Got the bug to start, but not sure how to get into jogging? Jogging is just like any other exercise or physical activity in that starting out right will produce far better results than getting into it on a whim.
How to Start Jogging
People get into jogging for a variety of reasons, but it’s important to start out having fun and not injuring yourself. These tips will help you know how to get started safely and without injury.
1. Go Slow
Like any physical exercise, jogging can hurt you when you’re first starting out. When I started I considered myself to be in great physical shape, yet could barely make it a few steps without gasping for breath.
If that sounds like you, starting out on a home elliptical exerciser will help you get in shape effortlessly.
Even if you can run farther, you stand a great chance of terrific muscle soreness and regretting you ever had the idea. The best way to get yourself into jogging is by walking for 2 or 3 minutes and jogging 2 or 3 minutes. Slowly working yourself up to a steady jog without walking will allow you to get out of bed tomorrow.
So what if it takes days or even weeks to get to jogging without intermittent walking. This way you don’t risk injury or burning out before you get started. And the truth is that intermittent jogging and walking will always be a great warm up routine even when you’re a veteran runner.
2. Good Running Shoes
For my money, this is the key to whether most beginners stay with jogging or quit before they make a healthy and fun routine out of jogging.
Don’t skimp when it comes to running shoes. They may cost more than you’re accustomed to paying for shoes? Why shouldn’t they?
The shoes you run in can make the difference between sore legs and damaged feet and a fun run. When it comes to what to wear, your jogging shoes should be your top priority.
3. Plan Your Route
Don’t even bother with running without a planned route. Jogging the streets without a goal is no different than leaving on vacation and having no idea where you’re going, or when you’ll be home.
When I don’t have a plan, my mind can’t be at ease and enjoy the trip. I keep concerning myself with if I should go this way or that, and how much farther I should jog.
With a route planned ahead of time I can focus only on my breath, feet, the view and sounds until I find myself swallowed up in relaxation.
4. Drink Water
When you’re just getting into jogging, chances are you’re not doing marathons but sticking to shorter runs. However, dehydration is still something to be concerned about.
If you’re not adequately hydrated before you start, you risk fatigue which cuts down on your performance levels. Staying hydrated means a more enjoyable run with less muscle fatigue and soreness.
5. Give Yourself Rewards
Rewarding yourself is great motivation for exercising, especially on those days when you don’t really want to fool with it?
When I’m having a hard time starting out I can think of some small treat to reward myself with for finishing my exercise. I use anything from a hot bath to a good excuse for a cold beer when I jog all the way to the pre-planned finish line.
Use anything you can to motivate yourself to exercise; you’ll be glad when you’ve completed your routine.
6. Take A Break
Rest days are important whether you are just getting into it, or are a seasoned vet. Don’t try to run everyday.
Your body needs a break to allow your muscles, knees, and joints to recuperate. I find it best to run for a couple of days, rest a day, and run for two.
I try to work in time for my exercise bike on days off which is great for cardio exercise and weight loss.
7. Take Your MP3 Player
Some days I like the quietness and solitude I get from my jogging exercise, other days I like to jam to my favorite music, and still others I listen to my favorite motivational speakers.
My favorite MP3 player and this great set of wireless in ear headphones make all of that possible. So, if you think you’d like a little electronic gadget company take your favorite music along with you.
8. Jog With Friends
As with any exercise, it’s regularity that makes the difference and forms lifelong habits and routines. And the best way I know of to make jogging a regular and normal part of life is to run with friends.
Exercising with friends will keep you motivated to start, motivated to finish, and keep you from getting bored. Even though jogging is a great solitary sport, it’s just as great and sometimes better with friends.
The best advice I can give you on how to start is to remember you are just starting! You’re not a marathon runner, yet? So go slow and start out with short runs, if you can jog at all?
How I Got Into Jogging
I was a regular walker and admired the joggers as they passed me by — looking all good with a toned body. Then one day it happened: I decided I too would be a jogger!
Well, it didn’t take long for me to realize I could only jog a few steps before being out of breath and dealing with side stitches.
Turned out that jogging gets much easier with a little practice?
But, I was determined that if they could do it, so could I. So everyday I walked — I threw in a few steps of jogging. After a couple of weeks I was well aware that I was slowly jogging farther each time.
And I was hooked!
Am I ever glad I stuck with it! There’s nothing like jogging (which I refer to as running at least half the time?). The benefits are enormous and well out weigh the struggle to stay with it until I could jog for miles effortlessly.
So, no matter how you get started — stay safe and enjoy the most normal exercise known to man— jogging.