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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Beginner's Guide For Jogging

If you’ve recently made up your mind with regards to taking up jogging as your work out of choice for burning calories (find out how many calories you can burn through jogging here.), it’s important that you prepare yourself with the right knowledge about this workout to ensure maximum output, convenience and less mistakes. Here are some pointers which you might find helpful in getting you geared up for this work out.

Warm Ups And Stretching Are The Key To Avoiding Injuries
It may not be a good idea to do any stretching exercises before you start jogging because your muscles will be cold and it can cause an injury when you pull at them, but what’s required is that you do a warm up activity at least for 5 minutes before you actually start jogging. Once you are done with jogging its pertinent that you spend at least 5 minutes stretching your body to ensure that you don’t cramp up..
The best warm up activity prior to jogging is brisk walking. Spend 5 minutes walking through the terrain at a brisk pace breathing deeply to get your lungs ready for the work out and getting your muscles warmed up for the activity.

The Right Form To Follow
There are a few contentions on what’s the right way to land your foot while jogging. In my personal experience, and through the observation of many long time joggers, I believe that it’s best to take shorter strides allowing your feet to land on the ‘middle’ portion of the sole moving to transferring weight onto the heel and finally the toe region.

 Some people, while jogging, take longer strides and land directly on the heel region, which can create more ‘impact’ because of lesser area of contact leading to a higher chance of injury and this movement also causes a braking effect in your stride causing more wear and tear not only to your shoe but to the muscles in your feet region.
Keep your body upright, without tensing up, while running and look straight ahead instead of bending down. Don’t stoop your shoulders, or your upper & lower back, as it causes more strain on your neck. Keep your arms relaxed, without clenching your fists, and allow for a smooth movement that goes in tune with your strides.

Breathing Style For Jogging
The right way to breathe is mostly what feels comfortable to you at your pace. Some say that it’s best to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, but it’s very difficult to keep this going at a higher pace or higher mileage – your body soon needs a high intake of air and your nose is not capable to delivering such a high dosage, so at higher paces it’s best to breathe in with your nose and mouth in combination to allow for a maximum intake of oxygen.

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Increasing Your Mileage, And Intensity
The first two or three weeks are for your body to adapt to the practice of jogging. During this time, just focus on getting your form right and getting your body acquainted. You can do a mile, or a mile and half, initially, for the first two weeks, while you get used to this work out. From the third or fourth week onwards you can start incrementing a mile every week or half a mile increment every 3 days.

Another aspect is to increase your intensity in the form of short sprints. A sprint, of high intensity, for one minute, would burn 50-60% more calories than a jog at a brisk pace for the same time. So by the fourth week, make sure you incorporate at least three or four segments of high intensity sprints, for one minute, in between your jogging span. You can increase the pace of your sprint as your body adapt to it, in a couple of weeks.

What Should You Wear For Jogging?

A good pair of ‘light weight’ running shoes is a must, so that you don’t injure your feet during this high impact workout. A low quality running shoe can give you a shoe bite and also create an internal injury owing to improper cushioning.

Women should invest in a good quality sports bra, as a mandatory requirement, to avoid injury to their back, while also ensuring a comfortable run. It also helps to wear some sports vest or trousers made explicitly to improve your running experience with synthetic fabric that wicks the sweat off your skin. In case you don’t feel like expending money on these accessories, just wear clothes that feel comfortable to you – like t-shirt and shorts or jogging tracks. 

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Should I Eat Or Drink Before I Jog?
If you are jogging in the morning, just have a few ounces of water 30-45 minutes before the jog. Most people don’t feel hungry when they wake up, but if you do feel hungry you can have a light snack of fruits or fruit juice, an hour before jogging. It’s quite uncomfortable to jog with food digesting in your stomach, but since fruits usually just take 15 – 20 minutes to move out of the stomach they are the best food option prior to a jog.

Once you start running for more than 20 minutes, it’s best to have some water on the go. Carry a 500 ml plastic water bottle with you, and drink up a few ounces of water after the 20 minute interval. 

Take A Break One Day A Week
It’s suggested that you take a day off from your jogging routine once a week, basically jogging for 6 days a week. Initially you may even want to take two or three days off to allow your body to adapt to the rigor. It’s very important to allow the body to recuperate from the strain, and build strength in its bones and muscles, and a day or two off every week helps do that effectively. 

 Happy jogging! 

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Edited By Cen Fox Post Team

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