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Rules of Jogging
As a beginner jogger, you have a lot to learn to go from a hobbyist novice to a seasoned runner. Whether you jog to train for an event such as a marathon or you simply run for fitness, you can increase your speed, endurance and safety by following simple jogging rules that apply to beginners and vets alike. By taking precautions and preparing for your jogs carefully, you'll not only have an enjoyable time, you'll get the most out of your daily fitness runs.
Safety should be one of your first priorities when you jog. While jogging from the safety of a treadmill may shield you from the elements, it can be boring. If you choose to jog outside, protect yourself from cars, strangers and the elements. Dress appropriately for the weather in layers that can be removed should you become overheated. If possible, jog in the daylight so you're clearly visible by cars. If you must jog at night, stick to the sidewalks and wear reflective tape so you're easily seen. When possible, stay on the sidewalk and obey all traffic signs and lights for your safety. Always tell someone where you're going and when you should be back and carry a cell phone with you.
Get the Gear
If you're serious about making jogging your central form of physical activity, you must have the proper gear to make running more comfortable and effective. You'll want running shoes instead of cross-trainers. A cross-trainer shoe functions well for activities that require a lot of side-to-side movement; but for jogging you'll want a pair of well-fitting runners with cushioning and a flexible sole. A store that specializes in running shoes can help fit you for a supportive pair.
Take Your Time
There's no rush to becoming a seasoned jogger. If you push your body too hard at first, jogging may become a painful and negative experience for you. By starting well in advance of any event you'd like to jog in, you'll have ample time to train your body for strength and endurance. Listen to your body and stop if you can't catch your breath easily or you have sore feet, shins, knees or hips. By taking the process of building your endurance slowly, jogging will be a healthier, more positive and more rewarding experience.
When you exert your body, it's human nature to hold your breath for more power. But holding your breath, or at the other end of the spectrum --hyperventilating -- can reduce your endurance while jogging. Adopt a breathing rhythm that will enhance your endurance. Use your foot strikes to help you maintain the rhythm. Inhale as your foot strikes: left, right, left. Exhale as you strike: right, left. To perfect this technique, try it while running slowly at first.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.