Jogging for beginners is a great introduction to this beloved sport. After all, jogging is a cost efficient and enjoyable way to stay healthy and keep your body fit. Not only do joggers burn more calories than those who do not, but they also experience better circulation, loss of fat, removal of toxins through perspiration as well as an increase in the intake of oxygen.

How Not to Start Jogging

One of the most common mistakes new joggers can make is in jumping in too fast.  They throw on a pair of sneakers and hit the pavement without first making proper preparations. Beginning a jogging routine requires more than just motivation and sneakers. It requires training and practice, almost like starting a new sport.

The reason most beginning joggers never make it to becoming an avid, routine, everyday participant is due to injury, aching bones, frustration and lack of interest. There are several strategies beginning joggers can use to turn jogging into a habit.

Shoes for Jogging for Beginners

First and foremost, it is important to have the proper gear. Not every sneaker is a good form of running footwear. Most shoe stores have running shoes organized by purpose. It is best to look for athletic shoes that are made specifically for running.

These shoes typically have specially padded insoles and a careful overall design.  Some also have gel or memory foam inserts that give each step a little more bounce. They should also have a certain amount of flexibility and stability. The amount of cushioning, stability or flexibility you need depends on your foot and your gait. This is important especially for preventing shin splints and other bone ailments and will soften the impact of each step.

The Right Gear for Beginner Joggers

As far as jogging for beginners attire, you will want to feel comfortable and wear breathable clothes.  This way, when you sweat, your skin will still be able to breathe.  At the same time, the sweat will be wicked away and dry.  This helps to prevent chafing, rashes and other discomforts.

Joggers should also map out a route that is scenic and has few obstacles that will encourage frequent stops. Try to find a path that has some grass or sand sections if possible. Running on grass or sand can help burn more calories and also soften the impact on your joints. There are many apps that can help you to make these choices.

Another piece of running gear that isn’t exactly a necessity but can help keep you motivated is technology. There are several fitness trackers and apps like RunKeeper that are very helpful to jogging for beginners.  They can be used help you track your distance and keep statistics.

However, if you need something more entertaining, there are narrative applications like Zombies, Run! Those can help to keep you motivated and interested in your run by turning your jog into a survival game.

Getting Started at the Right Pace

The right music and playlist can be highly motivational and can keep you moving at the right pace.  This music isn’t necessarily the same as what you’d usually listen to. The rhythm of the music needs to match each part of your stride, including your warmup, fastest pace and cool down.

Before beginning a jogging regimen, it is important to warm up and stretch to avoid muscular injuries.

  • This warmup should last between 10 and 15 minutes and consist of stretching of the calves, quads, arms, shoulders and other mild exercises that will help your muscles relax.
  • After you have completed your jog it is also important to cool down for 10 to 15 minutes which will in turn help prevent stiffness in your muscles and prevent you from becoming sore the next day.
  • After you are geared up and stretched, it is important to start out slowly. It is not likely you will turn into an Olympic runner over night. You want to pace yourself and eventually work your way into a sustained jog.

Gradual Increases

At first, it is best to walk at a quick pace for several minutes without jogging at all. Gradually, you can begin walking for 5 minutes and jogging for 2 minutes. You will feel that as you are walking you will get a natural urge to jog and it will eventually feel easier to jog than to walk quickly.

This strategy will also make routine jogging easier on your body. You don’t want to overexert your body, pushing yourself too hard in the beginning can cause not only fatigue, but a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles which can prevent you from getting out of bed in the morning! Remember, becoming a routine jogger takes time, but the sooner it becomes a habit for you, the faster your body will reap the rewards.