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Jogging Tips to Keep Fit

Definition of Jogging

Jogging is defined as a form of running that takes place at a leisurely pace. Its intention is to increase fitness but with less stress than might occur with faster running.

Before embarking on any type of running or jogging program, it is best to consult with your doctor first, especially if you are older or have any type of medical condition.

The Benefits of Jogging

Jogging Helps with Weight Loss

Many people start jogging because they believe it will help with losing weight. It is a very vigorous exercise and as such is a good way to burn calories and lose the flab. While jogging, the average person will burn about 100 Calories per mile.

Jogging also increases the amount of lean muscle mass on your body. This in turn increases your metabolic rate and helps again with weight control.

One thing to bear in mind is that if you should suffer any injuries during your jogging routine you may get laid up in bed for a time, shedding even fewer calories. So make sure that you heed all the safety precautions.

Jogging Improves Your Cardiovascular System

Jogging is one of the best exercises for aerobic fitness. It is great for physically conditioning your heart and lungs. It improves the flow of blood, and hence oxygen, around your body, reducing the chance of suffering from a heart attack.

Jogging Increases Well-Being

Many joggers will attest to the fact that jogging gives them a great natural "high". This is due to the release of endorphins during exercise.

Some people start with a jogging program only to find that after a few weeks their body's have begun to ache and rebel. They begin to feel miserable and quit with any form of running whatsoever. The thing to keep in mind when you start out with any form of jogging exercise is that you must ease yourself into it gently.

If you have not exercised for a long time, the rule is to start with a gentle increase in your physical activity. Try walking instead of driving to the paper shop or to the local store. Use the stairs instead of the lift. It is normal for your muscles to ache after being sedentary for a long time and then increasing your activity. Stick with it and then after a time you will become fitter and stronger.

Jogging can give you many health benefits. From feeling better, sleeping better, to improving your cardio system.

Tips To Breathe While Jogging

You should allow air to enter through both your nose and mouth when running. Breathing through your nose on its own won't deliver enough oxygen to all of your muscles.

When you breathe, make sure that you breathe more from your diaphragm and not from your chest, which may be too shallow.

Exhale as fully as you can through your mouth. This removes more carbon dioxide from your system.

Another tip is to take three steps for every inhale and two steps for every exhale.

As a beginner to jogging, you need to make sure that you run at a pace which allows you to breathe easily. Take the "talk test". When you run, you should be able to speak in full sentences, without having to gasp for breath.

Simple Jogging Schedule

Before you start your workouts make sure that you warm up properly. Walk for 5 to 10 minutes to warm the muscles up properly.

Week 1

Split into 3 phases - Walk for 6 minutes, then jog at an easy pace for 1 minute.
Do 3 sessions in the week.

Week 2

Split into 3 phases - Walk for 5 minutes, then jog at an easy pace for 2 minutes.
Do 3 sessions in the week.

Week 3

Split into 4 phases - Walk for 3 minutes, then jog at an easy pace for 4 minutes.
Do 4 sessions in the week.

Week 4

Split into 4 phases - Walk for 2 minutes, then jog at an easy pace for 5 minutes.
Do 4 sessions in the week.

Week 5

Split into 3 phases - Walk for 2 minutes, then jog at an easy pace for 8 minutes.
Do 3 sessions in the week.

Week 6

Split into 3 phases - Walk for 2 minutes, then jog at an easy pace for 9 minute.
Do 4 sessions in the week.

Week 7

Split into 3 phases - Walk for 1 minute, then jog at an easy pace for 11 minutes.
Do 4 sessions in the week.

By week 8 you will be entirely jogging for 36 minutes, 4 times a week.

Safety Tips When Jogging

Avoiding Injuries when Jogging

Consulting your doctor before you take up jogging is a good idea. He may evaluate your condition and offer you some advice.

Remember to warm up before you start your session. This will reduce the chance of muscle-pulls and strains. Walking for 5 minutes before you start your jog is a good way to warm up.

Selecting the right type of jogging shoes is extremely important.

How does your body feel afer you have been jogging? Aches and pains are not uncommon after your jogging session, especially if you have only just started. Sharp pains that last for half an hour or so could be indicative of an injury.

If jogging is not for you, and after a running session you are constantly suffering from a bad back and aching joints, it may be that you need to find a physical activity that you are more suited to.

Other Safety Tips when Jogging

Depending on the neighbourhood you are jogging in, you may find it safer to jog with a companion. Make sure that you are carrying no valuables, and take off any jewellery, even cheap jewellery, as it may be attractive to any opportunistic thief.

Many people like to listen to music whilst jogging, but be aware that it may prevent you from hearing the approach of vehicles or any other type of potential danger.

If you jog at night make sure that you only use well-lit routes.

Jogging Clothing

First Beginning Jogging

When you first start your new jogging regime, you need not rush out and buy fancy running clobber. Wear clothes that you would feel comfortable working-out in.

Women should buy a good supportive sports bra. Go to a specialty store and they will have a range of special high impact bras, especially designed for runners. Most bras last for about 70 washes, after which they start to degrade and lose their elasticity.

It is important that you do not overdress when you go for a jog. Remember that the body heat produced when you jog will make you feel warmer, so loose fitting clothes are required.

Dressing for Hot Weather Running

Running shorts and tops that are made out of lightweight synthetic fabrics are more comfortable to wear than those made of cotton. New fabric materials can wick moisture away from the skin, so that perspiration can more easily evaporate and cool the body.

Modern materials are also less likely to chafe than traditional cotton ones. Skin lubricants can also be used to prevent chafing, should this become a problem.

Apparel should also be light-coloured, as it will reflect solar energy and cool the body down further. Lighter coloured clothing will also help you if you do your running at night and need to be seen.

Dressing for Cold Weather Running

It is estimated that up to 40% of your body heat is lost from your head, so keep it covered with a thermal hat. A neck gaiter can be worn to protect your neck and face on cold and windy days. It can be pulled over your mouth to warm the air that you are breathing in.

Jogging shoes

The thing about jogging is that you don't need to buy any expensive equipment. The major investment is a good pair of running shoes.

Wearing old jogging shoes that don't suit your foot type and running style is a major cause of injuries. So don't dig out those old mangled tennis shoes from the back of a drawer. What you need are shoes which suit your foot type and running style. They need to be well-cushioned to stand up to the rigours of jogging.

It's best to go to a specialty running store. The experts there will find the best type of running shoe to fit your foot type. They may also look at your running style on a treadmill to evaluate the best running shoe.

The salesperson at a specialty store may do the following:-

Make a measurement of your foot arch. This is to determine your foot type.

Make an analysis of your running style.

Measure your foot size. Running shoes should usually be 1/2 size bigger than your normal shoes. This is because your feet swell during running, and you need plenty of room.

Ask you questions about your running habits.
E.g., What type of running do you do? How often? On what surfaces?

Run in your shoes for about a week, and if you develop blisters and/or foot pain, they may not be the right type of running shoes for you. Sometimes the store will exchange them for a more sensible pair.

It is recommended that you should replace your jogging shoes after around 450 miles. This of course depends on many factors such as running style, running surface and body weight. You should be able to tell from feel whether your shoes need replacing.

Treadmill Workouts for Beginners

If you prefer to get into jogging indoors, why not try using a treadmill? If you are not in great shape and really need to improve your fitness levels and perhaps lose weight, a 3 month treadmill workout program could be the way to go. The best way to start any new program of exercise is by building up slowly. Do not start any new exercise program by jumping in at the deep end.

First some simple tips when using a treadmill:-

Do not hold onto the rails when walking or running.

Holding onto the rails stiffens the upper body. While jogging hands-free, the two halves of your body are working in harmony, giving a fluidity to your motion. Stress injuries can possibly result if you hold on.

If you ever progress from your treadmill to pounding the pavements outdoors, and you have been hanging onto the rails indoors, your body simply will not be accustomed to the rigours of real jogging.

Warm up before doing a serious workout.

It is essential to stretch your muscles before a workout.
Walk at a speed of 2 mph for a minute or so. Switch from your heels to your toes during your warm up, and increase your stride length to stretch your muscles properly.

The following simple treadmill workout program takes you from walking to jogging in 10 weeks:-

The speeds at which you will walk and jog below are arbitrary. Choose what you are comfortable with. Say perhaps, walk at 3 to 4 mph, and jog between 4.5 to 6 mph.

Week 1

For the first week you will simply walk. Set the treadmill at 3.5 mph and walk continuously for 45 minutes. For the next 8 weeks you will be doing interval workouts. This means you will spend each session alternating between walking and jogging.

Week 2

For this week you will be combining walking and jogging. You will be splitting your 30 minute workout into 6 X 5 minute phases.

Phases 1 to 6: Walk for 4 1/2 minutes, jog for 1/2 minute.

Do the same for weeks 3 to 10.

Week 3

Phases 1 to 6: Walk for 4 minutes, jog for 1 minute.

Week 4

Phases 1 to 6: Walk for 3 1/2 minutes, jog for 1 1/2 minutes.

Week 5

Phases 1 to 6: Walk for 3 minutes, jog for 2 minutes.

Week 6

Phases 1 to 6: Walk for 2 1/2 minutes, jog for 2 1/2 minutes.

Week 7

Phases 1 to 6: Walk for 2 minutes, jog for 3 minutes.

Week 8

Phases 1 to 6: Walk for 1 1/2 minutes, jog for 3 1/2 minutes.

Week 9

Phases 1 to 6: Walk for 1 minute, jog for 4 minutes.

Week 10

Phases 1 to 6: Walk for 1/2 minute, jog for 4 1/2 minutes.

Week 11

By this week you should be able to jog continuously for the whole 30 minutes. Set the treadmill for 5.5 mph and jog for 30 minutes. If you should feel breathless, simply go back to walking for a minute.

Jogging Techniques for Beginners

Poor running technique can lead to your body being put at risk from unnecessary injuries. To reduce any strain on your body, you need to learn how to run correctly.

No matter why you are running, whether it is just to keep fit or because you want to participate in competition, your running technique is always something that you can improve upon.

Running well is a skill that can be learnt. Speed, conditioning and rehabilitation coach Mike Antoniades has highlighted some of the most obvious weaknesses that he sees in joggers:

1. Bouncing up and down too much.
2. Stride length too long.
3. Insufficient use of hamstrings.
4. Landing heavily on feet.
5. Breaking action on landing.
6. Insufficient use of arms.
7. Twisting midriff when running.
8. Bending head and upper body.

When your running technique is poor, your body parts are working inefficiently and you will suffer pain rather than the feeling of pleasure you should get from exercise.

Here is a summary of correct jogging technique:

Foot Contact -
Jogging beginners should strive to make contact with their mid-foot when they hit the ground. This allows for the best shock absorption, putting less strain on the calves and Achilles.
Arm Movement -
Your arms should move front to back naturally when you jog correctly. Make sure you don't tense them or swing them forcefully. Swing them between your chest and waist.
Head Movement -
Maintain a straight line when you jog, without leaning.
Stride Length -
Let your stride length work itself out naturally. Don't force yourself to run in long strides.
Knee Movement -
Make sure you don't lift your knees up too high.

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