Jogging is a great exercise for people who are looking to improve their physical fitness level. Unlike running, jogging is done at a steady, leisurely pace that incurs minimal stress on the joints. It can also be considered as an endurance training when done in long distances.
Most people start jogging because they want to lose weight. In fact, in the United States alone, there were more than 64 million people who went jogging and running for fitness reasons in 2016. Aside from weight loss, however, jogging also offers a lot of other health benefits.
Jogging strengthens your joints and bones
Jogging helps improve the strength and elasticity of your joints, thus lowering your risk of osteoarthritis. Also, it has been shown that performing exercise at least 150 minutes every week can improve your bone density, thus making your bones stronger and lowering your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Having knee osteoarthritis, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t jog anymore. In fact, according to Dr. William Kormos of Harvard Medical School, running and jogging can actually reduce arthritis pain when done correctly. The decision, however, heavily depends on the severity of your condition and your symptoms. Begin slow and build up your intensity gradually. Listen to your body for cues and stop immediately if you feel a steadily worsening pain in your knees.
Wear a knee brace for additional support and compression when you jog, which can alleviate knee pain and swelling. Opt for flat running shoes with adequate cushioning and support to minimize the tension on your knees.
Jogging helps prevent cancer
Based on a 2016 study, doing exercise and being physically active can lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer including:
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Liver cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Myeloid leukemia
According to the American Cancer Society, you need to spend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise such as walking and jogging to lower your cancer risk by as much as 20%.
Jogging makes your heart healthy
If you include jogging in your regular exercise program, you can improve your cardiovascular health significantly. A stronger heart is less likely to develop heart diseases. Likewise, jogging for at least 30 minutes a day can improve the efficiency of your heart muscles in pumping blood throughout the body. This will make your body receive enough oxygen and nutrients while keeping your blood pressure within the normal range.
Jogging helps improve your mood
Having a regular jogging schedule can shift your lifestyle from sedentary to active. Also, if you are stressed out, jogging can help improve your emotional wellbeing. It has been shown that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression compared to people with little to no exercise.
Moreover, performing physical activities like jogging stimulates your body to release endorphins, a chemical produced by your brain which acts as your body’s natural painkillers and triggers positive feelings. Hence, if done correctly, jogging can reduce muscle soreness, decrease stress and tension levels, stabilize your mood, and improve your overall brain function.
Jogging lowers your risk of diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by an elevated blood sugar level. Type 2 diabetes has always been linked to a sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
According to the American Diabetes Association, doing aerobic exercises such as jogging, running, brisk walking, and swimming can help prevent diabetes. Jogging is also a form of aerobic exercise as it stimulates your heart and lungs to work together and increase in rate to sustain the energy needs of your muscles. Jogging for 30 minutes a day can help keep your blood glucose and cholesterol levels within a healthy range.
Jogging is a great alternative to intense, high-impact exercises helping you reap the same health benefits without incurring the same stress and risk for injuries. Aside from its health benefits, you can also jog as a leisure activity with your pet, friends, and family, thus improving your social wellbeing as well.