If you know my weight loss success story from a decade ago, you will know that jogging played a big part in it. I jogged relentlessly every single day until I shed all the excess weight. After that I needed to tone it down due to knee troubles – but I still jog from time to time. As such, this article is a bit of a tribute to it.
Jogging brings about the same benefits as many other exercises. Briefly, here are some of them: Jogging makes the heart stronger. It increases the capacity of the blood circulation and of the respiratory system. It counteracts depression. It increases the capacity to work and lead an active life. Jogging makes you burn fat and thereby helps against being over-weight. Jogging will strengthens the muscles of your legs, hips and back. Jogging makes you sleep better. The list goes on and on.
Jogging gives you physical and mental joy, provided you do not exhaust yourself. Of course, this is not a standard rule, but frequent joggers will attest to it. When jogging is done correctly, you will actually feel less tired when you finish the jog. You get nice feelings in your muscles during the jogging and after that.
Frequent joggers will say that while jogging, you will feel the wind blowing around your body. You will hear the birds singing, the music of running water in the streams, or the sound of waves dashing towards the seashore. During the jog you will also get a euphoric mental feeling after some time. In fact, this is also known as the “runner’s high”, which is the natural dopamine hit in your brain.
Before you jog, you need to be kitted properly. The type of clothes you wear must be suited to the weather conditions. In warm weather, shorts and a t-shirt is enough. In colder weather you must add more layers of clothes. You should use light and soft clothes without any sharp sutures, hard edges or massive folds. They should not make you feel so tight that your movements are hindered.
The clothes should give good ventilation for moisture and sweat and perspiration through the fabric. The fabric should ideally hold water totally out from the outside, but this requirement is difficult to achieve together with the requirement of good ventilation. While there are requirements for shirts and shorts, there are also requirements for shoes.
You should use fairly soft shoes, but with a good shape fitting the anatomical shape of your feet. The soles should easily bend during the normal movements of your feet, but support well against the ground. The underside of the sole should give friction against any type of grounds, so that you do not slide during jogging. The soles should buffer well against each impact from the ground.
What if you haven’t jogged before? Well, start with walking first and then incorporate a light jog to it. You should move slowly and easily until you warm up your muscles. Then you gradually increase your pace and speed. Of course, this is something that will only improve with time. There are no two ways about it.
It is advisable to stretch out both before and after each jogging session. This should not be restricted to the muscles in your feet, but your whole body. Do things like these: Bend forward and touch your toes. Kneel down on one of your feet, and stretch the other out backwards. Bend your body to both sides. Stretch out an arm, grab something, and turn your body round so that your arm is bent backwards. Place your hands behind your neck and twist your body to left and right, also bend to each side.
Another thing – eat some time before you jog. I’m thinking along the lines of 45 minutes to an hour. You should not be too hungry before jogging, but it is not advisable to jog straight after a big meal. You might get painful abdominal stitches if you do. There we go. For more information on jogging, grab a copy of the Lifelong Fitness Blueprint, which is also part of the Granite Fitness Masterclass.
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