Moderate-intensity exercise for 30 minutes or more on most days of the week can effectively reduce your risks of developing heart disease, cancer and obesity. For most people, walking and running are efficient and convenient forms of cardiovascular exercise. Jogging, which is somewhere between these two activities, offers several health benefits as well.
Weight Loss and Control
The Harvard Medical School says that half an hour of a walk-jog interval routine can help a 125-lb. person burn 180 calories. In comparison, running at 5 mph would burn 240 calories. Considering the fact that jogging is not as demanding as running, the weight loss benefits are substantial. Jogging can also be the perfect training program for people who want to progress to high-speed running.
Jogging is a weight-bearing activity that helps improve bone density and strength. A 2001 study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that men who jogged had stronger bones than those who were physically inactive. The exercise is so beneficial that participating in it as infrequently as once a month also improves bone mass.
Prevention and Management of Joint Problems
Contrary to popular belief, jogging can actually be beneficial to people with rheumatoid arthritis, says the Arthritis Foundation. The exercise improves strength, mental well-being and the ability to perform daily activities. Jogging may also ward off osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, because it helps you control your weight and strengthens your bones and the muscles around your joints. People with arthritis must consult their doctors before taking up any physical activity and avoid exerting joints that are swollen or painful.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Jogging helps you control your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It can help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. According to the American Council on Exercise, joggers are less likely to take up or continue smoking, which can lead to a host of other ailments. Jogging also improves your mood and reduces feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.
- American Heart Association: Physical Activity
- Harvard Medical School: Walking: Your steps to health
- Harvard Medical School; Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights; July 2004
- Arthritis Today; High-Intensity Exercise and Arthritis; Lissa Poirot
- American Council on Exercise: Jog Your Bones Stronger
- Arthritis Foundation: Preventing Arthritis