what you need to know
You will find that Jogging is a love it or hate it type of activity. The facts are, and you know them, that millions of people all around the world Jog for fitness and the challenge. But it’s not for everyone or we’d all be doing it.
HOW ABOUT WE LOOK AT SOME IMPORTANT POINTS.
Is it good for you?
What should you have?
Where do you begin?
IS IT GOOD FOR YOU?
Asking “Is it good for you?” is a pretty open question and there are two sides to every story. It’s obviously more strenuous than walking but is it more beneficial? Jogging places your body under much greater stresses than walking, as many times your normal body weight is continually applied to your lower limbs and joints. You see that this is a double edge sword, as one of the benefits are a development of greater bone density from the workload, but is this offset by the greater stresses that are placed on your joints?
The answer to this lies in utilizing the correct technique.
You should keep in mind that jogging is similar to any other activity, there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it. When the right technique is applied and your posture is correct, your using a comfortable and efficient stride length, you have a relaxed arm movement that doesn’t waste your energy and when you don’t apply a demanding foot strike and you have the ability to flow through your foot from your heels to your toes. Your jogging will seem effortless and satisfying.
But done incorrectly you could leave yourself open to developing chronic back, hip and joint pain or injury, suffer from shin splints and over exert yourself. I would recommend that, unless you are accustom to jogging, to start out slowly with correct fitting quality jogging gear and commence on a softer surface like grass, bearing in mind that you need to be careful of any small holes or ground undulations.
WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR EFFECTIVE & SAFE JOGGING?
Like anything in life, “The job is always easier when you have the right tools”.
Therefore because of the great amount of weight bearing that is stressed upon the lower limbs it is vitally important that you wear the best quality and best fitting running shoe that you can afford (not the most expensive or the shoe that catches your eye with flash colors and patterns). You should look for a shoe that offers good support and is indicative of your running style.
You see your foot might roll in or out when it strikes the ground or it could be neutral. Does your foot strike, hit the ground with your heel first or a more flat level style? Different people, jog differently.
This all equates to different forces acting upon different running styles. Your chosen shoe should cater for this and have adequate support in the areas that you need it most.
A great tip for you here is to take a look at an old pair of shoes, you know your favourites that you love to wear. Now turn them over and take a look at the sole and note where it is worn. This can give you a good idea of where your foot’s major pressure points are. With this knowledge you can pick a shoe that offers better support in these areas.
One other point on Shoes is that you will probably get what you pay for. Be sure that your shoe is made of quality materials that can be cleaned easily and the stitching in particular is strong, because I’ve seen to many high priced shoes fall apart before they have worn out.
When it comes to the correct clothing I would suggest to you that, for both genders, supportive under garments be worn to ensure comfort. Women in particular require supportive sports bras that are the correct fit. Over the top, I would say that loose fitting shirts and shorts are preferred and on the market today you will find a myriad of choices that offer comfort and moisture removal.
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WHERE DO YOU BEGIN?
You’ll find that jogging is an excellent form of Aerobic (cardio) training that offers great health benefits when done correctly. As I mentioned at the start Jogging is the type of activity that you either love or hate. If you don’t know if it’s right for you but would like to give it a try.
I suggest that you could start out slowly and gradually with a mix of Jogging and Fitness Walking at first, just a balance of both and build up your fitness level. Another option is to alternate your Jogging with another form of cardio exercise, let’s say Cycling for instance. You could alternate between your Jogging and Cycling to build your fitness and this is called “Cross Training”.
You might have a friend that also enjoys the challenge of Jogging, you could team up and get some great pointers and they would also benefit from your company (it’s great to train with a partner).
For those who love Jogging there’s no greater thrill than to be able to beat your personal best, even if that only means going over your favourite route and beating your best time or entering an event and weighing up your fitness against your jogging peers.
There can be no doubt jogging is a rewarding and outstanding form of Cardio-respiratory exercise that offers a greater intensity level over that of walking. You will train at a higher heart rate, you will develop a greater lung capacity and will strengthen and tone your muscles, especially the muscles from your gluteus region (buttocks) down to your toes.
It won’t take long for you to see if Jogging is right for you and who knows where it could take you.
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