The World Health Organization recommends that adults aged between 18 and 64 years old get at least 2-1/2 hours of exercise per week. This sounds simple to do, considering we have 168 hours every week to blow on snacking, binge-watching TV shows and movies, and doing nothing. However, you could easily meet the minimum requirement for weekly exercise by just lacing up and running. Other than being simple to do, you don’t even need to pay any exorbitant gym membership fees to do it.
The hardest thing about jogging is staying motivated and maintaining a regular schedule. It’s always much easier just to relax on the sofa or typing angry comments on YouTube. However, not only does not staying active effectively decrease your lifespan, but remaining sitting for extended periods of time can cause some pretty nasty consequences to your health. Sometimes we need to know what we can gain from running other than a stitch in our sides and sore knees and thighs. In this article, we’ll talk about some major health benefits of jogging for just about 20 minutes a day.
1. Lose Weight
Reducing your body weight is actually a very simple formula. In order to lose weight, your intake in calories should be less than the calories your body burns to produce energy. Try and calculate every calorie you’ve consumed in a day, including those single M&Ms or licorice sticks. In order to reverse the fattening effects of sweets and inactivity, you need to burn just as many or more of your calorie intake.
Jogging is the most cost-effective way to burn fat. Running a 9-minute mile can burn up to 365 calories. Of course, as you start building a habit of jogging, you may not be able to run an entire mile within 10 or 15 minutes, but your efforts will burn fat.
2. Reduce Blood Pressure
Strokes and heart attacks have become increasingly more common as of late. One cause of these conditions is abnormally high blood pressure, oftentimes undetected and untreated for long periods of time until it’s too late.
Even though jogging can cause your heart to beat out of your chest, this is actually beneficial for you. An increased heart rate will pump greater amounts of blood which in turns results in the widening of your arteries and veins, allowing blood to flow freely. Research has found that as joggers’ hearts returned to their normal resting heart rates, blood pressure would decrease significantly. This was even found to be true in older men and women of 66 years and older, i.e. the average age for heart attacks and strokes.
3. Enhance Mental Health
To improve our brain’s health, we need to supply it with an ample amount of oxygenated blood and remove as much deoxygenated blood from our noggins as possible. If you’ve been physically inactive for years, you may have noticed experiencing more frequent episodes of headaches and/or migraines.
An effect of keeping our hearts pumping through jogging is an increased flow of blood to our brains. This can ensure psychological well-being and reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Even though walking and aerobics can help improve blood flow, jogging and running have been found to be much more effective in reducing cognitive decline.
4. Strengthen Bones and Joints
Osteoporosis and arthritis are two conditions that affect millions of people globally every year. There are several causes for these bone and joint ailments, including a lack of calcium and essential vitamins in our diets. However, another cause of these conditions is also a lack of physical activity.
Jogging has been found to improve bone density. In fact, jogging and running can actually reverse the effects of osteoporosis and arthritis by slowly rebuilding bone strength and cartilage composition in middle-aged people. However, it’s important not to go overboard, especially if you’re suffering from a severe case of osteoporosis or arthritis where excessive physical strain can exacerbate your condition.
5. Strengthen Muscles
Jogging is a great activity to tone our hamstrings, gluteals, hip flexors, calf muscles, and core area. Hopefully while you’re jogging, you’re also swinging your arms back and forth. This back-and-forth motion also gives your upper body and arms a workout but to a lesser extent.
In truth, you’re not going to build muscle mass by running. If your plan is to improve gains, jogging can actually be counterproductive to your goal, but it’s still important to keep stick to a cardio exercise. What’s actually happening is the repetitive motion of your legs and arms train your muscles to withstand and combat the momentum of your moving limbs. Your muscles will become more toned, but they won’t swell to Schwarzenegger-like greatness.
6. Improve Longevity
If you haven’t figured it out yet, jogging can effectively extend your lifespan. With improved bone health, heart health, and mental health, as you grow older, you are less prone to succumbing to fatal illnesses associated with age. On average, people who have made a habit of jogging for at least an hour a week can add a whole 6 to 7 years to your life. Of course, there are other variables in play, such as drinking and smoking habits.