Why do only joggers, jog?
It is a question that has been playing around my mind for a while now. I rarely see people pounding the pavement anymore, even the treadmills in gyms are either taken up with people ramping the incline up as far as it will go and hanging on for dear life or sprinting with maximum intensity for short bursts of time. Let me say that I completely advocate high intensity interval training (HIIT) or sprint interval training (SIT), which is what the people sprinting hell for leather are doing. It is a type of training I do myself and ask some of my athletes to do. However, the reason they (and I) do it is down to specific training goals, not because it is the new “in trend” way of training. Again, I am not saying one training style is better than another, variety is always better than a specific training type, even if you are training for a specific event, competition or goal. Let me put forward four reasons you should include jogging (or running) in your current training plan:
Running burns calories!
It burns a lot of calories. In fact, it is second only to cross country skiing in calories burnt per minute and who the heck can go cross country skiing whenever they feel like it!? Burning calories along with an eating plan which keeps you in a calorie deficit is crucial for weight loss. So, if jogging is a great way of burning calories then why not include it! Try one run a week to start with and see how you feel.
It can give you a sense of achievement
Running can make you feel amazing, setting a goal of how far/fast you are going to run in a session and then beating it is a great feeling and it will instantly show you how much fitter you are getting. Looking back and seeing that when you first started you could only run 500m before stopping and now it is 1km will make you feel awesome, I promise!
Believe it or not, it is good for your joints
We are made to run, it is a natural human movement that does not need to be taught, it is a progression from walking and something we are good at. Providing you are wearing good supportive trainers (tailored to your gait ideally) you will strengthen your joints. The repetition of your feet striking the floor will increase fluid around the knee joints and help keep them mobile and strong. Alongside this, weight bearing exercises (such as running) have been shown to decrease the risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. I must mention though, if you currently suffer with any bone degenerative diseases or are obese then running is probably not the best thing for you right now or to start with. Check with your doctor before undertaking any running programme if you are not sure.
Finally, it can improve your health and mental health
Studies show a link between regular running sessions and an increase in good cholesterol, as well as an improved lung function, a reduction in blood clots and a healthy immune system. Regular runners will often speak of a “runners high”, this is a natural rush of endorphins that can make you feel amazing.
I guarantee that after a run or a jog you will look back, feeling very sweaty, tired but smiling. Get yourself out there, enjoy the fresh air and start achieving!