries. It improves bone thickness and wards off problems like osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also makes the bones of the hip and the spine stronger.
3. Develops Muscles
Jogging helps your body become more toned. It works on the large muscles and develops them. It is great for the hamstrings, calf, gluteal muscles, etc.
4. Keeps the Mind Healthy
Jogging plays a major role in improving the mental health of the person. When you jog, your body releases hormones called endorphins that help lift your spirit and make you feel positive about yourself. And that is why you feel calm and rejuvenated after jogging.
5. Good for the Heart
Jogging is an excellent cardiovascular workout that boosts the health of your heart. It helps to keep heart problems and diseases at bay. Jogging ensures that blood is pumped faster to the heart and, thus, maintains blood pressure. Cholesterol and blood glucose levels are also under control.
6. Boosts the Respiratory system
Like any other aerobic workout, jogging enhances the lung capacity and strengthens the muscles of the respiratory system. This ensures that the lungs take in more oxygen and efficiently remove carbon dioxide. Jogging, thus, improves the endurance of the respiratory muscles.
7. Prevents Infections and Communicable Diseases
Jogging is known to stimulate the production of lymphocytes and macrophages that combat infection in the body. It helps to fight viral infections like flu and common cold and also some bacterial infections.
8. Curbs Mental Stress
Jogging helps to soothe and calm the mind. It reduces stress and tension and also clears the mind of unnecessary thoughts. Jogging has a positive impact on people and changes their attitudes and outlook for the better.
9. Jogging has Anti-Ageing Benefits
Jogging benefits for skin are such that you start looking more fresh and youthful. This is because jogging ensures that the skin receives more oxygen and blood.
10. Builds the Immune System
Jogging promotes not just physical but also mental well-being. Jogging makes you stronger and fights depression and stress. It removes fatigue, boosts the production of white blood cells in the body and builds up immunity.
As you can see, the uses of jogging are many. It is also known to increase one’s life span.
What is the Correct Way of Jogging?
Is jogging good for health? Not if you aren’t doing it right. Here are some pointers for you to follow during your jogging routine:
- Consult your doctor before starting a jogging regime for the first time or if you haven’t exercised in the recent past. If you are over 40 years of age or have been suffering from a chronic disease or are over-weight, then you must compulsorily take medical advice.
- Warm up and stretching is a must. This prepares your body for jogging. Light stretches to cool down at the end are also necessary.
- Always start slow. Begin with walking. You may progress to brisk walking for about 30 minutes every day. Once you fall in rhythm, then you can begin jogging for short intervals. First timers may have to alternate between walking and jogging for some time.
- Once your body is accustomed, you can increase the duration of your jogging sessions gradually.
- Always carry a water bottle with you and stay hydrated. Increase your fluid intake before and after jogging and also during the rest of the day.
- Avoid very hard or loose surfaces like roads and sand for running. You should ideally jog on grassy areas that are flat. You may even jog on the treadmill.
- Dress appropriately in cotton clothes. Tight clothing must be avoided.
- Wear proper jogging or running shoes that shouldn’t be too tight. Avoid wearing old and ill-fitting sneakers.
- Use sunscreen on exposed parts of your body for protection.
- Early mornings or evenings are the best time for jogging. Avoid congested roads or peak-hour traffic as you may risk breathing polluted air.
- Rest is vital. Ensure that your body gets at least two days of proper rest during the week.
Health and Safety Tips to Remember while Jogging
Here are some tips to keep in mind while jogging:
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
- You must increase your fluid intake and drink lots of water.
- Never eat immediately before or after the run.
- Carry your cellphone with you.
- Inform a family member or friend before you go for jogging. Also, tell them where you intend to go and by when you would return.
- Do not play very loud music on your headphones or earphones. Be alert.
- Do not venture into deserted roads and areas for jogging.
- Raise an alarm or call for medical help if you hurt yourself while jogging.
1. What is the Difference between Jogging and Running?
The most basic difference between jogging and running is that jogging is at a slower pace. Not only is running faster, but it also uses more energy and burns more calories. Jogging is easier on the muscles, heart and the lungs.
When jogging, the feet make maximum contact with the ground as compared to running. However, while running, the feet make only minimal contact with the ground. Thus, jogging is more weight-bearing. Running is essentially a high-intensity workout.
2. Is it Good to Jog Daily?
Jogging daily may not be as strenuous as running, but it is certainly higher in intensity than walking. You must not over-exert yourself at any cost. Your body must be given enough rest to relax and recuperate. Otherwise, it would strain your joints and muscles. You may end up with injuries. It may even cause excessive fatigue and depression.
3. At What Age Can a Child Start Jogging?
The right time for a child to start jogging is around 7-8 years of age. Children in the age group of 4-14 years can easily run about 4 km or for about half an hour. The key is to not rush. A child can go jogging for about 2-3 km, to begin with, and, then, may increase the duration and distance gradually.
4. Is It Better to Jog in the Morning or Evening?
It is advised that one mustn’t go jogging very early in the morning. This is because the body temperature lower and the bodily functions haven’t kicked in fully during this time. Jogging in the evening is far more beneficial and suitable for the body. By this time, the lung function is better and the bones are active and fluid. The body temperature is also higher in the evening, making it feel easier to jog or run.
While it may not be possible for everyone to take out enough time during the latter half, it is better to exercise whenever possible than not at all.
With so many benefits on your side, jogging makes for an efficient and fruitful choice of workout. Forget fancy fitness routines and rigorous diets. So, pull up your socks, make an effort and jog yourself to a healthy life.