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Jogging provides your body with many benefits.
David De Lossy/Valueline/Getty Images
Your body benefits from jogging in many ways. Because it is a fairly simple aerobic activity that strengthens your heart and lungs, it is often recommended as part of a fitness regimen. Jogging also tones muscles, strengthens bones and increases the number of calories your body uses, both before and after you jog.
Among the benefits of jogging is increased calorie consumption. Jogging one mile burns about 150 calories, and even after you finish, increased calorie consumption continues for 48 hours afterward. Regular aerobic activity such as jogging can help in controlling weight, increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing levels of unhealthy fats and cholesterol. This not only helps you stay in shape but also helps prevent many serious health conditions related to being overweight, such as Type 2 diabetes.
Jogging also strengthens your lungs, heart and blood vessel walls, boosting oxygen uptake, improving cardiac function and increasing your physical endurance and energy. The more freely blood can flow through your blood vessels, the less likely you are to develop high blood pressure and clotting problems. This, in turn, helps prevent common heart-related conditions such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks and stroke. People who jog regularly may also sleep better and have greater libido.
Muscle Tone and Bone Density
Your heart is not the only muscle that gets a workout from jogging. TheВ hamstring muscles in back of your thighs, quadriceps in front of your thighs, hip flexors, gluteal muscles in your hips, calf muscles, abdominal and back muscles, and to a lesser extent, your arms and upper body also benefit. In addition, a high-impact exercise such as jogging increases bone density, which is of particular interest for postmenopausal women, who typically suffer bone loss when their estrogen levels decrease.
Longer Life Expectancy
The many benefits of regular jogging may lead to an increase in the life expectancy of men by 6.2 years and women by 5.6 years, according to the Copenhagen City Heart study, begun in 1976. Peter Schnohr, chief cardiologist of the study, said their most recent analysis shows that one to 2 1/2 hours of jogging at a "slow or average" pace per week appears most likely to boost life expectancy. The researchers compared the mortality of 1,116 male joggers and 762 female joggers with non-joggers. People who jog moderately benefit more, compared with those who do not jog and those who jog much more. But those who live in warmer regions such as Texas should either avoid the hottest times of the day in summer or run inside.