Jogging is a beneficial exercise that falls somewhere between running and walking. Because it’s less intensive than running, it doesn’t cause the same pain and inflammation in the body. As a result, many fitness experts say jogging is the perfect workout for men and women looking to burn calories and tone muscle. This article reveals seven important tips that every jogger should follow.
You don’t need expensive weights, equipment, or a gym membership to reap the benefits of a physically active lifestyle. On the contrary, jogging requires little more than a pair of running shoes and the willpower to succeed. It engages nearly every dominant muscle group in your body while burning fat and calories.
Jogging can even help you live longer. According to a study conducted by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine, jogging slows down the body’s aging process and increases one’s lifespan. Furthermore, studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) suggest aerobic exercise, like jogging, can lower the risk of lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancers. But if you want to reap the most benefits from jogging, you should follow these seven important tips.
1.) Plan Your Route
It’s always a good idea to plan your jogging route in advance. Assuming you are jogging outside and not indoors on a treadmill, drive around and scout potential routes beforehand. You can use your car’s odometer to determine the exact lengths of these routes.
In addition to distance, you should also take note of the route’s inclined areas. A steep hill, for instance, may prove difficult for first-time joggers. If it’s only a slight incline, though, you’ll burn more calories than you would simply be jogging on a flat surface.
2.) Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothes
Don’t make the mistake of wearing 100% cotton shirts, sweaters, or hoodies when jogging. While this may seem like an effective way to stay warm in the fall and winter months, it can actually lower your body temperature by absorbing and holding moisture.
Cotton absorbs up to 7% of its total weight in moisture. When you sweat, cotton clothes absorb this moisture. Moisture-wicking clothes, on the other hand, are designed to repel moisture from your body. Rather than absorbing your perspiration, they’ll repel it from your body. A popular type of moisture-wicking fabric is polyester, which absorbs only 0.4% of its weight in water.
3.) Change Your Shoes
When was the last time you bought a new pair of running shoes? Statistics show that a typical pair of running shoes will last 300 to 500 miles, after which they’ll lack the necessary support for safe, productive jogging.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to stretch a little more use out of your shoes, but if they are significantly worn, they won’t offer adequate support when jogging. So, consider replacing your shoes once they’ve tallied about 300 to 500 miles.
4.) Breathe in Through the Nose, Out Through the Mouth
A good rule of thumb to follow when jogging is to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This helps to control your breathing, preventing hyperventilation and fatigue.
Far too many inexperienced joggers inhale and exhale through their mouth, only to discover this causes rapid fatigue. As you progress, you can experiment with different methods of breathing. However, most fitness experts agree that inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth is the best way to control your breathing when exercising.
5.) Wear Body Weights
If you want to take your jogging to the next level, consider wearing body weights. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, joggers who wore weight vests for ten weeks experienced 11% to 13% increased endurance compared to the joggers in the control group who didn’t wear weight vests.
Even if it’s just a few two- or three-pound weights, the extra weight forces your muscles to work overtime, thus burning more calories and building more muscle mass. Body weights can be worn on your arms, legs, or torso. Just remember to choose a style that’s comfortable and doesn’t interfere with your movements.
6.) Make Yourself Visible to Motorists
This isn’t going to improve your jogging performance and endurance, but it’s important nonetheless. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 4,000 pedestrians die from automobile accidents each year.
You can reduce your risk of being struck by a vehicle by wearing bright clothes with reflective strips. Additionally, consider jogging against the traffic instead of with it. By jogging against the traffic, you’ll see motorists as they approach, giving you the opportunity to take evasive action if they veer towards you. Some states, such as Texas, even have laws requiring joggers to go against the traffic.
8.) Track Your Progress
You can’t expect to get better at jogging without tracking your progress. Whenever you jog, make a note of your distance and time. You can track this information manually, or you can use a fitness tracking device. Either way, tracking your progress allows you to see the rate at which your jogging is improving.
Following these seven tips will set you on the path to becoming a better jogger. Most importantly, though, follow a jogging schedule and don’t give up. As long as you’re consistent and stay with it, you’ll continue to improve your jogging abilities.