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  Beginning a Jogging Program

It is first recommended that you check with your doctor before embarking on any form of exercise. Illness does not have to be an obstacle, many runners are asthmatic, diabetic, suffer from Crohnís disease, IBS, high blood pressure, Alzheimers, etc and running can also ease the pain/trauma of cancer for some runners.

You do need to walk before you can run, so refer to our walking program for guidance.

Wear loose fitting clothes and proper running shoes. There are many shoes on the market to cater for all types of bio-mechanical faults (pronation, supination, irregular leg lengths, etc). It is important to wear shoes with adequate cushioning and support and these shoes should be used for running only, not for wearing in the gym or for walking around in. They should not be worn every day because the cushioning gets compressed when you run in them and 24-36 hours ideally are needed for them to decompress before you wear them again. Therefore, if and when you run more regularly it would be a good idea to invest in two or three pairs so that you can alternate. Shoes also only have a life span of 500-600 miles before the cushioning wears out. Most injuries arise because runners continue to run in their old shoes.

Before you start your walk/jog you need to prepare your body for what it is about to do. Gently mobilise the joints by following the examples in the table at the end of this document. This releases a synovial fluid, making movement easier around the joints (like oiling a car). You then need to warm the body before stretching, as stretching ďcoldĒ can cause a muscle to tear, so follow the instructions below to warm up. If you have never stretched before, hold each warm up stretch for about 5 seconds. When you become fitter you can hold each warm up stretch for up to 10 seconds. These stretches prepare the muscles for the work they are about to do. Over-stretching before exercise can also cause injury, so be careful. Following your run it is important to stretch again, but this time to hold on to each stretch a little longer, as this increases flexibility.

Try this walk/jog schedule:

Week no. Tuesday Thursday Sunday
1 Walk 10 minutes Walk 10 minutes Walk 10 minutes
2 Walk 12 minutes Walk 10 minutes Walk 12 minutes
3 Walk 10 minutes briskly Walk 15 minutes Walk 12 minutes briskly
4 Walk 15 minutes briskly Walk 12 minutes briskly Walk 15 minutes briskly
5 Walk 20 minutes easy Walk 15 minutes briskly Walk 20 minutes briskly
6 Walk 20 minutes briskly Walk 20 minutes briskly Walk 20 minutes briskly
7 Walk and jog 10 minutes Walk and jog 10 minutes Walk and jog 10 minutes
8 Walk and jog 10 minutes Walk and jog 12 minutes Walk and jog 15 minutes

When walking briskly, swing the arms and stride out, so that you feel the body heating. When you start jogging, donít run too fast. Donít hold your breath (most beginners try to hold on to their breath for as long as they can and then collapse). Concentrate on breathing out on, say, every second right step. Concentrate on breathing out more than in, because you will always have enough oxygen going in to your body. Breathing out releases toxins from your body and helps the circulation work more efficiently. Some runners sweat more than others and some lose large amounts of discharge from their noses — neither have anything to do with fitness levels, so if you find either of these happening with you, donít let it discourage you.

Aim to jog from, say, one tree to the next, or a litter bin or lamp post until you eventually run the whole distance without walking (and you will if you persevere). Keep the arms low and relaxed. Try not to tense the shoulders and neck (common with beginners).

If you get a stitch, this is probably due to using muscles in the diaphragm that you donít normally use. If this happens, squeeze the thumbs tightly and carry on walking. Concentrating hard on squeezing the thumbs encourages the muscles in the diaphragm to relax. A stitch can also be brought on by eating too soon before exercise so try not to eat for 2-3 hours before commencement.

You will need to increase your intake of water (think of what happens to your car if it runs out of water, your body will react in a similar way and leave you feeling exhausted). You will also need to increase your intake of carbohydrates (just as your car needs fuel to keep going) in the form of potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, etc. Protein (cheese, eggs, meat, etc) which is needed to replenish the muscles after exercise. Try to cut down on your fat intake (biscuits, crisps, sweets, etc). Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.

Repeat the above cycle (Weeks 1 - 8) with a mixture of jogging and walking until you can run three times a week for 20 minutes without walking. You will then be fit enough to come along to the Sunday Social run at 10am, where you will gain encouragement and advice from other runners. Continuing with the schedule, you should increase each run as in Weeks 1-8 by 5 minutes. If you feel you can start jogging earlier on in the schedule, then do so, following the advice above.

Reference Source: Windmilers.org

Also try:
Walking Schedule for Beginners

Walking Calculator & Top 5 Tips to motivate yourself to walk.
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