Jogging is an activity that people of all ages can enjoy. If you’re new to the wonderful world of running, here are 10 things you must know before you go for your first jog:
- Get the right shoes: Running, of course, requires running shoes. However, there are different shoes for running on pavement, grass, gravel, cross country and treadmill. Ask the staff at the shoe store to recommend a pair for the type of jogging you intend to do.
- Go for distance: When you jog, go for distance in lieu of time. You don’t have to sprint in order to get the run over with. Instead, take your time and enjoy the jog. With each run, you’ll notice you’ll be able to go further and further.
- Wear sunscreen: Unless you are jogging on a treadmill at a gym, make sure you are wearing sunscreen on any exposed body parts (face, limbs). Opt for a sport or waterproof sunscreen (you will sweat) with an SPF of at least 15.
- Take walk breaks as needed: When you’re running, if you feel the need to stop, do it. If it means you run a block then walk the next one, that’s okay. Remember that you are a first-time jogger and not training for the olympics.
- Have a rest day: You do not have to run seven days a week. Four to six days a week is plenty, especially if you’re a beginner. You should also listen to your body. If at first you can’t run two days in a row because your knees are tender or your hips ache, take a break. There’s no point in over-exerting yourself today when you can just try again tomorrow.
- Stay hydrated: Some people can run for an hour without taking a sip of water while others need a drink every five minutes. When you drink is up to you – but bring water with you on your run to remain hydrated.
- Learn runner-friendly supplementary exercises: Running is wonderful, but it will not work every muscle in your body. Supplement running with cross training exercises that are geared towards runners. Ask your physiotherapist which exercises are right for you.
- Keep your goals small and achievable: You will not be able to run a marathon after a month. You may not even be able to run one after six months. Set goals that you can actually achieve instead ones that are unrealistic. Everyone responds to running differently. If you’re running to lose weight, see how long it takes you to lose a pound from running before setting a weight-loss goal.
- Don’t let the weather deter you: Whether it’s light rain or a recent snowfall, these just make running more challenging. Even if it’s not warm and sunny, you can still go for a run. However, avoid storms even in the summer. Lightning and high winds are not ideal running conditions.
- Jog with a friend: Sometimes you need a push to go jogging. Running with a buddy can help get you out there. You can also join a running group.
Jogging provides great exercise and even greater health benefits. Check with your physiotherapist before you begin running to ensure you are not at risk for further injury.