How to start jogging? Jogging tips? Am I serious? Who in this world does not know how to jog or even how to run? Believe me, as many out there even I felt jogging is probably the easiest thing to do on this earth.
Was I right? Probably, No!
When I started jogging a couple of years back, it turned out to be a nightmare for me. I injured myself big time. But gradually I learned those basics of jogging and improved my jogging technique.
Jogging v/s running
When it comes to jogging, we often get confused if we have to walk or run! In reality, there is a thin line between jogging and running. Jogging is no different than running except speed. It is somewhere between walking and running fast. Someone even defined jogging as running slower than 10 km/h.
- Also Read: Tips for Running Your First Marathon
You can initially start jogging and later could shift gears and become a great runner. I will be using running and jogging interchangeably throughout this article.
Jogging is a form of aerobic exercise and has many long-lasting benefits. Some of the benefits of jogging are defying aging, improving the cardiovascular system, fighting obesity, strengthening muscles and bones, etc. It is also an excellent way to rejuvenate yourself or lose some extra pounds of overweight.
Now I am going to share with you the 11 most effective jogging tips. These tips will not only enable you to stay fit but stay happy and injury free.
1. Warm up tips before you start jogging
Warming up is by far one of the most valuable tips for jogging. A proper warm up before running or jogging enables you to run that extra mile without injuring yourself.
I still remember when I started jogging, I just hit the top gear without giving any consideration to warm up. As a result, within a couple of seconds, I was out of breath and was left with a muscle cramp.
Warm up increases your blood circulation and loosen your muscles and joints. You need not have to do any strenuous exercises. Do some basic warm-up activities. Essentially, it could be as simple as brisk walking for 5 minutes or more.
If you are looking for more variations along with walking, then you could try some gentle exercises such as hip roll, shoulder rotation, knee bends, march on the spot, heel digs, etc. Just a word of caution – do not stretch or do exercise unless you walk for 5-10 minutes. You may cramp your muscles if you straight away stretch your body.
2. Right body posture – Head, arm & body position
Correct body position is another area which I completely missed out when I started running. Jogging is an activity which itself defines the forward movement. In short, you should not be doing anything opposing the very nature of jogging.
While you jog, your body should lean forward, with head held high, gazing the horizon. Don’t look down since it will strain the neck and shoulder muscles.
However, I do not mean head held high as rigid body posture. Jog with an entirely relaxed body. Keep your shoulders down and bend your arm at 90-degree angle withholding fist action. The fist should not clench enough. Your arms should swing forward and backward just like pendulum attached to your shoulders.
3. Foot landing tips
I have seen many avid runners striking their heel first. Landing your feet on heels has many negative impacts including injuries, muscle strain, and reduced efficiency. Heel striking is more of a rearward movement which is against the nature of jogging i.e. forward movement.Running is all about natural motion creating forward movement.Click To Tweet
You should always try to land on your front part or mid part of feet. It won’t become habit overnight, but with persistent practice, you can eventually achieve it.
People always ask a common question – how to jog longer with less effort and time? Of course, there are multiple factors involved, but one of the most important aspects is the right foot landing.
We have a common notion that if we take a longer stride, then we may cover more distance with less effort. Wrong! A shorter stride and flat landing on the ground will conserve your energy and will propel you longer with less effort.
4. Breathing tips for jogging
Why the hell I should know about healthy breathing techniques for something as simple as jogging? Jogging is a no-brainer exercise like crunches, sit-ups, etc.
But the moment you start running and face side stitch, you start realizing that something is not right. I even know people who recommend not to open mouth while jogging since you tend to lose more energy. Bull shit!
To be honest, I encountered side stitch when I started jogging. At that time, my first question from the running community was – “Nose or mouth breathing?”
Mouth breathing is the best way to breathe while you run. When you run or jog, your body requires more oxygen. The mouth has a greater area than the nose which in turn facilitate natural intake of a large amount of oxygen.
Some of you must have heard about “belly breathing”. Belly breathing is nothing but inhaling and exhaling all along into your stomach. Your chest should remain still most of the time, its diaphragm which forces air in and out of the stomach.
It takes a few weeks to practice and achieve perfection. Very soon you will realize that your stamina and efficiency has improved a lot. But if you are not able to breathe properly while running, then consult a doctor.
5. Tips for selecting the right attire & shoes for jogging
You tend to start jogging with any sneakers available at home. You may laugh at me if I would tell you that I started jogging with tennis shoes. I injured myself so badly that I had to take physiotherapy sessions for days.
I did not know at that time that tennis shoes have more cushioning on the sideways since lawn tennis involves sideways movements too. That’s why tennis shoes are bulkier and heavier.
Choosing the right type of gears involves a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothes, waist packs, etc. You should be minimum having the right pair of shoes before you even think of jogging or running.
My honest advice would be to visit any sports store ask for running shoe recommendations. A nice sports store always has experts who can suggest you shoes that are light in weight and has the right cushioning for your body need.When it comes to right runner shoes; Always remember there is nothing like one size fits all.Click To Tweet
You have to get a proper pair of running shoes based on your body dynamics like height, weight, etc.
You should select clothes based on weather conditions. For example, if you are running on a bright sunny day, then you might want to wear synthetic fabrics. Synthetic materials get wet and get dry very fast, unlike pure cotton. Many times cotton clothing may also cause chafing or jogger’s nipple. So it’s better to avoid it.
A waist pack always comes in handy for keeping a small water bottle, iPod, car keys, etc.
Cut down all possible excuses of not jogging just because you don’t have proper running attire. You will feel motivated if you have the right kind of gear with you.
6. Selecting right technical gears for jogging
Wouldn’t be awesome if someone could tell you your progress after running for days or instance daily improvement? Of course Yes! Today there are many technical gadgets, wearable and non-wearable, are available in the market which can help you with your activity graph.
As I said there are many but my personal favorites are apple watch, UP wristband, Flex Fitbit band & Runkeeper. First three options are paid ones whereas Runkeeper is a free application which is available free for any smartphone.
I would not be wrong if I say that most of these wearable activity trackers have replaced conventional watches as they also show time. You can wear them all along day so that they could monitor your daily activities like steps climbing, walking, sitting time and sleep routine.
You can start your jogging with the Runkeeper app installed on your smartphone or iPod. It will capture your jogging track, speed, time of activity, calorie burnt.
Once you finish running, you can use just use one-click share feature of Runkeeper for posting on social media like Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes getting a social pat on your back pulls you up for next run. Also, you could be an inspiration to many on social media.
7. Tips for eating right before running
Even a car needs fuel before going distances, and so our body. Our body needs fuel in the form of carbohydrates and protein. Your body requires glycogen which is a kind of glucose which acts as an energy source for your body muscles.
But you should know what, when and how much to eat before running. If you do overeating and go running immediately, then it may cause you to go nauseatic and even fall sick.
You might be thinking that eating less would be the best idea before jogging. But in reality, it all depends on your body requirements and running regime. If you are someone who is into an intense running routine, then your body may require a high carb diet.
High carb diet such as peanut butter bread with banana, oatmeal with banana and nuts, a healthy shake made up of fruits, yogurt, and greens, etc. could top up glycogen level in your body. Also, it is important to wait for 1-2 hours right after eating before you start running.
On the other side if you are just doing jogging or walking then a rich protein diet such as salads, fruit shake, energy bars, etc. are enough to refuel your energy. You can wait for 30 minutes to 1 hour after eating before you jog.
World best trainers sometimes even say that it is not important to eat before jog if you are going to jog or walk for 2 to 3 miles. Sufficient water or commercial drinks intake may suffice your body requirements. But, in the end, it’s your body, and you may be the best judge per your body needs.
8. Intake sufficient water
The main idea is to keep your body hydrated all times while you are active. Even 20 minutes of jogging on a hot day may sweat you out badly. Keeping your body hydrated increases your efficiency and prevent dehydration.
You can drink sufficient fluids before and after jogging. Just make sure intake of fluids are not in abundance and also wait for some time like 20 to 30 minutes after drinking before hitting jogging track.
If you are planning for a long jog (something like 60 minutes or more), then it would be advisable to carry a drink having sugar and salt. Sugar and salt in any drink will cover for salt and calorie loss. There are also many commercial drinks which are available in the market.
Do not forget to drink sufficient water after you are done with jogging!
9. Stick to one routine
Everybody has its choice to jog at some particular time in a day. I always prefer to jog either in the morning or the evening. But the morning is better than evening since there is less traffic, and the air is clean.
Believe me; if you want to reap the benefits of jogging then you have to jog regularly – at least twice or thrice a week. And this is only possible if you have dedicated days for running. Every alternate day could be the best idea. When you start jogging, skipping a day could help your muscles to relax.
When you make routine, then chances are higher that you may not miss it more often. But if you are a busy man and do not get time in the morning and evening then you can even plan a jog during the night.
10. Set a goal
Setting a goal by miles, calorie loss, weight loss, etc. could be a big motivation factor to keep you rolling. Most of the beginners in jogging often ask; how much they should run? Again there is no typical duration or miles.
Rather there are several factors which may define your target in terms of miles or time. Suppose If you are starting jogging, then even a 5 minutes jogging could be a great start. From there you can add a few minutes (5 minutes) or a few miles (0.5 miles) every week into your running schedule.
Do not be over enthusiastic and pushy. Know your body limits and start slowly. If you are a beginner, then even a five minutes jogging is splendid for a start. Increase it slowly. Monitor your activity trend for a week or two and accordingly set a goal for coming 3-4 weeks.
Once you achieve your goal, give a pat on your back and feel great about it. You earned it with your strong willpower and determination.
11. Run with a partner or in a group
You can run alone for sure, but essentially when you are going to start running, you need a partner or community to keep you motivated all times. Sometimes you may find an ideal running partner in your close neighborhood.
I still remember those days when I almost decided to skip jogging. But during all those days my jogging partner dragged me to the jogging track. After all who doesn’t like good company?
A right jogging partner may also create healthy competition which will motivate you to keep raising your bar. There could also be many running communities in your city. Google for one and join.
If you have a dog, then your dog could also become your jogging partner who will not only provide you security but in turn, could add fun elements. At the very end of jogging, you may enjoy games with your dog like fetch the ball J.
1. How long have I to run daily to lose weight?
There is no particular running regime to lose weight. Just remember to follow a routine and keep challenging your limits. It takes time for your body to adapt and eventually shed weight.
2. I do not have any jogging track nearby. Can I jog on the road?
You can run anywhere you want. The only thing is that the surface should be even otherwise you may hurt yourself.
Get road running shoes for you if you are going to run on roads. These shoes are cheap in cost and easily available. Also, watch out for traffic while you jog on the road.
3. Sometimes I do not want to go out. Can I run on a treadmill?
Of course, you can run on a treadmill. It is not always important to go out for a run. Running in the open atmosphere is just refreshing and motivating.
4. Can I jog barefoot?
I would say no to barefoot running. Barefoot running may hurt your feet. Sometimes even running with real minimalist shoes are as good as running barefoot which has less chance of injuries.
5. Do I have to purchase expensive shoes and clothes for running?
No, you do not need to shed a fortune on running attire. Be practical and look for comfortable clothes, shoes, etc. rather than a price tag. I would recommend stores like Decathlon which has a variety of options at a reasonable price tag.
Till now you must have learned that there is so much to know before you even think of starting a jogging regime. You do not want to hurt yourself.
Follow above running tips and start slowly. Everybody’s body is different, and It is vital to understand your body needs.