“Jogging is very beneficial. It’s good for your legs and your feet. It’s also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed.” ~Charles Schulz, Peanuts
A great way to alleviate stress and to give yourself more energy is to do a simple workout. Most people are aware that they should be doing some form of exercise for a least thirty minutes, three times a week. Ideally you should try to do something everyday.
Perhaps the easiest form of exercise to get out and start doing. You don’t need any specialist equipment or special training to get started. All you need are some comfortable clothes and a pair of trainers. The trainers should fit well and not rub. Personally I prefer running outdoors, but these suggestions work just as well on a treadmill. If possible try to run on grass rather than concrete, as this softens the impact jogging has on your joints.
So long as you take it easy and listen to your body, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Here is a suggested thirty minute routine for beginners.
Form: Try to keep yourself upright, with your shoulders relaxed. Have your arms bent at about ninety degrees. Try to not bring your elbow much in front of your body while moving your arms. Your arms should pump in time with your opposite leg. So right leg up, left arm forward. When your foot hits the ground, the ball of your foot should make first contact, not your heel. Focus on lifting your leg straight up and putting it straight down, don’t stretch it out in front of you. To get forward momentum, lean forward with your chest out just to the point of overbalance. This forces you to put your foot forward, so you don’t have to focus on putting it forward yourself. Don’t take big lunging steps. If you want to run a little faster, instead of increasing your stride (the length of your step), increase your cadence (the amount of foot falls you do).
If you haven’t been running before, or for a long time, take it slow. Don’t expect to run for the full thirty minutes. Here is a two month plan to get yourself on the path towards running continuously for thirty minutes. Try to do each session at least three times a week. At the end of each session spend at least ten minutes gently stretching.
Week 1: Warm up by walking briskly for two minutes. Jog at a gentle pace for one minute then walk for five minutes. Repeat three times.
Week 2: Two minutes warm up. Jog for two minutes then walk for four minutes. Repeat three times.
Week 3: Three minutes warm up. Jog for four minutes then walk for two. Repeat this three times.
Week 4: Three minutes warm up. Jog for seven minutes and walk for three. Do this twice.
Week 5: Two minutes warm up. Jog for eight minutes and walk for two. Do this twice.
Week 6: Two minutes warm up. Jog for nine minutes and walk for one. Do this twice.
Week 7: Three minutes warm up. Jog for twenty minutes at an easy pace.
Week 8+: Repeat week 7, but try to run for a minute or two longer. Keep adding a little to the end of each run until you are running without a break for thirty minutes.
Don’t worry about slipping with your routine. If you find stepping up to the next level too difficult, just repeat a week. A lower intensity workout you actually do is better than a higher intensity workout that you don’t do!