Jogging For Fitness

Jogging is a form of trotting or running at a slow or leisurely pace with the goal of an increase level of fitness rather than competition or racing.

Dr. George Sheehan, a running expert, has been quoted as saying,"the difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank for competition."

Others are usually more specific and define the difference as running slower than 6 mph (10 minute/mile pace).

It is a "high-impact" exercise that places strain on the body, notably the joint of the knees. As a result, some people choose to take up "lower-impact" exercises such as stair climbing, swimming, cycling or walking.


Like other types of aerobic exercise it is an excellent means of improving cardiovascular health, bone density and physical fitness.

The American College of Sports Medicine's "Position Statement on Exercise" is full of studies showing the benefits of vigorous exercise and moderate exercise as well.

The ACSM report states the "many significant health benefits achieved by going from a sedentary state to a minimal level of physical activity, as well as the additional benefits involving higher intensities and/or greater frequency/durations.


Numerous fitness benefits can be obtained, such as;

  • Cardiorespiratory fitness (aerobic fitness or "cardio") is the ability of your heart to pump stronger and more efficiently and your muscles to use oxygen more efficiently.
  • As you get more aerobically fit, your heart will pump more blood and oxygen with each beat and your muscles will extract (or consume) more oxygen.
  • An increase in the activity of enzymes and hormones that stimulate the muscles and the heart to work more efficiently will occur.
  • Decrease risk of heart disease, decreased body fat, increased bone strength, and improved leg and back muscle endurance.


There are several keys to getting a running program started but the simple thing to do is to get out there and start.

Pace yourself, slow down if you get out of breath, and keep moving. You will gradually be able to add duration and intensity as you become accustomed to the new exercise program.

Here are some simple steps to getting started:

  • Set a goal for the amount of time you plan to jog. Keep the goal realistic for your level of fitness. Try an interval method of walking and running, if you get winded until you can jog the whole time or distance.
  • Wear appropriate footwear (running shoes) and any other safety equipment like reflective safety vest for running in low light conditions.
  • Always warm-up with a brisk walk for five minutes,then stretch your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and low back muscles to begin your workout.
  • At the end of your exercise session cool-down with a brisk walk for five minutes and repeat the above stretching.
  • Be sure to breath regularly throughout the exercise session and drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after.
  • As you jog be sure to keep your back straight, your abdominal tight, and "pump" your arms back and forth.
  • Always take into consideration duration (time or distance), frequency (how often), and intensity (how vigorous) of a program and find what is right for you and your goals.
  • For beginners (who are in moderate or better shape), jog no more than four days per week with a day of rest between workouts to allow for adequate recovery of the weight-bearing joints, ligaments, and tendons. Each exercise session should last no more than 20-30 minutes for the first 4-6 weeks.
  • Increase the duration (time spent each session) before you increase the intensity. In other words, when beginning a program, be more concerned with increasing the number of minutes of the exercise session before you increase the intensity, by increasing your speed or running on hilly terrain.
  • Jogging can be an excellent aerobic conditioning exercise while still being pleasurable. Remember: if this type of exercise, or any other exercise, is new to you start off slow with short sessions and build your way up gradually. If you have any health concerns or medical conditions be sure to check with your doctor for advice before you begin a program.

Jogging is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and is also popular because of its simplicity, adaptability to busy schedules, and the numerous benefits achieved from a sound program. But remember; it doesn't matter whether you walk or run during weight-loss efforts because you'll lose weight as long as you reduce your calories enough to burn more than you are consuming, no matter how much, or what type of exercise you do.

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