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. Your average jogging speed depends on your fitness level and preference, but sticking to a standard speed is advisable.
Between 5 and 6 MPH
Many people can walk briskly up to 4.5 mph without having to break into a jog to maintain the pace. Once your speed eclipses 6 mph, according to ACE Fitness, 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. If you carry a pedometer or your phone or a wearable, you'll be able to keep yourself in check as far as your speed goes.
Read more: The Effects of Jogging Every Day
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, 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.
You can also create an interval workout. Walk briskly for five minutes and jog for one minute. Slow down to a walk again. You can mix up your intervals any way you like, but always remembering to make the fastest interval take the least amount of time.
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 185-pound person burns approximately 710 calories in an hour, notes Harvard Health Publishing. The same person burns about 800 or 888 calories, respectively, while running for 60 minutes at 5.2 or 6 mph.
Read more: Difference Between Jogging and Running
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 Verdant Health Commission, walking provides a similar series of health benefits as jogging, including leading to stronger bones and muscles while elevating your cardiovascular endurance.
And since the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends getting 150 to 300 minutes of moderately intense cardio exercise every week, brisk walking certainly falls into the category of aerobic exercise.
Although the caloric burn of jogging is slightly greater than that of walking, your walk could result in more calories burned if you walk for a longer duration than you'd jog.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights"
- Verdant Health Commission: "Jog or Walk? Both Boost Your Health"
- Health.gov: “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition: Chapter 4. Active Adults”
- ACE Fitness: "Fun Facts About Walking"
- ACE Fitness: "How to Create Effective Treadmill Intervals"