You have probably seen people running up and down your street, sometimes in normal clothes, or sometimes in funny looking outfits. You might think that they are wasting their time jogging around on the sidewalk, but those people know something that you don’t. Those people who get up at 6 am just to go jogging in the cold and damp know that it is an extremely healthy and beneficial type of exercise to be doing.
The benefits of jogging are both immense and widespread, all of which go a long way in creating and maintaining a healthy you. If you have never tried jogging before, after you read what all of the great benefits are, you might just change your outlook.
Benefit #1: Heart Health & Cardio
A really great benefit that you get from jogging on a regular basis is that it is a great way to make your heart stronger. Your heart is probably the most important organ in your body and training it to become stronger and more efficient is crucial for a long and healthy life.
Jogging does, of course, require an increased amount of blood flow throughout your body, and that obviously means that your heart has to work harder to pump that large amount of blood throughout your body, mainly because your muscles need oxygen and your heart is what delivers that oxygen to various parts of your body.
Your heart and cardiovascular system, or the blood and oxygen delivery systems of your body, can be strengthened through aerobic cardiovascular exercise such as jogging. The more you jog and strain your body aerobically, the harder your heart has to work, ultimately training it to become stronger each time that you do.
The bottom line is that jogging will make your heart be able to pump more blood throughout your body with decreased effort, therefore improving your physical performance thanks to an increased supply of blood and oxygen to your body parts.
Not only is heart and cardiovascular training good for physical performance, but also for your health. Jogging on a daily basis and getting a cardiovascular workout strengthens your heart and thus decreases your resting heart rate, decreases blood pressure, takes care of bad cholesterol, reduces the chances of strokes, heart attacks, and arterial diseases, and make your body more efficient in general, thus prolonging your lifespan.
Benefit #2: More Efficient Lungs
One big benefit that you can get from jogging on a regular basis is that it greatly increases the efficiency of your lungs. Jogging is an aerobic type of exercise which means that it is heavy in terms of oxygen use. When your body requires a lot of oxygen, such as during jogging, it makes your lungs work at an increased rate to provide your muscles and organs with the oxygen they need to keep going.
Just like all of your muscles in your body, your lungs can be trained to become more efficient over time. It is the simple fact that practicing anything will eventually make you better at it, and the same goes for breathing with your lungs during bouts of activity such as jogging.
The capacity of your lungs will slowly increase over time the more your jog, which is also true for the efficiency of your lungs. The more you jog the more oxygen your lungs can take in and the more oxygen they can process, oxygen which gets sent to your muscles so you can keep jogging for a longer time.
Not only does having more efficient lungs mean that you will be able to jog for longer, but it will make your daily life easier in general. Have you ever gotten winded from walking up a few flights of stairs? Well, go on daily jogs for a few weeks and that will happen less frequently. Having healthy lungs is vital to a long life and jogging is a great way to work them out.
Benefit #3: Muscle Strengthening
Yet another benefit that you can reap from jogging on a daily basis is that it will help strengthen your muscles. Of course, jogging is a light form of running, and thus it mainly involves the use of your legs to propel you forward. There are several leg muscles that you use when jogging and those include your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, your hip flexors, calves, and a few other muscles too.
You probably know that the best way to make muscles bigger, stronger, and more efficient is to use them. Obviously just using those muscles will not train them very much, but going for a long and speedy jog will push them past the point of comfort, and whenever you do that, muscles are going to grow.
Jogging will cause small muscle tears in your leg muscles, tears which then heal over with new muscle tissue and scar tissue, thus resulting in more muscle mass. Ultimately this means that your legs will be able to run faster and go for longer.
Another point worth mentioning is that having stronger legs will also help to increase your balance. Simply put, stronger and faster acting leg muscles are better able to deal with positional shifts which may result in falls and injuries.
There is also the convenient fact that everybody likes having bigger and stronger muscles. It makes us look better in the mirror, it makes other people be more attracted to us, and it improves our self-confidence too.
Keep in mind that jogging is not as intense as running or of course weight training, thus your muscles aren’t going to grow that big, but you will without a doubt develop strong and lean muscle mass. On a side note, you do also slightly engage your core as well as your arms when jogging, thus having a slight strengthening effect on those parts of your body too.
Benefit #4: Increased Endurance
This is a benefit that is closely linked to many of the other benefits that have been previously mentioned, one such as better heart health, more efficient lungs, and stronger muscles. All of those previously listed benefits have one big result when it comes to physical activity, which is increased endurance and the ability to push yourself just that much further.
When you have more efficient lungs it means that your body can absorb and process more oxygen. Having a stronger heart means that your body has an increased ability to transport more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to your muscles. When you have stronger muscles it means that they can absorb more damage and put out more effort before getting tired.
All of these factors put together ultimately result in increased physical output and endurance. Having more endurance is not only good for you in terms of playing sports or exercising, but also for things like walking up stairs, carrying groceries, and not to mention your sex life too.
Benefit #5: Building Stronger Bones
Yet another benefit of jogging is that it helps to make your bones stronger and bigger. The reason for this is that jogging counts as a weight bearing exercise. Weight bearing exercises are those which force your body, mainly your legs, to deal with an increased amount of force, pressure, or weight.
This is exactly what happens when you jog, because not only are your legs holding up the weight of your body, but each step you take sends impact through your bones, impact which acts like an increased amount of weight. Weight bearing exercises help to build up your bones just like strength training exercises increase the size and strength of your muscle.
The more your bones are forced to compensate for higher weight levels, the more the osteoblasts, which are the entities which create bone mass, lay down new bone matter. Over time this will slowly increase the size, density, and thus the strength of your bones.
Having stronger bones is important because it reduces the chances of a fracture or break when you fall. It is also important when you get older, because as you age your bones get weaker, plus they are also susceptible to degenerative bone diseases. Therefore the more you jog the lower the chances of developing something like osteoporosis in your old age.
Benefit #6: It Makes For A Happier You
Another big benefit to be had from jogging on a regular basis is that it is great for your happiness and emotional health. Jogging is known to have an anti-depressant effect on people, as well as the fact that it helps to reduce stress and anxiety as well. This has to do with something that we like to call the runner’s high, a feeling of happiness, euphoria, and elation that we get when we go on long jogs or runs.
This is due to a mixture of endorphins and brain chemicals which our brain releases at an increased rate when we exercise. The main chemicals that are released by our brains when we exercise include dopamine, serotonin, and various endocannabinoids.
All of these chemicals are feel happy chemicals that can alter our moods. For instance, this is the same thing that happens when we eat chocolate or fast food, which is why things like eating and exercise can be highly addictive, because we long for that feeling of elation. The combination of serotonin, dopamine, and endocannabinoids has the ability to reduce our stress levels, combats the effects of anxiety, and also relieves the effects of depression.
In simplest terms, these chemicals make us feel happy. It is also shown that there is a correlation between jogging outdoors and happiness. Something about nature, fresh air, and seeing lots of green seems to have a calming and relaxing effect on our body.
On a side note, endocannabinoids are also known to be effective pain suppressants. In case you were wondering, endocannabinoids are compounds found in marijuana, a substance known to make people feel happy, elated, and also reduces pain. On a side note, this can also help improve your sleep. You will feel less anxious, less stressed out, and you will have depleted energy levels, all of which will contribute to a better sleep.
Benefit #7: Brain Health & Cognitive Function
The next benefit that you can get from jogging on a regular basis is that it can help to improve various cognitive functions. The reason for this is actually closely linked to some of the other benefits that we have already talked about, mainly a more efficient heart and lungs. Your brain consists of a nearly immeasurable number of neurons, those being the cells in your brains which send out and receive electrical impulses.
In other words, your neurons are the things in your brain that allow you to think. The more blood and oxygen flows to your body, something which happens when you jog a lot, the more neurons are created in your brain. Jogging literally causes your brain to generate more of the things that allow you to think clearly.
This helps to improve cognitive function like quick mental reflexes and problem-solving skills. There is also the fact that this can help to improve both your long term and short term memory and can actually be very effective in helping to combat brain diseases such as Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Another brain benefit that you get from jogging, and thus more neurons, is that it allows you to adapt to various changes in your life more easily. Jogging may be a physical exercise and you may not think that it works out your brain, but it does in fact directly lead to increased cognitive functions.
Benefit #8: A Stronger Immune System
Jogging is also a great type of exercise because it can raise the efficiency of your immune system. Now keep in mind that jogging is not an overly intense form of exercise, thus while it can weaken your body and immune system temporarily if you push yourself too hard, it can also strengthen your immune system in the long run.
There are a few different reasons as to why jogging helps strengthen your immune system. One of these reasons is because exercise such as jogging forces your body to create more white blood cells. White blood cells are the things in your body which act as the front line defenders against viruses and bacteria.
Therefore, having more white blood cells in your body strengthens your immune system. In essence, it creates more soldiers to fight off terrorists. Moreover, having a better functioning circulatory system, due to a stronger heart, allows your body to pump these white blood cells at an increased rate, thus increasing the response time of your front line defenders.
Furthermore, having a stronger body including stronger muscles, lower levels of stress and depression, and less bodily fatigue all result in a strengthened immune system. If you thought that over the counter medication was the only solution to that nasty cold you have, maybe you should try going for a daily jog.
Benefit #9: It Helps You Lose Weight
Another big benefit that you get from jogging on a regular basis is that it will help you lose a whole lot of weight and burn calories at the same time. If you aren’t familiar with the basic concept, your body requires calories in order to function, because calories are what get turned into energy, energy that your body uses for all of its functions.
When you exercise, you are exerting force, something that requires an increased amount of energy, especially when exercising for a long time. This means that your body will burn an increased amount of energy when doing exercise such as jogging, thus burning away that Big Mac you just ate for lunch.
The beauty of this is that if your body does not have enough calories on hand from you eating food, it will turn to its fat reserves for the energy it needs to keep going. Of course what this means is that jogging can directly reduce the amount of body fat that you have, therefore getting rid of that pot belly and those love handles.
Even better is that regular exercise also helps to increase your metabolic rate, or in other words, the rate at which your body burns calories. Not only is your metabolic efficiency increased while you exercise, but also afterward. Your body will literally continue to burn an increased amount of energy for several hours after you exercise, thus directly contributing to weight loss and a healthy looking body.
Benefit #10: It’s Versatile, Free, And Social
There are of course several other minor benefits that you can get from jogging on a regular basis. One of those benefits is that it is very versatile in the sense that you can do it anywhere you want.
You can jog on the spot or on a treadmill in your own home, which lets you listen to music, watch TV, or read a book while exercising, thus keeping you motivated. You can jog at the gym, you can jog at the local racetrack or community center, or you can jog outdoors in nature. It’s a great sport because you can jog literally anywhere that suits your preference.
Moreover, jogging is also something that is relatively inexpensive. Besides a pair of running shoes, there is really nothing that you need to buy to do this exercise. Sure, you can jog on a treadmill at the gym, but that is not necessary. If you are looking to save some money, but still get into shape, then jogging is definitely the way to go.
Jogging is also great because it can be a very social type of exercise to engage in. You can find your own jogging partner or even join a local jogging group. Having exercise partners is always a great motivational factor. On the other hand, if you are more of a loner and like to exercise on your own while listening to music, there is nothing stopping you from jogging by yourself.
As you can see, there are many different benefits that come along with going on a regular jog. The benefits of jogging include things like increased heart health, better breathing, a lower weight level, increased happiness, better cognitive function, and much more. In short, jogging on a regular basis is your one-way ticket to health and happiness!
If you have any questions or concerns about jogging, just let us know and we will get back to you as soon as we can!