Here are my credentials: I’m a jogger, and I’ve injured myself, and I’ve been to a podiatrist. I’ll answer your questions based only on personal experience. Here goes:
Jogging is good for cardiovascular health, although walking fast may be just as effective. Jogging can be very bad for the knees and ankles. I’ve never experienced “jogger’s nipple.”
It helped me lose weight. In March 2000, I began jogging and eating healthy meals. I lost 60 pounds by November 2000. Note that I had to change my diet significantly – I’m now on the Zone diet, as formulated by Barry Sears, PhD.
I began by jogging for 15 minutes (once a day). Two weeks later, I raised my time to 20 minutes per jog. Two weeks later, I raised my time to 25 minutes…I now run 35 minutes at a time, once or twice a day, 6 times a week. Be patient. Be very patient. And run based on time rather than distance, at least until you get serious.
Do you have any health problems? For instance, arthritis (or any sort of joint problem, really), heart, or breathing problems? If you’re in general good health, then PROBABLY jogging would be all right for you. I am not a doctor, though, and it would be best to consult a health care provider (doctor (DO or MD), NP, PA) before starting any sort of physical training. Remember, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. Some minor soreness and stiffness is normal. Serious pains are not. It’s best to start slowly and gradually add speed and distance. Beginners commonly overdo, then give up in disgust.
Jogging got me into shape – remember that I also had a good, healthy diet. A friend of mine, who has a very strange lung disease, actually improved her condition (she didn’t heal it) by running. I noticed a lot of fat loss and a lot less heartburn.
Jogging absolutely gives me more energy, throughout the day. I’m tired after completing my runs, of course. I have also noticed a tremendous improvement in my moods.
You must not jog in the heat of the afternoon – it is too dangerous. I’m overreacting a bit, but it is better to be safe than heat exhausted. Morning is good, but I find that running at night is better for me – I’ve had food in me, and can jog a little bit extra (more energy).
It took me two and a half months before I noticed much difference. I was going for weight loss. My leg strength increased about as slowly, and I didn’t really measure my cardiovascular health.
I think running boosts my metabolism. Exercise does that, doesn’t it? Ask a doctor!
I get upper body strength from lifting weights at the gym (oh, and by fighting crime in my red & black tights at night). You might be able to run with weights, but I would recommend not doing so. You’ve got to carry keys and a stopwatch, and you only have so many hands…
You should definitely stretch before running. A few articles I’ve read in Runner’s World suggest gently jogging for 5 - 10 minutes and then stretching, and then running for real. If you don’t stretch, the likelihood of injury increases a great deal. Be sure to get the ankles, shins, calves, hamstrings, groin, quadriceps and outer glutes stretched.
I usually eat, and then jog 60 minutes later. I don’t like cramps. You probably should have some food/energy in you before you run.
Get lots of potassium in your diet (bananas, orange juice, etc) and drink lots of water. The most common problem I have when jogging is cramping, caused by a lack of potassium and water.
Don’t run too fast, unless you’re training for a race. I run for the aerobic benefits, and don’t go very fast. My general rule is this: If I’m breathing heavy, I’m going too fast. Slow down if you become uncomfortable. You lose fat better when exercising aerobically. When you go too fast, you exercise anaerobically.
Run with a partner. It is very difficult to summon up the willpower to run by yourself. It’s also boring, and potentially dangerous. Carry identification with you at all times (in your shoe?).
Get running shoes, not cross-trainers. Change your shoes every 3-4 months, even if the shoe still looks healthy. My doctor recommends New Balance shoes.
Run heel-to-toe. Running on the balls of your feet, while considered proper “race form” by some, will strain the heck out of your ankle and achilles tendon. Concentrate on that: heel-toe, heel-toe.
If you injure something, see a podiatrist immediately.
Thanks for all the replys. I have no injury that I have known of and besides, I sometimes like pain. I run out of energy a lot throughout the day. Like I go to school (its over now but when it starts) I come home very tired and have to sleep at least for 2-4 hours. Also I am getting out of shape. Do I have to follow a diet? I hate good diets, I am forign so I eat all forign food and dont really know whats in what and all the calories. I think they are healthy since most of them are vegetables and stuff :). Why is it not good to jog in the heat? Where I am it reaches close to 100 degrees every afternoon and gets very hot. I thought it would be good cause I would sweat a lot and loose some weight. Well thanks for all the replys. I really apperciate it :). Later.
BTW, I listen to my cdplayer a lot so I wont get bored when jogging.
Jeez, just the thought of exercising in heat like that is enough to make me pass out, and I live in Hawaii. You risk heatstroke, dehydration, and a nasty sunburn when you exercise during the heat of the day.
I just pulled a calf muscle yesterday while jogging. That’s the second time in 2 years that I pulled it. Maybe it’s age catching up to me.
I run for 30 minutes,5 days a week in loose sand. No cars to dodge and I think it is easier on my knees. I’ve been told that running 1 mile in the sand is the same as 2 on a hard surface. I usually wait until late afternoon because of the heat. Most days a nice offshore breeze will be blowing by then.
It helps me keep my weight in check and I really beleive it gives me much more energy.