If you want to add a new habit in the new year, consider jogging. Jogging is one of those exercises that doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of your form or previous degree of inactivity, you can always begin jogging anew.
The benefits of jogging are so numerous; from its cardiovascular benefits to mental health benefits, you are gaining a massive deal by lacing up your shoes this year. In addition, repeated studies show that jogging significantly reduces the risk of getting some specific cancer.
You feel intimidated by the seemingly special requirements needed to run; we are here to tell you all you need are yourself, the willingness to start, and a pair of shoes.
Here are some things to help your jogging journey this year:
Know everyone is a runner
Jogging is not a cult-like activity for a selected few. You can start jogging regardless of your age, sex, and weight. Everyone is entitled to live healthier, and beginning a great habit such as jogging is a step in that direction.
You have crossed the hurdle once you believe jogging is tailor-made for you, whatever your exercise history is.
Start by planning
Once you have decided to begin, it is essential to map out a plan to sustain your new habit. It is crucial to find the right time that suits your schedule. It can be early morning, noon-time, or later in the night. Think of a time when you can jog better in a more disposed-of condition. Beginner joggers often fall into the trap of thinking they can only jog in the morning — choose the best time for you.
Also, while planning, map out your jogging route, how many times a week you want to run, and whether you need to run alone or find a jogging buddy. Figuring this out makes your jogging easier; however, don’t be too fixated on getting them all right before you start.
Get the Right Gears
Planning and beginning jogging isn’t enough without actively investing in great jogging shoes. First, find a comfortable shoe that balances well on your running surfaces. Avoid tight-fitting shoes that hurt your toes after a few runs. Instead, wear comfortable, breathable clothes that don’t restrict your movement.
When in doubt, go to a sports store and try some gear.
Start small and start slow
As a beginner jogger, you will likely be tempted into planning long distances and taking a pace too high. This is often counterproductive and might leave you tired, frustrated, and injured. Instead, choose short distances and gradually increase as your form improves and you become more comfortable with your pace and balance.
Gradually increasing your pace allows your heart, lungs, and system to adjust to the demands of jogging, helping you build resilience as you go.
Alternate with walking
Don’t feel discouraged when you have to stop on your runs. Planning periods of brisk walking into your jogging allows you to take little rest and helps you go longer distances that are beneficial to your health.
Walking helps relieves stress on your muscles, joints, and tendons. These prevent wear and tear in your musculoskeletal system.
Find the right motivation
Whatever it is for you, staying healthy, shedding some weight, leisure, find a motivation to keep you glued to your jogging plans. If you struggle to find one, latch unto the numerous health benefits to your body systems and mental health. The goal is to stay motivated and not give up on difficult days.
Track your progress
Keep a tab on your progress. Use mobile apps that help track your distances, altitude, and speed. These can give you a sense of achievement and spur you to do even better. Then, of course, you can go the traditional route and keep a jogging diary till you become a pro.
Refuel and Stay Hydrated
Provide your body with a properly-rounded diet containing calories, vegetables, proteins, and nuts. In addition, stay well hydrated by taking enough water before and after every run. Except if you plan on staying fasted to burn fat cells, it is always nice to have enough energy while taking a run.
Rest in between Run days
Rest is vital to help your body heal from micro trauma to tissues and prepare your mind for your following jogging schedule. Except you are preparing for the Olympics, long stretches of runs can prove to be counterintuitive as you get burned out with your body under constant stress,
If your plan is to get healthier in the new year and you have decided to go jogging, this is your motivation to begin and check off one more thing on your new year’s resolution.
To Healthy Feet,
Dr. Marco Vargas DPM, FACFAS