How to Start Jogging Over the Age of 40

mature woman running
Jogging helps you battle the bulge after 40 years of age. (Image: Zdenka Darula/iStock/Getty Images)

Jogging is a weight-bearing exercise excellent for maintaining bone mass in people over 40 years old. You begin to lose bone tissue around 40 years, so slowly incorporating a jogging program into your schedule is an easy, inexpensive way to help preserve your skeletal health. It is a misconception that if you cannot jog without stopping, you should not jog at all. Jogging and walking workouts also enhance your capacity to burn calories and lose weight. Furthermore, this type of cardio can be an effective stress-relieving activity for you, reducing the fat-storing effects of excess cortisol.

Weeks One and Two

Step 1

Walk for 10 minutes on Monday, 15 minutes on Wednesday and 20 minutes on Friday for the first week of your program if you have not been exercising for the last six months.

Step 2

Stretch after every walking session, holding each stretch for 15 seconds. Do two repetitions each of quad, hamstring, inner thigh, outer thigh and calf stretches. This can increase your flexibility and reduce your risk of injury.

Step 3

Walk for 25 minutes on Monday, 30 minutes on Wednesday and 35 minutes on Friday for the second week of your program.

Step 4

Stretch after every walking session, holding each stretch for 30 seconds. Perform three to four reps of each stretch.

Week Three

Step 1

Walk for 10 minutes on Monday, then do a quick stretch, but hold each stretch for only eight seconds. This is a pre-cardio warmup that increases the blood and nutrient flow to your limbs for the more difficult workout to come.

Step 2

Walk for three minutes then jog for 30 seconds, totaling 20 minutes. Stretch to enhance your flexibility.

Step 3

Complete a brisk walk on Wednesday for 40 minutes, then stretch.

Step 4

Perform a cardio warmup for 10 minutes on Friday, including three jogs of 30 seconds then do a quick stretch. Jog for 1 minute then walk for three minutes. Repeat this interval for a total of 25 minutes, then stretch.

Week Four and Beyond

Step 1

Add five more minutes to your Monday workouts every week until you reach 30 minutes. Increase the speed of your jogs and walks once you can complete 30 total minutes.

Step 2

Stretch after every cardio session, holding each stretch for 30 seconds. Perform three to four reps of each stretch.

Step 3

Vary your walking route on Wednesdays to include hilly terrain; walk for 30 to 45 minutes.

Step 4

Increase the length of time you are jogging and decrease the duration of your walks for your Friday cardio sessions, totaling 25 minutes. Extend your jog from 25 minutes to 45 minutes once you can complete a 25-minute non-stop jog; increase by five minutes every week.

Tip

Keep a log of all your cardio sessions, noting how long it takes you to complete a particular route or distance.

Warning

While 30 seconds may not seem like a long time to jog, it can be a strain for an untrained body. Start your running program slowly to reduce your risk of injuries like shin splints, muscle strains and ligament sprains.

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