Do you have to jog to be fit?
Jogging is neither necessary, nor even the best form of exercise for many of us. For many, jogging causes, over time, harmful stress on our knee joints, feet, ankles, and hips. Many people jog without any problem, and I would never discourage them from doing so. But for those of us who are already experiencing a little pain here, a little stiffness there, jogging would not be in your best interest.
Medical research has shown repeatedly that walking is one of the best forms of exercise for cardiac health, muscle toning, and overall good health. The best part about walking, is, you can literally do it any time, any place, and you don’t need to buy a single thing in order to do it.
One of the easiest ways to add walking to your daily routine is to become more aware of opportunities available in our every day lives to walk. Going to the grocery store? Park further away than you normally would. (This also eliminates the frustration of trying to find a close-in parking space!) If the weather is nice enough, park further out and walk in. Walk briskly, with your head up, taking in deep, full breaths of air, in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Look up at the blue sky; take a slow deep breath, and then let it out slowly, all the while feeling gratitude for being able to walk.
If you are a jogger, or aspire to be, then start slowly, and build up. Above all else, do not try to do too much in the beginning! Your body will rebel and you will get discouraged, and none of this is productive. Start with walking first, to warm up, then jog easily, slowly, for a few paces, then walk again, then jog a little more…….you get the picture. You do not need to put on jogging shoes and head out for a mile-long jog on your first day. You may not even want to do a block-long jog at first; but with a plan of walk-jog-walk-jog, you will make noticeable progress in a relatively short period of time.
How much time? Remember, you are creating a strong, healthy, and fit body, and nothing that precious and valuable is going to happen overnight. But you should begin to notice small changes in how you feel, and your stamina level, within a couple of weeks.
Stay the course!