If you want to lose weight at a healthy and sustainable rate, you will probably need to introduce a regimen of regular aerobic exercise into your everyday life. The easiest way to do this is to start jogging or running - both forms of exercise can deliver weight loss and general improvements to your health. But which form of exercise is the most effective for speedy weight loss? And which is best suited to your lifestyle?
What are the main differences between running and jogging?
The simplest and easiest way to get cardiovascular exercise is to take a brisk walk. However, by exerting a little more effort and increasing the muscle power used, you can step up to a jog relatively easy. Jogging involves a gentle trot, and it is something almost anyone can attempt.
Running requires a quicker and longer stride pattern, and it gets the heart working and calories burning far more quickly. The easiest way to differentiate both forms of exercise is to categorise them by speed. A jog usually means moving at less than nine miles per hour, whereas running involves moving at more than nine miles per hour. You can use a fitness tracker app to help you keep track of your average speed and distance travelled.
What are the benefits of running and jogging?
The health benefits you can enjoy by running or jogging regularly are very similar - what changes is the scope of those benefits. For instance, both jogging and running will create a healthier cardiovascular system, burn calories, strengthen bones and keep your joints flexible. Where running differs, however, is that it allows you to gain a much greater level of overall fitness. It also allows you to lose weight far more quickly than jogging. Which form of exercise you decide to take up should depend on your physical capabilities, your personal goals and your motivation levels.
If you are new to regular exercise, and you're worried about your physical capabilities, it's probably best to start your new healthy lifestyle by jogging. This will help you to gradually build up your fitness levels, but it will also help you to start losing weight, increase muscle strength and improve your cardiovascular health. Use a step counter to gradually build up your exercise intensity levels, and you can accelerate your weight loss as your fitness levels improve.
Running, on the other hand, is a great way of improving on already advanced levels of fitness. It is proven to reduce the risk of stroke and breast cancer, and many medical professionals believe it can be beneficial in tackling the very early symptoms of hypertension, type-2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Running for 30 minutes, three times a week is also known to reduce blood pressure over time, which greatly reduces the risk of heart disease. Other health benefits include the reduction of cholesterol and the increase of lung capacity.
Which is best for you?
The decision to run or jog should be based on your current fitness levels, your ultimate goal and your personal preferences. However, it's important to bear in mind that running is a far more strenuous endeavour than jogging. If you suffer from back or joint pain, it's probably best to start off your new exercise regimen with some gentle jogging - after consulting your doctor, of course.
You may feel like you're up to the task of running immediately, only to suffer from one of the many afflictions that are common amongst avid runners. Injuries that go hand in hand with regular running include pulled muscles, shin splints, knee pain, twisted ankles and 'jogger's nipple' (caused by friction from clothing). All of these injuries are far less likely when jogging, so don't be afraid to swap running for jogging when your body tells you to.
Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with switching between jogging and running on different days - or even during the same workouts. As long as you are consuming fewer calories than you're burning, you will lose weight. The important thing to remember is to stick to an exercise regimen that is sustainable and enjoyable - otherwise you may simply give up after just a few sessions.