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Jogging is an effective, cost efficient and time efficient workout. The Mayo Clinic reports that a 155-pound person can burn 606 calories an hour jogging 5 mph. Jogging also challenges your cardiovascular system and can help prevent heart disease. Beginning a jogging routine might seem daunting, but with patience and a few simple tips, you can become a safe, efficient runner.
Before You Begin
Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen. If you have heart issues or injuries, especially in your joints, knees or feet, jogging might aggravate those issues. Choosing the right footwear is crucial for running. Speak to a sneaker specialist or visit a store that specializes in running to be properly fitted with a shoe based on your foot arch and gait. Choose a lightweight shoe with a cushioned sole and make sure to change your running shoes every 500 miles as they will begin to lose their ability to absorb shock.
From Walking To Running
The American Council on Exercise recommends a multi-week, gradual training program to take you from walking to running. Begin the first week with 20 minutes of walking, gradually increasing your pace. After a few brisk walks, you can introduce short jogging intervals to your routine. Begin by introducing 30- to 45-second jogs, followed by five-minute walks. Over the course of the next 10 weeks, you can increase your jogging intervals and decrease your walking periods until you are eventually jogging for the total duration of your run. You also gradually can increase the length of your run. Follow your program three times a week to allow your body to recover after each run. Your progression will depend on your fitness level and goals.
Always begin your jogs with a warm-up and end with a cool down, regardless of their length and intensity. For jogging, a moderate to brisk walk can be used for both the warm-up and cool down. While jogging, make sure your heel touches the ground first, followed by the ball of your foot and then push off with the front of your foot. Position your elbows at a 90-degree angle at your sides and keep your hands relaxed. Avoid twisting your upper body or moving your arms across your body. Lean your body slightly forward from your ankles and keep your head level.
Stretching before and after your jog can help prevent or reduce injuries and increase your running efficiency but if done incorrectly, it can also cause damage. Perform your pre-jog stretch after your warm up and before your actual jog. At this point, your muscles will be warm and will stretch more easily. Repeat the stretches once you have finished your jog to reduce muscle soreness. In both instances, stretch your muscles slowly and gradually, and avoid bouncing, which can tear the muscle. Stretch until you feel tightness in the muscle and hold the position for 30 to 40 seconds. Choose a series of stretches that focus on all your muscle groups. Incorporate stretches for your lower body, including your hamstrings, quadriceps calves, shins and groin, but don't forget your upper body, including your chest and back, which can tense up after a long jog.
According to the American Academy of Physicians, 70 percent of runners develop injuries every year. Many of these injuries can be prevented by taking the right precautions. To avoid overuse injuries, do not increase your running mileage by more than 10 percent every week and do not repeat extensive jogs on consecutive days. Also, avoid running on slanted or uneven surfaces, which can cause ankle sprains. Stop jogging if you experience pain. Ice and rest the area for two to three days before trying to run again and if pain continues, see your doctor.