Beginner’s Guide: Running and JoggingSeptember 27 2017
About one in five Australians try running (or jogging) at some stage in their life.
Both running and jogging are forms of aerobic exercise. Aerobic means ‘with oxygen’ – the term ‘aerobic exercise’ means any physical activity that produces energy by combining oxygen with blood glucose or body fat.
The main difference between running and jogging is intensity. Running is faster, uses more kilojoules and demands more effort from the heart, lungs, and muscles than jogging. Running requires a higher level of overall fitness than jogging.
Both running or jogging offers many health benefits such as it improves cardiovascular fitness, burn plenty of kilojoules, help maintain a healthy weight, build strong bones, and strengthens muscles.
Before you start running or jogging, make sure you follow these general tips for safety and health reasons:
- See your doctor or call to set an appointment with one of our medical professionals on 03 5229 5192 (Myers Street Family Medical Practice) or 03 5241 6129 (The Cottage Medical Centre) for a check-up before you start a running program. This is especially important if you are over 40 years, are overweight, have a chronic illness or haven’t exercised in a long time.
- Start with brisk walking. Aim for 30 minutes per session. Allow a minimum of six weeks to build up to regular running. Aim to increase your jogging time each session, and alternate between walking and jogging.
- Make sure you warm up and stretch thoroughly before you head out. Cool your body down with light stretches when you return.
- Make sure you have plenty of fluids and take a water bottle with you on your run. Try to drink plenty of water before, during and after any activity.
- Allow at least two complete rest days per week to avoid overtraining, which may cause injury. Consider other low-impact activities, such as swimming, at least once each week.
- Plan your route. If possible, choose flat, grassy areas rather than hard or loose (such as sandy) surfaces to reduce the risk of injury.
- Avoid running near roads. This is especially important if you have a pre-existing condition such as asthma. Vehicle exhaust fumes can increase your risk of various cardiovascular and respiratory complaints or illnesses.
- Avoid the ‘peak hour’ periods to reduce your risk of inhaling air pollution from motor vehicles. If possible, schedule your runs for either the early morning or the evening.
- Wear loose cotton clothing. Dress your upper body in layers of clothing so that you can take off layers as required.
- Apply SPF 30+ sunscreen to exposed skin areas.
- Buy an appropriate pair of shoes.