Jogging can be an exhilarating, effective way to stay fit and maintain your ideal weight. However, if you’re just starting out, there are some pitfalls and hazards that you should know about. Use these five jogging tips for beginners to optimize your entry into the world of fitness jogging:
1. Shoes Are Your FoundationJogging is a "minimalist" sport in that it really only requires one piece of gear: some good jogging shoes. Yes, you’ll also need jogging clothes, but there is more flexibility of choice where that is concerned. Jogging or running shoes should have a sole of adequate thickness to withstand the impact of step after step out on your jogging route. There should also be ideal arch support and sufficient width. Shoes should be snug but not too tight when laced up.
2. Specialize and Customize Your Gear As NeededIf your feet are prone to supination (rolling your foot outward) or pronation (turning your foot inward), there are shoe types that can help to compensate for this. Fallen arches may require shoes with custom inserts. Consult with your local running store for guidance on the best shoe type for your foot, arch, stride and gait. As for clothing, everyone is different; some people feel more comfortable in loose shorts or sweats and a T-shirt, others like the feel of close-fitting, breathable Lycra. Experiment with different jogging outfits and find what works best for you. Comfort, ventilation and minimal chafing are the goal.
3. Adopt Proper Jogging Form EarlyBad habits can be difficult to correct, so cultivate good jogging form from the beginning. Make sure your posture is straight and that you look up and ahead while jogging. Strive to land in about the middle of your feet to help distribute the impact. Keep arms slightly bent with hands and shoulders loose and relaxed as you hit your stride. If possible, favor jogging on grass or dirt trails instead of pavement.
4. Pace Yourself (Pun Intended)Remember that this isn’t a sprint or even a race; there’s no reason to push yourself too hard, too fast. Having extremely high expectations right out of the gate can lead to a range of issues, from injuries to becoming discouraged and quitting. Begin jogging short, manageable distances and take “rests” in the form of walks if you need them. Work up to longer distances gradually based upon your personal goals. Remember that you are a beginner, and give yourself time to grow.
5. Track Your ProgressConsider keeping a log book and make an entry each time you jog. Write down your jogging distance, location, time and notes about how you felt. Doing so will allow you to look back at where you were weeks or months ago and see how far you’ve come. You can also keep track of your weight and BMI to see how jogging has impacted your health in positive ways over time. Jogging is an effective, affordable way to burn calories and stay in shape. The jogging lifestyle can bring fitness, exhilaration and a world of adventure. Use these five jogging tips for beginners to make the most of your jogging experience.
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