Jogging is an easy-to-do exercise that can help you meet your weekly target of 150 mins of physical activity. Besides burning off 240 cal or more, losing belly fat, you could see other benefits too. Research suggests you could improve your lipid profile, reduce risk of hypertension, ward off aging of your brain, and see better heart health, joint health, and immune function.
The WHO recommends that adults aged 18 to 64 years should get in at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. And jogging is a great way to hit that number without the need for expensive equipment or forking out money for gym memberships or exercise classes. Jogging is a softer alternative to running for those who do not have medical issues that could be adversely impacted by jogging, as well as for those who are not heavily overweight. If you aren’t jogging yet, here’s a beginner’s guide on how to start jogging. These health benefits will, hopefully, convince you to get started.
1. Burn Calories, Lose Weight
Jogging at a speed of 6.67 mph, or a 9 minute mile, you stand to burn between 290 and 365 calories in a half hour long session. If you jog at 5 mph, you can expect to burn off between 240 and 355 calories in that same half hour.3 As you burn off those calories, you can also see weight loss if you control your diet and build in some strength or resistance workouts that build muscle. In fact, as research has found, this aerobic exercise can help prevent obesity.
2. Improve Cardiovascular Health
Indulging in regular aerobic exercise can reduce the incidence of ischaemic heart disease and improve cardiovascular health overall. Studies have found that those who exercise and use jogging to stay fit, had improved lipid profiles.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week – and jogging qualifies. They suggest you break it down into half hour slots five days a week so you don’t miss out on your exercise. Of course, if you can manage more, that’s even better. If you jog faster and can count it as vigorous activity, then even 75 minutes a week should do.
3. Lower Blood Pressure
Exercise is also good to keep your blood pressure in check. One study of middle-aged men found that those who included a combination of walking and jogging in their daily routine saw improvements in their blood pressure levels. Systolic blood pressure went down by 14 mmHg on an average, while diastolic blood pressure reduced by 12 mmHg.8 Other studies have found that the incidence rate of hypertension was as much as 35 percent more in those who did not exercise, compared to those who exercised. Researchers noted that this held true in subjects across age bands, applying to everyone between 35 and 74 years of age.
4. Improve Immune Function
Jogging also helps improve immune function in your body. When you exercise, the white blood cells and antibodies responsible for immune function circulate better and faster, which may help in early detection of illness.
5. Cut Inflammation
Researchers have found that the exercise can also help reduce inflammation. When data from the Cardiovascular Health Study in the United States was analyzed, researchers found that there was a link between levels of physical activity in a healthy elderly population and inflammation associated with the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Four out of five inflammatory markers were lower in those who were more active, leading them to conclude that exercise was linked to lower inflammation.
6. Improve Longevity
As a result of all the health benefits jogging offers, it has also been found to improve longevity. Physical activity in general lowers your risk of death by as much as 30 percent, compared to someone who is inactive.13 Jogging at 6 mph or lower for just five or ten minutes a day could bring significant reduction in mortality. While it specifically impacts cardiovascular mortality it also lowers overall “all-cause” mortality too.
7. Improve Psychological And Mental Health
Jogging is said to help improve your psychological well being.15 It could even help reduce your risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.This is of special importance to the elderly, who could benefit hugely from a regimen that involve regular aerobic exercise like walking and jogging. One study found that this activity brought a brain neuroprotective effect, reduced cognitive decline, and cut dementia risk.
8. Improve Bone And Joint Health
Jogging can improve bone density.17 As researchers have found, jogging and other exercise could actually result in improvement in joint cartilage biochemistry. One study concluded that those already at risk of knee osteoarthritis could benefit from starting to exercise. Moderate exercise was recommended as a possible means to treat joint function issues and also improve knee cartilage composition.
9. Burn Belly Fat
Research suggests that vigorous exercise like jogging can help reduce abdominal fat. In one study of obese women with metabolic syndrome, high intensity exercise training like jogging (at a pace when you feel slightly breathless but can carry on a conversation) helped reduce abdominal fat – total, subcutaneous and visceral.