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How Long Until You See the Benefits of Jogging?

author image Alex O'Meara
A journalist and writer since 1987, Alex O'Meara has worked for the "Baltimore Sun," City News Bureau of Chicago, "Newsday" and NBC. Author of the healthcare expose, "Chasing Medical Miracles: The Promise and Perils and Clinical Trials," O'Meara has completed several marathons and holds a B.A. in English from Long Island University.
How Long Until You See the Benefits of Jogging?
Depending on what kind of effort you make, jogging can deliver benefits in just days. Photo Credit brocreative/iStock/Getty Images

Jogging is one of the most beneficial exercises for your mind and body. Decades of research have shown that regular jogging helps prevent or reduce the risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer, obesity and osteoporosis. It also fights depression, stress and insomnia while sharpening mental acuity and improving overall muscle tone and appearance. Reaping these benefits, however, doesn't happen overnight, or even in a week. How much time it takes depends on how much you jog. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.

Weight Loss

Losing weight is a major reason many people start jogging. Calculating how long it would take you to lose a certain amount of weight jogging requires some relatively simple math. Losing one pound requires burning 3,500 calories. For a 155-lb. person jogging at an 11-minute-mile pace, it will take six hours of jogging to lose a pound of body weight per week, assuming that the jogger does not change the amount of calories he consumed.


Jogging is one of the best exercises for improving cardiovascular fitness. Strengthening the heart through exercise means your lungs, veins and capillaries deliver oxygen and nutrition more efficiently to your body. A good indicator of your heart health is pulse rate. A lower resting pulse rate benefits your heart because the only time your heart rests is during the interval between beats. The fewer beats, the longer the rest between them. Your pulse rate drops after just a few days of jogging for 30 minutes or more; it will continue to come down as you continue to run, get in better overall condition and strengthen your heart muscles.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major health risk.The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute advises you monitor your blood pressure and aim to keep it low because high blood pressure can contribute to stroke, heart attacks, even kidney disease. Following a regular exercise program, such as jogging, is an effective way to manage high blood pressure. Hitting the road three and six times per week will significantly lower your blood pressure in just two weeks. The catch, however, is that your pressure will spike again if you stop jogging, so it's advisable to make it an ongoing part of your health routine.

Mental and Social Benefits

Euphoria, friendship, happiness and increased confidence from an improved body image are also benefits of jogging. You may start noticing these improvements almost immediately. Jogging has long been used as a treatment for depression; indeed, the United Kingdom's Department of Exercise and Health Services officially recommends it as a treatment option. You'll make new friends the day you join a running group or go jogging with another person. Just as there are few better exercises for improving your health than jogging, there are few things that bind people closer than sharing intense effort.

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