Jogging is one of the most popular forms of aerobic exercise. It is the optimal workout for those in the search of something more than just walking, but at the same time less intense than running. According to research, the average walking speed is 3.1 mph (5 km/h), while the average jogging speed ranges between 4 – 6 mph (6.4 – 9.6 km/h). What’s beyond 6 mph is defined as running.
Why is jogging such a popular type of workout? Well, because it doesn’t cost you anything, it provides the freedom to do it when it suits you best and, most importantly, it comes with tons of health benefits. Indeed, jogging is the type of physical activity that can do wonders not only for the body, but also for the mind. Here’s a list of some of the most important health benefits this exercise can bring:
It Helps you Lose Weight
One of the benefits of jogging resides in its ability to help you lose weight. Of course, it’s important to change your nutrition and develop healthy eating habits, but this is not enough. If you really want to boost your weight loss, taking up jogging may be the answer. In comparison to walking, this type of workout is more efficient when it comes to the total calorie burn. According to CalorieLab, a 165 lbs (75 kg) adult will burn 262 calories by jogging for 30 minutes. Add inclines to your jog and you’ll torch even more calories.
It Prevents Heart Disease
It’s a well known fact that aerobic exercise has the power to improve your cardiovascular health. Jogging is considered a great cardio workout that will maintain your heart healthy over the years. Performed regularly, this type of exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent the development of blood clots in your arteries and blood vessels. At the same time it can help you lower your high cholesterol and keep your blood pressure under control.
It Reduces the Risk of Some Types of Cancer
According to a study published by the Jama Internal Medicine, regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing 13 types of cancer, including liver, lung, colon or breast cancer. Research has shown that simply incorporating more movement into your day-to-day life can be an efficient cancer prevention strategy. It’s up to you what you opt for; it can be a brisk walk or perhaps a slow jog. The key is to do it on a regular basis in order to rip the benefits.
It Prevents Diabetes
Being more physically active can generate a multitude of health benefits, including helping you prevent diabetes. Medical studies have shown that engaging in constant physical activity, either running or jogging, can reduce insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when cells in your body fight off the action of insulin, an important hormone that balances your blood sugar levels. This resistance is directly linked with prediabetes and, in time, with type 2 diabetes.
It Strengthens your Respiratory System
Periodical aerobic exercise doesn’t do good only for the heart, but for other important organs as well, such as your lungs. It has been proven that physical activity has the power to make your respiratory system stronger in time. Going for a jog on a constant basis can help you enhance your lung capacity and increase the blood flow to your lungs.
It Boosts your Immune System
Another benefit of jogging is the fact that it can improve your immune system. How exactly? Well, according to medical research, aerobic exercise can strengthen your body’s reactions to both short-term and long-term illnesses. During an aerobic exercise like jogging your body increases the production of lymphocytes and macrophages. These are cells that will fight off bacteria and prevent infections and communicable diseases, such as the flu.
It Tones Up your Muscles
Jogging is a great workout not only to drop those unwanted pounds, but also to firm up your muscles. And this is what we all want after getting rid of all that unnecessary fat: to show off our muscle definition and shape. Jogging can help you reach your goal, because it works on several muscle groups, such as the hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteals and calf muscles. If you want to look more toned, you can try to incorporate jogging up steep hills in your routine.
It Keeps your Bones Healthy
Some of the most efficient bone-strengthening exercises are considered to be weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, climbing stairs, hiking or jogging. These workouts are optimal because they make your bones work against gravity to keep you in a vertical position. This way they can build themselves up and become stronger and stronger with every exercise. Jogging can improve the strength and thickness of your bones and hence it can help you efficiently prevent conditions like osteoporosis.
It Combats Stress
According to the World Health Organisation, stress is “the health epidemic of the 21st century”. More and more people worldwide are suffering from stress, that’s why it’s imperative to take a stand and try to fight it off. One of the best ways is, of course, through exercise. Jogging helps you release endorphins, which are hormones produced by our own bodies to relieve stress and pain. Going for a walk or jog will allow you to let go of the tension in your body and clear your mind of stress-provoking thoughts.
It Alleviates Depression
Depression has been associated with the hypersecretion of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. According to a recent study, exercising regularly can reduce the levels of cortisol in our body and hence help us better cope with depression. Jogging constantly can produce positive changes in our brain, allowing us to reach a state of calm and well-being, without having to resort to antidepressants.
Bonus Tip: Track your Physical Activity
Letting go of a sedentary lifestyle and embracing physical activity is a major step towards a healthier life. In order to properly evaluate your progress and find the motivation to keep on going until you reach your fitness goals, it’s best to keep track of your workout sessions.
In order to monitor your jogs or walks, you don’t really need anything else for this except your mobile phone. All you have to do is download an app like our own ActivityTracker and you’re good to go. The app will automatically let you know about all the relevant fitness metrics: your step count, the distance covered, the calories burned, the active time or flights of stairs climbed. You’ll be able to set your own goals and permanently be updated with the progress made.