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With proper training and dedication, jogging does get easier.
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On a mission to improve your fitness level, you decide to start jogging. Halfway through your first jog, however, you find yourself out of breath, sore and exhausted. You think to yourself: this must get easier, right? If you start slowly and stay dedicated, you will find that jogging not only gets easier over time, but also offers an effective and enjoyable cardiovascular workout.
Ease Into Jogging
One of the biggest mistakes new joggers make is to do too much too soon. By trying to endure the workout of a seasoned runner, rather than increasing your pace and distance over the course of several workouts, you risk getting injured and are more likely to give up. Instead, try a training plan that includes intervals of both walking and jogging, with an end goal of jogging continuously for at least 30 minutes. If you are completely new to exercise, U.K. heath website NHS Choices recommends walking first. Once you are able to easily complete 30 minutes of continuous walking, you are ready to begin incorporating a few jogging intervals into each workout.
For jogging to get easier over time, you must be consistent. Because this is a challenge for many busy adults, Road Runners Club of America recommends scheduling your workouts in your planner or appointment book like you would any other commitment. Try to jog at least twice a week when you are starting out, and encourage a friend to also give jogging a try. Jogging with a partner is more enjoyable, and you will be more likely to complete your scheduled workouts if you have someone holding you accountable.
Nothing impacts a jogging program more than injury. Common injuries affecting runners and joggers include stress fractures; shin splints; and calf, arch and Achilles tendon pain. To help prevent injury, the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends that you warm up with 10 minutes of walking, and then perform five to 10 minutes of stretching before each jog. Plan to perform a 10-minute cool-down and stretch at the end of your workout as well. Select lightweight athletic shoes that support your ankles and arches. If you are unsure of what type of shoe to buy, visit a shoe store that specializes in athletic shoes.
Tips to Remember
Jogging isn't for everyone, so you should check with your doctor before you begin a jogging regimen. If you have arthritis or a history of heart disease or joint injury, your doctor may recommend walking instead. Also, emphasize safety, especially when running outdoors. Do not run in high-traffic areas, and keep in mind that running on a track or dirt surface is easier on your joints than running on concrete. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workouts, and take your jogs indoors during hot summer months to prevent overheating.