Jogging is a very popular form of keep fit. The main advantage of jogging is its intensity. It promotes fitness quickly and efficiently and burns more calories than other activities, making it attractive to people who want to control their weight.
It’s because of its intensity that jogging releases endorphins, creating the jogger’s high that some describe as an ‘energy buzz.’ Like aerobic exercise this can be a good natural antidepressant and is known to lift your mood.
However, jogging also has some serious disadvantages that we should consider before choosing to do it on a regular basis:
- The chance of injury is greater than for any of the other aerobic activities. Jogging traumatizes the body, especially joints in the legs, knees and back, as well as the kidneys. You can minimize this possibility by taking several precautions;
- Most importantly always wear well-made running shoes designed to minimize shock to the joints. Women should wear athletic bras, and everyone should warm up before they start a run, not by stretching but by running in slow motion;
- If you develop pain in your joints, stop jogging, or cut down on it until you determine the reason for the pain. This caution applies to any form of physical activity, but because jogging subjects the body to so much trauma, it is especially important;
- Jogging, also seems more open to abuse than other forms of aerobic exercise, probably because of its stressful nature and consequent effect on the endorphin system;
- Many people run addictively, with a compulsive quality that takes over their lives. They may also be creating problems with their health later on. Too much exercise can deplete bone density causing Osteoporosis;
- Try not to go jogging in the heat. The extreme stress of jogging in heat can have an affect on the body, especially the cardiovascular and urinary systems;
- It’s important to remember to replace lost fluids;
- Don’t jog on the streets with heavy traffic. It’s easy to take in a lot of exhaust fumes when your breathing is stimulated by aerobic exercise.
To make it easier on the joints, you can jog indoors on a treadmill instead. Most models allow you to vary the speed and incline and give you continuous information about your work output, on a screen. Treadmills greatly reduce the possibility of injury because the running surface has the proper springiness for safety.
However, many find treadmills quite boring and will often find ways to entertain themselves while using one, such as listening to music or watching t.v. Tracking your runs on a smartphone helps you keep a track progress and set realistic goals.
Over time as our performance gradually improves and we feel the benefits to our overall fitness, this will continue to encourage us. Overall the advantages of jogging may outweigh the disadvantages, but as with all exercises caution is required.