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Healthy Habit: Jogging for Fitness

Start A New Fitness Plan With These Practical Tips

The health benefits of running and jogging are well known and well documented. As well as the obvious calorie burning, jogging can help reduce your blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease (and other illnesses) as well as improving muscle tone and bone density. More importantly, taking a valuable 30 minutes to yourself to get away from work/life is incredibly valuable in today’s fast paced world – a fact that shouldn’t be underrated.

We all know the benefits, but how can you actually start a new jogging regime and more importantly, how can you make sure that you stick to it? Follow these practical tips to make sure that you get your jogging career off to a flying start.

Invest in The Correct Kit

Although jogging provides lots of physical and mental health benefits, unfortunately there are some potential downsides as well. Jogging can place undue stress on your body as the continual pounding of pavements causes vibrations that pass through your feet and into your venerable joints and tendons. Although the risk of injury is small, investing in the correct running shoes for you is essential.

If you are new to running then the best thing to do is to find a local specialist running shop and book a fitting. The staff members are likely to watch you running on a treadmill for a few minutes to see what kind of running shoes you need before giving you a few pairs to try out. You don’t have to pay the earth for a good pair of shoes but make sure that you buy a specialist running pair and not just some casual trainers as the cushioning and support in a specialist pair of shoes are your best line of defense against impact related injuries.

Take Your Time

Your first few weeks of jogging are the most dangerous when it comes to injuries. Your initial enthusiasm (and all that lovely new kit) means that you will want to push yourself every time you head out for a jog. Although pushing limits is part of any new fitness regime, you really need to slow things down, at least during the first few weeks as you need to give your body time to adapt to the new stress that you are placing it under.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to any endurance sport training plan is not to increase your total mileage by more than 10% in a week. If you feel comfortable jogging/walking a few kilometers a few times a week then by all means increase your distances by more than 10% but you will soon quickly find your limits. At this point don’t try to increase your mileage by more than 10%. It is also a good idea to reduce your total mileage by a third every few weeks as this means that your muscles, tendons and joints have even more time to rebuild and recover.

Join A Jogging Club

Although jogging and running clubs may appear to be full of fitness freaks, they really aren’t. Ok so you do find a few really good runners in every club but most people there attend because running with a group of friends is much more fun. Not only will you meet lots of like-minded people but you can also benefit from the experience of others. They can teach you the proper jogging technique as well as offering tips on injury prevention and which kit to buy. Also you are much less likely to bail on a run if you know that you are letting your friends down.

Author Bio: Ross Middleton is a keen runner and triathlete who currently lives in London. He is a member of several running and triathlon clubs and can usually be found running around London parks at weekends. If you would like to contact Ross then check out his Londn Triathlon blog here or leave a comment.
Posted in: FeaturedHealth & Fitness

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