Jogging – Health Benefits and How to Do it
Performing regular jogging gives better physical condition and other health benefits. Jogging also gives physical and mental pleasure.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF JOGGING
Jogging on a regular basis give a distinct good effect upon the general health, provided it is not over-done. The effects are: * Jogging makes the heart stronger. It increases the capacity of the blood circulation and of the respiratory system. * It speeds up the digestive system and helps you get rid of digestive trouble. * It counteracts depression. * It increases the capacity to work and lead an active life. * Jogging makes you burn fat and thereby helps against over-weight. * If you suffer from poor appetite, jogging will improve your appetite. * Jogging will strengthens the muscles of your legs, hips and back. However you will not get very big muscles from jogging. * Jogging makes you sleep better.
THE PLEASURE OF JOGGING
Jogging gives you physical and mental joy, provided you do not exhaust yourself. When jogging is done correctly, you will actually feel less tired when you have finished a tour than before you began. You get nice feelings in your muscles during the jogging and afterwards.
You will feel the wind blowing around your body. You will hear the birds singing, the music of running water in the streams, or the sound of waves dashing towards the seashore. During the jogging you will also get a euphoric mental feeling after some time.
CLOTHES AND SHOES
The type of clothes you were must be suited to the weather conditions. In warm weather, shorts and a t-shirt is enough. However, it may be useful to carry along an extra piece of clothe in a light back-pack if you run out on a long route, in case the weather aggravates. In colder weather you must add more layers of clothes. In either case, the requirements for the clothes are:
You should use light and soft clothes without any sharp sutures, hard edges or massive folds. They should sit fairly close to your body, but not so close that you feel squeezed, trapped, or so that your movements are hindered.
The clothes should give good ventilation for moisture and sweat and perspiration through the fabric. The fabric should ideally hold water totally out from the outside, but this requirement is difficult to achieve together with the requirement of good ventilation.
You should use fairly soft shoes, but with a good shape fitting the anatomical shape of your feet. The soles should easily bend during the normal movements of your feet, but support well against the ground. The underside of the sole should give friction against any type of grounds, so that you do not slide during jogging. The soles should buffer well against each impact from the ground.
JOGGING ROUTES AND SESSIONS
Jogging may be performed in a lot of ways * Long distance jogging 6-20 km in a moderate speed on even roads or paths. * Short distance jogging 3-6 km in a high speed. * Jogging upwards in a steep terrain 3-4 km, in a speed adjusted to the steepness * Jogging in a hilly terrain with paths going both up an down 4-8 km
It is advisable to vary the type of jogging from day to day. Then the jogging gets funnier and you get a variable type of training.
HOW TO PERFORM A JOGGING SESSION
You should move slowly with little efforts the first few hundred meters to warm up your muscles. Then you gradually increase your muscular work and speed. When you have done half the route, you can take a speedy spurt using most of your capacity. If the route is long enough, you can take two or three spurts using nearly full capacity.The last hundred meters you gradually slow down again.
STRETCHING YOUR BODY BEFORE AND AFTER EACH SESSION
It is advisable to stretch out both before and after each jogging session, and not only the muscles in your feet, but your whole body 2 minutes before and 3-4 minutes after the session. When stretching out do the following movements: * Bend forward and touch your toes. * Kneel down on one of your feet, and stretch the other out backwards. * Bend your body to both sides. * Stretch out an arm, grab something, and turn your body round so that your arm is bent backwards. * Shoot your abdomen foreword, so that your spinal column is stretched into a bow. * Place your hands behind your neck and stretch your arms backwards. Then twist your body to left and right, also bend to each side.
After the jogging it is sometimes best to wait for some minutes before you stretch out, so that the worst tiredness has gone away first.
WHEN AND HOW OFTEN
If jogging is the only sport activity done, a jogging session every second day is ideal. This is enough to give all the health benefits and increase your condition and endurance gradually, but without wearing yourself out. If you combine jogging by other types of sport activities, 2 times a week may be enough. You should not be too hungry before jogging, but it is not advisable to take a jogging session straight after a big meal. The time of the day does not matter, but your jogging should not be the first thing you do in the morning.
HOW TO BEGIN
If you are not accustomed to physical activity before you start jogging, it is advisable to consult a doctor before you start. You may have health issues that is not compatible with jogging activities, or that you must consider when doing your jogging.
The first times, you should only jog on plain ground and only for 10 minutes. Then you can increase the time, distance and speed, and choose steeper and more difficult paths.