Adding regular jogging to your exercise routine is a great way to burn fat, build muscle and to decrease your risk for heart disease by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. You need to do several things before you start jogging, though. First, talk to your doctor to make sure you are physically capable of that level of exercise. Once you have your doctor's permission, invest in the proper gear and come up with a plan to start jogging for short distances, then gradually work your way up to longer, faster runs.
It may be a good idea to schedule a physical examination with your primary care doctor before you start your new exercise regimen. Running can be dangerous, especially if you have a history of heart disease, asthma, smoking or any past muscle strain or injury. Your doctor may also help you lay out a jogging plan that works with any specific injuries or illnesses you have.
Buying proper running shoes before you start jogging can ensure you have the right amount of support for the exercise and may motivate you as well. The kind of sneakers you need depends on the shape of your foot and the way your foot hits the ground when you run or walk. If you have flat feet or low arches, your feet most likely turn in when you step forward, which can lead to ankle and shin injuries. For such runners, experts typically recommend sneakers that are not heavily cushioned and have good mid-sole support. You may also want to invest in a pair of slip-in arch supports to help lower your risk of twisting your ankle while jogging. If you have high arches, running experts typically recommend a cushioned shoe that can absorb shock.
You may also want to invest in a pair or two of high-quality running shorts and a fitted t-shirt or tank top when you start jogging. You likely will be more comfortable if your jogging clothing is made of a fabric, such as polyester, that dries quickly and doesn't become sweat soaked. If you jog in colder weather, a pair of leggings worn under your shorts can help keep you warm.
When you first start jogging, warming up with a brisk five to ten minute walk is usually recommended to help prevent muscle strains or injury. Once you have warmed up, start jogging and try to jog for for at least five minutes without stopping. If you lose your breath, slow down and walk again until you catch your breath, then try jogging again. Start out exercising for a half an hour at a time, three days per week. As you gain strength, you can increase the duration and number of times you go jogging. After each jog, cool down by doing some leg stretches.