If you’re 50+ and want a fun way to keep active and healthy without having to face a gym, read on…
Since it’s ‘Summer time’, something I hear a lot of people who visit my clinic talk about is wanting to be healthier – but one thing that holds them back is that they’re either:
a) Not sure where to start and what activity to do
b) They think they have to join a gym to keep fit – which they can’t stand the thought of doing
So I’m going to talk about something today that doesn’t require a gym, and something that’s a fun and easy activity to do…
And that’s jogging.
Now I know you might be thinking, ‘I hate the thought of running’… But here’s the thing, jogging isn’t to be confused with running.
When you run, you move at a much faster pace than when you jog. Think about it this way – iogging if you like, is somewhere in between walking and running. It’s kind of like taking walking to the next level.
And while walking is a great way to keep active, and I recommend finding ways to fit more walking into your day, if you want to do something that gets your heart rate elevated that little bit more – jogging could be perfect for you and might even become your next favourite way to maintain keeping active and mobile.
As I’m sure you already know, staying active as you get older is critical to staying happy, healthy, active and independent.
And while walking is one of the most popular ways to remain active among people aged 50+ as it’s a safe, low-impact activity – swapping your walk for a jog can have great health benefits too, and it doesn’t have to be high impact.
Firstly, not only does jogging improve your overall fitness it improves your bone density (important to keeping your body strong and reducing your risk of injury), improves your cholesterol levels, reduces inflammation and boosts your mood, making it the perfect exercise to kick start your day. And the best part is you don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap the health benefits!
Just five to ten minutes per day of jogging, even at a slow and gentle pace is all you need to start feeling the positive effects.
As well as that, jogging burns a lot of calories. Have I caught your attention now? 😉
Why does it help burn so many calories? Because jogging is a full-body exercise. It uses a lot of different muscles, requires a strong core and uses your lower and upper body for balance. Any activity that uses your core, upper and lower body to move – will burn more calories than an activity that doesn’t require as much muscle recruitment.
Don’t enjoy exercising alone? Jogging is one of those activities, just like walking, that can be made social and the perfect activity to do with friends.
Instead of sitting in your living room with a cup of tea for a catch up, head outside for a jog instead. Jogging at a low intensity allows you to carry on a conversation while staying active – which very few activities do. So now you can kill two birds with one stone.
But what if you’re not used to keeping active, and the idea of getting off the sofa and jogging a few miles right now feels daunting?… Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a seasoned jogger to get started.
In fact slow and steady is better for your body, giving it time to adapt and reducing your risk of any injury – the last thing you want is a bad ankle or knee getting in the way. Begin slow and over the months, and as you feel you’re confidently able to take on more, increase your time and distance.
A lot of people I see worry because they think running, or even strenuous walking will hurt their joints. However, if done right and taken slow, even with some added breaks for water and a stretch – you’ll be just fine.
Another benefit of jogging and why you don’t need the gym is this – jogging doesn’t require any equipment.
It’s accessible to almost anyone regardless of space or equipment. There’s only one thing you will need, and that’s a good pair of running shoes. The best way to find the right pair for you is to get a jogging analysis.
You can do this at nearly any running store, we even do it at the Physio Rooms. We’ll examine the wear of your current and old shoes, and assess how you walk and run – then based on that we can get a moulded pair of orthotics customised to your foot, which you insert in your running shoes so you know you’re doing it properly.
Wearing a pair of orthotics when you run will enhance your movement, support your running technique and reduce the likelihood of injury.
Jogging is a smart way to stay active as you age, especially because you don’t have to run fast or jog five times a week to reap the benefits. With just 50 minutes of jogging each week, you can lose weight, boost heart health, catch-up with friends and know you’re looking after yourself. Make jogging a regular part of your active lifestyle and you’ll be feeling stronger and healthier in no time.
P.S. Do you run already and feel knee pain every time your foot hits the ground? Or, does knee pain stop you from running and walking? If that sounds like you, visit here to download your free knee guide with tips on how you can ease knee pain naturally: www.paulgoughphysio.com/knee-pain
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