Running can be a grueling experience. I detested it for most part of my life. It slowly grows on you and only some manage to give it a whole-hearted embrace. Unfortunately, most around us give up, for the lack of stamina and enthusiasm. Inarguably, running is one of the easiest ways to remain fit and burn extra calories, but you cannot expect to complete a 5k run with ease on your very first day.
I believe running and jogging go hand in hand. From long distance athletes to sprinters, all rely on jogging either for the purpose of warming up or to loosen up the muscles. Jogging can aptly be termed as your gateway to running. When done over a period of time, it builds up your stamina significantly, prepping you for sprints or marathons.
"Jogging has many health benefits. For those who are not accustomed to rigorous exercise, jogging comes handy. It is an imperative exercise for one and all. You jog in order to warm up before a major run and you jog to cool yourself down as well," says Coach Ravinder, running enthusiast and coach; team member, Run with Me Foundation.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology correlates low mortality rate with consistent jogging. "As part of the Copenhagen City Heart Study, 1,098 healthy joggers and 3,950 healthy non-joggers have been prospectively followed up since 2001. The findings suggest a U-shaped association between all-cause mortality and dose of jogging as calibrated by pace, quantity, and frequency of jogging. Light and moderate joggers have lower mortality than sedentary non-joggers, whereas strenuous joggers have a mortality rate not statistically different from that of the sedentary group," an excerpt from the study, published by Elsevier Inc.
Jogging Versus Running
Most fitness experts define jogging as an activity done at a pace of 6 mph or lesser, anything beyond that would qualify as running. Apart from slower pace, many other factors come in to differentiate jogging from running.
While jogging our feet's contact with the ground is the maximum whereas when we run, it involves minimum contact between the feet and ground. "This is exactly why jogging is more weight-bearing when compared to fast pace running. You develop more muscles and burn more calories from sprinting but jogging gives you that endurance, builds up your stamina and gradually preps your muscles for faster and longer runs," notes Coach Ravinder.
Jogging isn't harsh on your body. This low intensity exercise can be taken up by all, and could be an effective tool for weight loss. If your goal is to maintain your weight and stay in shape, jogging can be your best bet, but if your diet is unhealthy, all will go to a waste and you may never end up seeing any results.
"Jogging is one of the great ways to start your fitness regime. Just 30 minutes of jogging can do so much for your body. You can even start by a light 15-20 minute jog and gradually increase the pace or the duration. After two to three weeks you are prepped to take up your first run. Begin with half a kilometer and play around with your pace, distance or the duration. All in all, it has to be progressive, consistent and teamed with a balanced diet," says Shwetambari Shetty, Nike Elevated Trainer, India and Co-founder, The Tribe Fitness Club, Bangalore.
Benefits of Jogging
1. Improves blood flow in the body
2. Good for cardiovascular health
3. Helps in keeping a check on cholesterol (when done regularly and coupled with balanced diet)
4. Good for bone health
5. Helps in weight loss and weight management
6. Helps build stamina and endurance
7. Prepares you for more intense and vigorous activities
8. Strengthens muscles
9. Helps in relieving stress
10. Enhances lung capacity and the process of respiration
Things to Keep in Mind
As discussed earlier, jogging is harder on your soles, which makes it imperative to jog on softer track, preferably mud tracks. Avoid concrete tracks completely. 30 minutes of jogging on treadmill is fine, not beyond that. Jogging builds up your stamina and helps with your endurance level, if you seek better results keep a watch on your diet and aim to increase your distance by 10% every week. As you jog for longer distances you can even start increasing your pace.