20 Best Jogging Tips For Better Health And Fitness

Reviewed By Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Kristen Arnold, MS, RDN, CSSD
by Priyanka Sadhukhan , Nutritionist, CDE, Reviewer & Writer

Jogging is a popular physical activity that can keep you fit. Scientific evidence has confirmed that this low-impact slow run decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, depression, and anxiety (1), (2), (3). It also increases your stamina and productivity. Hence, unquestionably, starting to jog can be the best decision of your life.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of jogging and tips to do it perfectly without straining the knees.

Jogging Benefits

1. Helps In Weight Loss And Burns Calories

Jogging, walking, running, or any kind of aerobic exercise can aid weight loss.

In a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, students who jogged 4.8 km lost 9.4% more body fat than the control group (students who did not jog) (4).

Jogging (<10 minutes) can also help burn 180-266 calories, based on the bodyweight of the individual (5).

2. Improves Cardiovascular Health

Jogging is an excellent aerobic exercise that boosts heart health. Increased physical activity can help improve the cholesterol levels of overweight men and women.

In a 2002 study, people who jogged showed better cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels as compared to those who did not (6).

3. Improves Lung Health

Like other aerobic exercises, jogging helps in boosting lung capacity and strengthening respiratory muscular activities (7).

4. Improves Bone Strength

Jogging can help enhance bone health and prevent bone loss among postmenopausal women (8).

5. Helps Tone Muscles

Jogging helps tone the hamstring, calf, and gluteal muscles. Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, and running can help increase skeletal muscle mass and functional capacity (9).

6. Lowers Depression And Stress

Any form of exercise, either aerobic or anaerobic, can help reduce anxiety and depression (10).

Studies showed that aerobic exercise (like jogging) improved stress symptoms and quality of life (QOL) (11).

7. Improves Mental Health

Jogging can help in improving mental health. It can boost mood and help you feel better (12).

8. Boosts Stamina And Endurance

Aerobic exercises (like jogging) can help build strength, stamina, endurance, and flexibility (13).

9. Improves Flexibility Of Spine

Jogging can help hydrate your spine and exert less pressure on the spinal discs. One study showed that jogging for a longer time could help in better disc hydration (14).

10. Improves Insulin Action

Any kind of aerobic exercise improves insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism.

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, long-term mild jogging could help improve insulin action and increase insulin secretion rate by 87% (15).

11. Improves Mortality Rate

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that a slow or moderate pace of jogging three times a week could help lower the mortality rate (death rate) (16).

Now that you are aware of the many health benefits of jogging, follow the below-mentioned 20 jogging tips for beginners as well as pros.

20 Effective Jogging Tips

1. Warm-Up

Warm-up is important to elevate body temperature, metabolic rate, and oxygen uptake (17). It also helps prep the muscles for endurance training. You will be able to exercise more effectively without the risk of injuring yourself.

Your muscles undergo constant contraction and relaxation when you jog. If you don’t prep them, you can get muscle cramps and may not be able to walk or jog properly.

2. Set A Goal

Setting a goal can help you achieve the desired outcome. Plan your goal, break it down into small milestones, and keep track of your performance and achievements.

For example, set a goal that says, “I will jog 2 miles today, and by the end of the month, I should be able to jog 5 miles at a stretch.” This goal will keep you motivated and focused, and you will soon be able to run long distances without feeling weak or out of breath.

3. Wear Running Shoes

The next most important thing is to wear the right shoes. Shoes help protect your feet and bones from the impact of the thrust they experience when you jog.

Wear comfortable running or training shoes that can absorb shock. Talk to an orthopedic doctor if you need specially made orthopedic shoes for jogging.

4. Loosen Up

Loosen your body so that all the tension from your shoulders, neck, arms, legs, and feet is released. Stretching before exercise can help improve muscle flexibility and loosen the joints (18).

Stretching can help you jog for a long duration and prevents muscle cramps. Shake your hands and feet to loosen your body.

5. Push Your Chest Out

It is important to maintain good posture and balance while exercising. Improper posture and weak core muscles cause slumping and slouching and hamper proper balance. It may strain your pelvis, spine, muscles, tendons, which can cause fatigue (19).

Make sure your chest is out, and shoulders are rolled back to prevent spinal injuries and improve your posture.

6. Start Slowly

Start slowly by walking first. Increase your walking pace after 30 seconds. By the end of 60 seconds, you should be brisk walking. Start jogging at a slow pace.

This technique will prevent you from burning out quickly. You will be able to jog for long distances easily, which, in turn, will make you fitter and healthier quickly.

7. Land Softly

Stomping your feet will only injure your knees. Hence, it is important to land softly on the ground on the balls of your feet to dissipate the shock and not hit your knees directly.

8. Use Breathing Techniques

Deep breathing before exercising is important as it pumps enough oxygen into the cells and improves lung capacity (20). Deep inhalation-exhalation techniques and maintaining a continuous flow of breath are important to prevent muscle fatigue.

Count your steps and breathe in and out. For example, breathe in slowly through your nose for four steps and then exhale slowly through your nose for the next four steps. Also, when you are almost fatigued and feel like giving up, start breathing in through the nose and exhaling with force through your mouth.

9. Jog In Different Directions

Jogging in zig-zag and lateral motions and changing direction frequently will help train your leg muscles to be able to run on any kind of road or trail. You can run uphill and downhill, on rocky roads, or on race tracks.

This will also make sure that you are burning enough calories, and your brain-body coordination is at its best.

10. Talk To Yourself

The best way to build a strong willpower is to talk to yourself when you are jogging.

Keep motivating yourself by counting the steps and thinking about the benefits you will reap and the adrenaline rush you will get by covering your target distance.

11. Look For Landmarks

Looking for landmarks is another strategy to help you jog longer. Look for a tree, a milestone, calories you burn, or a building so that you can decide when to take rest or walk instead of running. After 10 seconds, start jogging again.

12. Time Your Steps

Timing your steps is an effective way to improve your jogging. Set your goal to jog for 30 steps before taking rest. Increase this number as you start becoming more comfortable with jogging every day.

13. Train In Intervals

Interval training is important to improve speed and increase stamina (21). Jogging regularly is equivalent to training for an upcoming marathon or any other sports event.

The best way to start doing that is to jog for 5 minutes and take 20 seconds rest. This interval training will help you jog longer and not get worn out.

14. Practice Box Jump

A box jump is a lower-body plyometric exercise for strength conditioning and improving muscle power and reaction time. It helps train the muscles of your legs, especially when you jog on trails.

Box jumps strengthen your thighs and glutes, which makes it easy for you to jog 5 miles at a stretch.

15. Train Downhill

Jogging downhill with control is more difficult than running uphill. Practice jogging downhill without falling or hurling down. It will help build muscle control and improve change of direction ability and aerobic capacity (22).

16. Strengthen Core Muscles

From standing up to jogging, every motion requires good core strength. Planks are amazing for building core strength. If your core is not strong enough, you will not be able to jog for a long duration. Start doing three sets of 30-60 seconds hold elbow planks and increase your core strength.

17. Hydrate Yourself

Drinking water is important to quench your thirst and replenish fluid loss during exercise. Aim to drink at least 3-4 liters of water per day to prevent dehydration symptoms like headache, fatigue, low energy level, and mood changes (23).

However, make sure you don’t drink too much water while jogging. Take a sip or two when you stop or walk to rest for 10-20 seconds.

18. Beat Yourself

You are your own competition. If you jogged a mile at a stretch today, jog for 5 minutes more after you hit the 1-mile mark.

This will keep you motivated, and instead of comparing yourself with anyone else, you will have a healthy relationship with yourself and be able to move forward and strive to be better than you were yesterday.

19. Stretch

Complete body stretching is important to cool down muscles and give a relaxing effect to your entire body.

Ten minutes of cool-down stretches help to normalize body temperature, lengthen and relax muscle fibers, and improve your flexibility (24). Gently stretch your hamstrings, calves, shoulders, arms, neck, and back.

20. Sleep

Sleeping and resting help your muscles rejuvenate and recover. When you run, your muscles undergo wear and tear. Resting and sleeping help the muscles rebuild themselves bigger and stronger.

Sleep for at least 6 to 7 hours, within 2-3 hours of having dinner, and listen to soothing music if it helps you fall asleep.

Conclusion

Build your jogging capabilities by eating well, sleeping well, and following the above-mentioned tips. Get the right shoes and start jogging. If you have orthopedic difficulties, do check with your doctor before you start jogging.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Can I lose belly fat by jogging?

Yes, you can lose belly fat by jogging. Do it regularly, along with following a healthy diet, and you will see a reduction in your belly fat in around three weeks.

Is jogging effective for weight loss?

Yes, jogging is very effective for weight loss, especially if you are in the initial phase of losing the fat.

Can jogging give you abs?

No, jogging will not help you build six-pack abs. Click here to find out how to get six-pack abs.

Can jogging tone your bum?

Jogging can help you shed the extra fat from your body, which means it can help slim down your buttocks. But you also have to do these exercises to tone your buttocks.

Can you lose thigh fat by jogging?

Yes, you will lose a significant amount of thigh fat by jogging.

Can you lose arm fat by jogging?

Jogging helps you lose overall body fat. However, you must also do these exercises to get toned arms.

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Priyanka Sadhukhan

Priyanka is a nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She has over 8 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics with a strong research background. She is passionate about science and how it can be applied to one’s daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine, and proper nutrition is key to achieving good health. She has also written a book on PCOS and its management for doctors and patients. When she is not working, she loves spending quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and endorses healthier alternatives to junk foods to promote good health.
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