1:31 am | November 19, 2018 | Comments 12
For those of us trying to adopt a more healthy lifestyle, there is usually one factor among us that is a heavy contributor to the condition that we’re in now. We are generally sedentary. That is, we don’t participate in many, if any, physical activities.
So today, we’re going to learn how to jog!
Now, I’m not going to pretend we’re all new to this concept. Our doctors have told us time and time again that we need to lose weight. Somewhere in all the doctor’s Blah Blah Blahs, we know that he said something about diet and exercise.
Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s something to that.
Unfortunately, we always associate the word “diet” with a moment in our lives where we have to do something special about the way we’re eating. In reality, the doctor is telling us to monitor our intake.
It’s true; you can eat anything you want. ANYTHING! You just can’t eat as much of it as you want. There are hundreds of ways that we abuse our bodies with food and only to ourselves will we ever admit to exactly what our vice is.
Diet: It’s a very multifaceted word and means different things to different people.
Exercise, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like. Work!
Just like buying healthy food, finding a comfortable place to exercise can be very expensive. It is, after all, FAR cheaper to gain weight than it is to lose weight.
Fortunately, nature has provided most of us with everything we need to exercise:
- A Heart
With these free benefits to life, we can do all kinds of things to get exercise. Among them are walk and run. Let’s explore these two opportunities to get in better shape.
The Starting Line – It Looks Like a Sporting Goods Store
Now, there are a few things you’ll need. Maybe you’ll need to buy them, maybe you have them already, but you need a decent pair of shoes. Take my advice here and go with a name brand. We’re big people and a $14.99 buy one, get one free shoe is not only going to hurt, you’re going to end up buying 3 of them in half the time a $60 pair of shoes would have lasted.
You also need something to hold all your stuff generally in place.
I don’t want to get personal. My wife and I do this together and I know that we both have parts that move around when we’re active. Not only boobs and other private areas, but anything that might bounce around. Look in the mirror and make a couple motions that feel like you’d be jogging. See what bounces. Whatever bounces the most is going to have to be tightened up with exercise clothing that is designed for that purpose.
Easy Breathing – Not a Walk in the Park
One general rule to any aerobic exercise is, that if you are able to hold a conversation, you are not exercising hard enough to do any good for yourself.
What this tells me is that those three ladies that I see walking down the street in their workout clothes, making their little speed-walking fists, talking and laughing together are having a social outing. They are not exercising.
Don’t get me wrong. All walking is good for you. But this kind of walking is good for you only because doing nothing and eating is your next lower option.
We want to keep our walking at a pace where we could maybe exchange thoughts in short sentences at a time. The way you know it’s about right is that if you say anymore than that, it will mess up your breathing pattern.
Trust me. We’re new at this. When your exercise is rigorous enough, you will be acutely aware of your breathing pattern.
But First Do This!
A very short idea here.
Consult your doctor!
This no joke and it’s not just a way to protect myself. Your doctor keeps more notes on your health than you know. Tell your doctor that you are wanting to take up walking and that you eventually want to run a half-marathon (OK, that’s what I told my doctor because that’s what I want to do). Tell the doctor your goals. Your doctor is where you should seek all of your medical advice.
Walking – Keep it Close to Home
When you start an exercise routine, you need to let somebody know what you are doing. We’re not healthy people and we generally just don’t have the freedom to safely take up exercise one day.
You’re going for a walk around the block. Maybe just up to the stop sign and back. Either way, let someone know what you’re up to.
My first walk after surgery, I decided on a half-mile route. Even at 320 pounds, I was able to walk a 1/4 mile without issues and my job had me walking at least 15,000 steps a day, so a half mile was good. The next day I did a mile and decided that was my starting point.
I suggest that you find a slightly harder than easy distance and walk it.
Increase your speed by simply timing yourself.
You want your overall exercise to be for 30-40 minutes, so as you whittle your time down, increase your distance.
Now, I’ve determined that jogging 4 miles should take me about 45 minutes, so once I got my walking distance up to about 4 miles and discovered that I couldn’t increase my speed without running, I was ready to move on to jogging.
Rigor Mortise – Exercise is the Face of Death
I’m just kidding here. Perhaps being over dramatic…but…
As you make the change from walking to jogging, there’s going to be some soreness to overcome.
I’ve always joked that it’s a warning of what death feels like, so if I exercise more, I can put death off for longer.
So let’s assume you’re going to go with 4 miles. Walking as fast as you can will likely be around an hour’s worth of walking, perhaps slightly more, but a good brisk walk is about 4 miles per hour. When you get to the point that you can no longer improve your speed, you will be at a good time to add jogging to your route…a little at a time.
A 4-Minute Mile? – Now That’s a Stretch
Before any rigorous exercise it’s a great idea to stretch.
Think about which muscles you will use while running. Stretching is to loosen those muscles up before you start. This also helps to prevent muscle strains.
While warm up exercises like jumping jacks, for example, are not necessary, getting your heart rate up prior to rigorous exercise will increase your endurance.
Stepping Up your Game
Runner’s destination: Running the steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art turned iconic with the Rocky movie.
Now that you’ve got to the point where only jogging can improve on your time, go ahead and start jogging!
I recommend that you start walking about 100 yards, increasing your pace up to a jog then jog as far as you can.
It will be difficult at first, but when you stop jogging, DON’T STOP WALKING. Don’t put your hands on your knees, don’t sit on the curb and by all means, don’t give up and go back home!
Continue walking, as fast as you can, on your planned route. After all, you’re timing yourself. Timing your improvement is impossible if you don’t stick to the route that you’ve been walking. Eventually, you will catch your breath and, though you may be sweating a lot and still breathing pretty heavily, you are now ready to start jogging again. Jog until you can’t jog anymore then walk until you catch your breath and do it again!
Continue this routine until you are done with your route. Make note of your time improvement.
Now there are several theories on how you might reach your four mile goal (My example).In the Army, the first goal was to be able to “double time” for two miles without stopping. They accomplished training us to do this by making us jog in our full uniforms or doing the start-stop jogging/marching over a longer distance.
By the two-mile date, we were ready.
So stopping and starting works! If you have the will power to push yourself harder and further each exercise day, then do so. If you don’t, set a schedule for you to Jog/Walk 5 or 6 miles until you can easily run 4 miles.
4 miles is my example. Choose your own goal distance.
Crossing the Finish Line
Some important things to take from this are:
- You need some decent shoes for running in. I use cross-fit style shoes.
- You need exercise clothing to help keep your skin from bouncing.
- Tell someone who can help where you’re going and what you’re doing.
- You need to walk at a very brisk pace to be exercising effectively.
- You need to consult your doctor about your entire exercise plan, including your goals.
- Walk faster until your speed stops improving then add intermittent jogging to your route.
- Increase your combination jogging/walking distance until you can jog your goal distance.
One more very important thing.
ALWAYS exercise in a safe place. Many shopping malls have a walking route, as do high schools and colleges (Tracks when they aren’t in use) and gyms. Maybe you know of other places like trails where there are a lot of people around.
Avoid going alone if your are uncomfortable or feel it is unsafe to go alone (Just remember to walk faster than you talk).
It is not necessary to join a gym, but I’m not against it at all. If weather is an issue, or finding a safe place is an issue, join a gym if that’s what it takes to avoid letting those things be an obstacle to reclaiming your future health!
Now! Why are you still sitting there reading this article?
Get up and VERB!
When you are done with today’s exercise, comment below!