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10 Exercise Tricks for Joggers and Would-Be Joggers

Jogging daily is arguably one of the best exercises people can do to lose weight and build endurance. However jogging is also incredibly boring, and many people also assume that there isn't a lot to know about jogging... and thus end up doing it wrong because they don't know any better!

#1. Get the right running shoes! You cannot go jogging in just any old shoes. You need shoes that are both comfortable, have good grip on both grass and pavement, and it should fit you properly. Failure to do these things could lead to foot aches and sports injuries.

#2. Jogging is not running or sprinting. One of the first mistakes beginner joggers do is that they run too fast - or more precisely, they are running when they should be jogging. You are not going for a run. You are going for a jog. You need to learn how to pace yourself. If you are out of breath, you are going too fast. In theory you should be able to jog and talk at the same time. If you are running, you are breathing too hard to be able to talk. If you cannot past the "talk test" then you are going too fast.

#3. Upper body form! Move your arms while you are jogging. This may sound like a no-brainer, but many beginners don't know the basics apparently. Try to keep your hands at waist level, right about where they might lightly brush your hip. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle, with your elbows at your sides. Keep your posture straight and erect. Your head should be up, your back straight, and shoulders level.

#4. If you are having difficulty pacing yourself (#3 above) then try a run / walk approach. Run until you are breathing heavily, then walk, run until you are breathing heavily, then walk, repeat. Eventually you will get an idea of how fast to go when you are "just jogging" and then you can focus on that.

#5. Avoid over doing it in the beginning. Many beginners like to overdo things, so here is a quick tip: Jog until you feel distracted by wanting to do something else. This works well because it means your jogging forays will be kept short in the beginning and as you progress and build endurance, then you can switch to a tactic of "jog until you reach a goal" (see #7 below).

#6. Remember to hydrate. An easy way to do this is to construct a jogging route that takes you by a library that has public water fountains. eg. Jog to the library, get a drink, jog back home. Easy. Alternatively carry a water bottle with you - however I personally find it annoying having to carry things while jogging. I don't even like carrying my keys with me while I jog because they jingle too much.

#7. Jog until you reach a goal. If your goal is to jog around the block three times, then jog around the block three times. Easy. Done? Go drink some water. Reaching a goal is a good start, but you should keep it small in the beginning and then slowly increase the amount you jog.

For example jogging around the block once on the 1st week and then twice on the 2nd week and then three times on the 3rd week, that is too much too fast. When increasing distances traveled you should only be increasing by approx. 1% per day. So for example if you jogged 6 days last week, you could increase the distance jogged this week by 6%. If you only jogged twice last week, you should only increase the distance by 2%. Increasing the distance by 10% or more each week will just cause you to become burned out. The amount needs to be very gradual so that your body has time to adjust. Thus when setting new goals you should actually take the time to measure the distances (even if it is just a crude measurement) and figure out how much is "1%".

An easy way to do this is to measure by time jogging, not by distance traveled. So for example if you go jogging for 10 minutes the first week and jog 5 times that week, then the next week you should add 5% to your time - an extra 30 seconds. This may not seem like much in the beginning, but this compounds over time.

10 minutes
10 minutes, 30 seconds
11 minutes, 1 seconds
11 minutes, 33 seconds
12 minutes, 5 seconds
12 minutes, 45 seconds
13 minutes, 25 seconds
14 minutes, 3 seconds
etc

So in 8 weeks you've already increased the time traveled by over 40%. By week 52 you are jogging for 2 hours (and 24 seconds) five days a week. That might actually be too much, so you should set a long term goal of maybe 30 or 60 minutes.

#8. Use both your nose and your mouth to breathe. Nothing wrong with using both. Breathing only through your nose means less oxygen going to your muscles, and this is a time when you want MORE OXYGEN! So breathe in as much as possible.

#9. If you get Side Stitches remember to take Deep Belly Breaths. A side stitch is a sharp, intense pain under the lower edge of the ribcage, more often on the left side. They're common in beginner runners who tend to breathe more quickly and shallow. Proper breathing and a reasonable pace can prevent Side Stitches from happening. Eating too much sugar or drinking high-sugar beverages before exercise increases the likelihood of Side Stitches.

#10. Mix it up once in awhile. Doing only jogging should not be your goal. Mix jogging together with other activities like hiking, rock climbing, going to the gym, socializing with friends, going to a yoga studio, doing body-weight exercises at a public park, etc.

For example if the above mentioned library is next to a park, you could jog to the library, get a drink, go do some body-weight exercises in the park, and then get another drink, and then jog home.

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