This article looks at eleven valuable health benefits of jogging and running that you may not know.
Aerobic activity, such as jogging, promotes a better quality of life. An effective weight-bearing exercise, it can be modified to suit people of any fitness level.
Jogging can help to prevent some diseases, and it can have a positive effect on our mental state.
Jogging is a moderate-impact exercise.
It is more intense, and it requires more muscle power and endurance than walking, which is low-impact, but less than running, which is high-impact.
You will burn more calories running than jogging, and more calories jogging than walking. The exact number varies depending on several factors, including your weight, your speed, and terrain.
As a rough guide, someone weighing 155 pounds who walks at a pace of 4 MPH for sixty minutes will burn approximately 281 calories. If the same person jogs for sixty minutes at a speed of 4 1/2 MPH, they will burn roughly 493 calories.
Running at 5 MPH, they will burn around 563 calories. Running at 6 MPH, they will burn about 704 calories.
Keep in mind, though, that a beginner won’t be able to run for an hour straight. And running won’t suit anyone with bad knees or painful joints. This makes jogging ideal if you are a walker who wants to take things to the next level.
Keep reading to learn of eleven valuable physical and mental health benefits of jogging and running.
Health Benefits of Jogging
One of the most valuable health benefits of jogging and running, is that being an aerobic activity, when done regularly, it will will strengthen your heart and lungs. It will also enhance the function of your circulatory system by increasing your ability to absorb oxygen.
As a result of this, you will generate more energy when undertaking physical activity. And, over time, you will be able to work out for longer without getting out of breath.
As mentioned above, for the average person, jogging at a speed of 4 1/2 MPH can burn approximately 493 calories.
You will need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound. This means that you can potentially burn one pound per week through exercise alone if you jog every day. Or one pound every two weeks if you jog every second day.
Regulates blood pressure
Research has proved that regular jogging can lower high blood pressure. Known as the “silent killer,” high blood pressure or hypertension can weaken blood vessels and lead to potentially deadly conditions such as haemorrhaging, aneurysms, and atherosclerosis.
Hypertension can also restrict blood flow to the heart and damage vital organs.
Improves heart health
Over time, regular jogging will strengthen your heart muscle, enabling it to pump more blood with each stroke. This will make you less susceptible to developing cardiovascular disease and having a heart attack.
Aerobic exercise can also lower “bad” cholesterol or LDL levels. Additionally, it helps to protect other vital organs plus keep muscles and cells healthy by delivering a constant supply of oxygen to them.
Boosts the immune system
Aerobic exercise, such as jogging, stimulate macrophages – cells that fight bacteria – and lymphocytes – cells that fight infection. When these cells circulate systemically, your immune system gets a boost. As a result, you will be less prone to some bacterial infections, and viral infections, including influenza and the common cold.
May help to prevent or control diabetes
Being sedentary and carrying extra pounds increases the risk of diabetes. Jogging regularly and modifying your diet, if necessary, can help you to manage diabetes, or even prevent it.
May help to prevent some cancers
Medical researchers strongly agree that jogging can help to prevent some cancers. This is due to the positive effects of the improved oxygenation the body experiences from sustained aerobic exercise.
Cells that lack an adequate oxygen supply can mutate faster and sometimes become malignant. So lace your sneakers on and get moving!
Enhances sleep quality
Numerous studies have shown that regular jogging sessions can improve sleep quality. Firstly, it can help to set your circadian rhythm, which in turn will enable you to fall asleep faster at night.
Jogging also has a positive effect on the mind and the brain as it eases stress and promotes a feeling of relaxation, enabling you to sleep more soundly.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, check out this article that that contains helpful tips and advice on how to fix your sleep schedule.
Improves mental clarity
Along with the physical health benefits of jogging, come some important mental health benefits.
Aerobic activity, including jogging, releases endorphins into the body. These chemicals, known as “feel-good” hormones, elevate the mood and produce what is commonly referred to as a runners’ high.
Exercise, such as jogging, releases calming chemicals, including norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Additionally, the rhythmic motion of jogging can bring about a more peaceful state of mind. In this state, it is easier to shut out negative thoughts and work on solving problems without distraction.
Along with calming the mind and nervous system, regular jogging sessions positively impact the body’s cells. This process helps to prevent and even reverse some of the age-related effects of stress.
Enhances confidence and self-esteem
Losing your excess weight and improving your physical appearance will boost your confidence. And committing to doing something and seeing it through will improve your sense of self.
Which is best – outdoor jogging or using a treadmill?
Jogging can be done outdoors or indoors on a treadmill. Each comes with advantages.
When jogging on a treadmill, bad weather is never an issue. And, you can work out at any time of the day or night without having to worry about your personal safety.
Some treadmills come with programs that allow you to vary your workouts. Some also have adjustable incline so you can increase the challenge as you become fitter, or do interval training.
If you don’t have the space or the budget to buy a treadmill, jog outdoors. When jogging outdoors, you can vary your route to help prevent boredom. As your fitness improves, choose a course with some hills for faster fitness gains.
If you live in an unpolluted area, when jogging outdoors, the fresh air will do you good. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
Final Thoughts on the Health Benefits of Jogging
If you’ve been considering jogging or running but haven’t gotten around to it, what are you waiting for? Make it a part of your fitness regimen, and you will not only improve your appearance, you will also improve your health.
As with any form of exercise, check with your doctor before you start. After you get the okay, keep your sessions short and your pace slow until your fitness improves. You can then gradually increase how fast you go and how long you jog. Just be sure to warm up before and cool down after your sessions to help prevent an injury.
The time of day you jog is up to you. If you jog in the mornings, you are likely to be fresher, and so be able to put more into your sessions. Jogging early in the morning also means that you get your workout over with, so anything that crops up later in the day won’t stop you from exercising. By exercising before you eat, you may also burn additional calories. Click here to read an article about fasted cardio workouts.
Jogging later in the day also has benefits. It could be the best choice if you are not a “morning person,” or if you start work early. An afternoon or evening jog can also help to ease tension if you’ve had a stressful day.
Whichever you choose, be consistent, and you will soon be reaping the many benefits of jogging and running.