Regularly jogging can help you lose weight, improve your heart health and immune system, reduce insulin resistance, cope with stress and depression, and maintain flexibility as you age. You can jog almost anywhere and just about any time you want, making it very convenient to do. This is why there are so many people who do it.
The trouble that most people have in the beginning is not knowing how to get started properly and they usually end up doing it wrong. This has prompted scores of people to quit doing it before it has had enough time to do them any good.
Let’s take a look at some things that may make it a little easier to get started on a jogging routine without running yourself into the ground.
The first and probably the most common mistake people make when starting a jogging routine is that they start out too fast. They go out and pace themselves much to fast and end up huffing and puffing out of breath after 5 or 10 minutes. This is an instant recipe for failure and many people quit within a few days.
Some people who are a little more resilient may keep going for a while thinking that if they just stay with it long enough, it will start to get easier. Usually what happens is it gets harder because even though they might be getting in better condition, they continue to push harder along the way so it seems that there is no progress.
When you are about to set out on a jogging routine, the best thing you can do is buy a heart rate monitor before you ever jog your first step. With one of these, you can set up a pace that is comfortable for you and you can keep within that level throughout your jog. This means that you will not have to “guess” about the pace and you will not have to feel like your lungs are on fire when you are finished.
The key here is to always jog between 50% and 70% of your maximal heart rate. This is easy to do with a heart rate monitor because you can keep a close check on your heart rate as you go. You can speed your pace up if it goes a little low, and slow down if it goes a little high. You can even slow to a walking pace if your heart rate goes too high, and resume a jogging pace once it goes below 50%.
The way for you to know where your heart rate should be to be between 50% and 70% is by using this formula:
Subtract your age from 220. This will be your maximal heart rate. Now, simply multiply this by .50 and .70 and that will give you your targeted heart zone. Below is an example of this formula.
Say you are age 40
-220 minus 40 equals 180
-180 times .50 equals 90
-180 times .70 equals 126
By looking at this example, you can see that if you are 40 years old, you would keep your heart rate between 90 and 126 while doing your jog.
The fact is, you do not need to go fast to get benefits from jogging, it is how long you are moving that counts. It is more beneficial to cover a mile in say, 15 minutes than to cover it in 7 minutes and then be exhausted.
- Stretch and exercise to prepare yourself
- Rest on your off days – don’t overdo yourself
- Consider taking regular walk-breaks
If you stay within the limits of your heart rate capabilities, you will begin to add more time and miles to your jog as you go and jogging will become something you look forward to instead of something you dread doing.