“I always loved running… it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” – Jesse Owens
“I believe that the Good Lord gave us a finite number of heartbeats and I’m damned if I’m going to use up mine running up and down a street.” – Neil Armstrong
In my experience jogging is like marmite. Some people love it whilst others hate it. I personally am one of those who loves jogging. Not only is it a great way to keep fit but it I also find it quite relaxing and invigorating. However, I understand that not everyone feels the same way about jogging. A lot of people find it boring, repetitive and just cannot face it for long periods. Whatever your opinion of jogging is I think summer is the perfect opportunity for everyone to do a little more. In this article I am going to explain why and provide you with five reasons to do more jogging this summer.
1) YOU WILL GET SOME VITAMIN D:- One of the main reasons to try and do more jogging this summer is the sunshine. If you live in the UK like me then you will know that sunshine is a very rare commodity. So why not make the most of it by doing some jogging instead of hitting the gym? Not only does it feel nice to be out in the summer sunshine but it also gives you a good dose of vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D so that it can properly absorb calcium and phosphorous which both support strong, healthy bones and teeth.
2) YOU CAN RELAX YOUR MIND:- In today’s modern, fast paced world there are very few opportunities for you to be alone with your thoughts. When you are at work you are largely focussed on the tasks at hand. Then when you get home there are various distractions such as the television, the Internet, family, friends and flatmates. Even at the gym I find I can never truly relax my mind as there are other people to talk to and my mind constantly wanders with thoughts such as; “What exercise should I do today?”, “The machine I wanted to use is taken. What should I do now?” etc. However, when I go jogging I am completely free from distractions. My mind is completely free to think about the day and any thoughts I have with no external distractions. I personally find this is a great way to unwind, reflect, collect my thoughts and de-stress.
3) YOU CAN ENJOY YOUR MUSIC:- You might listen to music everyday. Perhaps you listen to it in the car on your journey to and from work. Maybe you are allowed to listen to it whilst you work. However, in these situations do you really enjoy the music or do are you just using it as background noise whilst you concentrate on what you are doing? I find that when I listen to music whilst doing other things it is nothing more than background noise. Sure it is nice to listen to but I find in these situations the music is simply a tool to make the task I am doing more bearable. However, when I go jogging and put my music on I really engage with the tunes. I genuinely enjoy actually concentrating and listening to the songs as I jog and find that there are very few other times in the day when I can engage this much with my music.
4) IT HAS NUMEROUS HEALTH BENEFITS:- Jogging has numerous health benefits. Although a lot of people argue that jogging has long term health implications others believe the risks are minimal and that the benefits far outweigh the risk. So what are these benefits? The most recognised benefit of jogging is that it increases your cardiovascular fitness. This means your heart, lungs and muscles all become more efficient at using oxygen and experience less strain when doing so. Jogging also increases your HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure which combined with the cardiovascular benefits lowers your risk of heart attack and heart disease. Furthermore, jogging helps you burn fat and tones your leg muscles. On top of this jogging can help prevent a number of health ailments including cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. Finally, jogging can boost your immune system by promoting a higher concentration of lymphocytes (white blood cells).
5) IT’S FUN:- Some people may not agree but I find jogging a really fun exercise. In fact it is probably my favourite exercise. I definitely prefer it to lifting weights, cycling or swimming. Personally, I think there’s not much that beats the feeling of satisfaction you get from running that extra mile, shaving a few seconds off your previous time, exploring a new jogging route or just the overall sense of mental freedom you get whilst out jogging. In fact I think the quote from Jesse Owens at the start of this article perfectly summarises the feeling that jogging can give.
So there you have it. If you are a jogging fan hopefully these reasons spur you on. If you are not a jogging fan then hopefully this article has opened your mind (at least a little) to the possibility of participating in this exercise.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Are you a jogging fan or not? Do you agree with these benefits? Do you have any other jogging benefits you would like to add? Also what do you think of starting the article with a quote or two? I think it’s quite a nice touch but you guys are the readers so please let me know.
Benefits of Jogging and Running (Motley Health)
Running (Jogging) (Medicine.net)
Running Quotes (Quote Garden)
The Health Benefits Gained From Running And Jogging (24 Hr Fitness)
What is Running? (About.com)