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Normal Speed for Jogging

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
Normal Speed for Jogging
Woman jogging up a hill. Photo Credit: Andy Sotiriou/Photodisc/Getty Images

If you're anxious to fit a workout into your day, but climbing into your car and driving to the nearest gym isn't feasible, don't hang up your running shoes just yet. Instead, take a jog around your neighborhood as a simple way of improving your overall health with a minimal investment in time and money. The speed at which you should jog depends on your fitness level and preference, but sticking to a standard speed is advisable.

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Keep It Between 5 and 6

Many people can walk briskly up to 4.5 mph without having to break into a jog to maintain the pace, according to data from Harvard Health Publications. Once your speed eclipses 6 mph, according to running coach Mike Antoniades, as quoted in a BBC Sport article, your workout technically shifts from a jog to a run. As such, a very small window for jogging exists. Theoretically, your jogging speed should average between 5 and 6 mph.

Walk This Way

Some people prefer using jogging mechanics, but travel at a slower pace than 5 mph. Although it's possible to jog at a very slow speed, Antoniades suggests you're better off using a walking rhythm. When you begin to jog, your lower-body joints receive increased impact from your stride. Over a period of time, the mechanics of the activity can lead to discomfort. Walking, meanwhile, has a significantly lower impact, and when you walk at a brisk pace with your arms pumping, your caloric burn is steady.

Jogging Off the Pounds

Jogging at a pace between 5 and 6 mph can burn several hundred calories, which is helpful if you wish to use this simple exercise as a method of losing weight. At 5 mph, a 190-pound person burns approximately 690 calories in an hour, notes the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. The same person burns about 776 or 863 calories, respectively, while running for 60 minutes at 5.2 or 6 mph.

Walking's Just Fine

If you can't sustain a jogging pace of 5 to 6 mph, don't feel as though you're taking a physical step backward by choosing walking. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, walking provides a similar series of health benefits as jogging, including leading to stronger bones and muscles while elevating your cardiovascular endurance. Although the caloric burn of jogging is slightly greater than walking, your walk could result in more calories burned if you walk for a longer duration than you'd jog.

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