Jogging For Beginners

Tips on Jogging for Beginners

In the health conscious society in which we live, many people attempt to become more fit by jogging.  For beginners, knowing the proper techniques for the sport can help to prevent injury and reap the utmost of health benefits from it.

Running and jogging can be highly beneficial for heart health and lung function, as well as a useful activity for losing weight.  However, if the activity is performed incorrectly, more damage than good can be done to various parts of the body.  Some of the conditions that could be experienced are shin splints, fallen arches on the foot, back ailments and leg problems.  The continuous jarring motion can irritate the bladder and kidney, resulting in bloody urine.  Although these issues may sound daunting and discouraging, they can be avoided by following some simple tips on perfecting your jogging technique.

Tip #1:  Get a physical exam

Before beginning any exercise regimen, an individual needs to ensure that they are in the proper condition to do so.  Having a physical exam performed will give this assurance, especially if you are obese, over the age of 40, suffer from heart or breathing problems or have never participated in an exercise program of any sort. 

Tip #2:  Start slowly

The biggest mistake that many beginners make is to jump headlong into a full jogging routine.  Pushing the body too hard too quickly generally results in injury, and will certainly place undue stress on joints, bones and muscles.  It is best to begin by alternating walking and jogging, increasing the time spent jogging and reducing the time spent walking over a period of time.  The first week could begin with 20 minutes per day for 3 non-consecutive days.  The in between days should allow time for the muscles to rest, although light weight training can be performed on those days to tone muscles. 

Tip #3:  Stretching

To prepare the body for the ordeal of jogging, it is important to stretch the muscles to warm them before beginning to run.  When muscles are “cold” before jogging, for beginners especially it is like trying to make your car go from 0 to 80 mph instantly.  By simply warming up for about 10 minutes through stretching and a low intensity walk, pain and injury can be avoided.  It also increases the heart rate slowly.

Tip #4:  Incorporate a healthy diet

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that not only does a healthy and balanced diet help people to lose weight, but that it also helps our bodies to perform better during physical activity.  When provided with the proper nutrients, fluids, proteins and vitamins, the bone and muscle structures will be in top condition for conditioning.  This type of diet also has benefits on an individual’s mental state; while fatty junk foods can create a foggy state of mind, healthy foods lend to clearer thinking and a more positive outlook.

Tip #5:  Set and stick to a goal

Setting goals is helpful in all aspects of life, including a jogging routine.  Whether jogging for weight loss, fitness or for the fun of it, setting clear and reachable goals will help individuals to stay focused.  Do not allow small setbacks or stubborn weight plateaus to discourage you; instead, let every day set a new benchmark for you to achieve.

Following these guidelines can help any beginner jogger get their exercise regimen on track.  You may be surprised at how satisfying the sport can be when it is properly done so as to promote good results and not early failure and disappointment.  Reaping the benefits of weight loss, fitness and feelings of self confidence will be worth the work.