Why Jogging is Essential to Your Health

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Jogging is a higher impact activity than walking. Jogging requires that both feet must be off the ground for a split-second during every stride. Because joggers become airborne, their impact with the ground is greater and the expenditure of energy is higher than that of walking except under two circumstances.

1. The energy expenditure or oxygen cost of very slow jogging (5 mph) is equal to walking at the same speed. At speeds faster than 5 mph, the oxygen cost of walking exceeds that of jogging because of the inefficiency associated with very fast walking.

2. The oxygen cost of jogging up a hill is about half that of walking up the same hill at the same speed. Both feet come off the ground during jogging, so some of the vertical lift needed to run up the hill occurs naturally, thereby lowering the net cost of the vertical work.

Some surfaces are better than others. Still, jogging can be pursued almost anywhere that is devoid of hazards such as potholes or jutting rocks. Jogging also is time-effective. For instance, a person might take 1 hour to walk 4 miles but only 35 to 40 minutes to slow-jog the same distance. The savings in time is important to many busy people.

Even though the popularity of jogging has declined somewhat in the last few years, it nonetheless remains alive and kicking. An estimated 20 million people jog a minimum of three times per week. Studies have shown that joggers as a whole are highly dedicated to this activity and are compliant exercisers. Jogging will remain an effective means of improving health and fitness and likely will continue to appeal to a large number of participants.

A factor that contributes to the appeal of walking and jogging is that these activities can be done either indoors or outdoors and in most environmental conditions. From the perspective of clothing and equipment needs, a good pair of shoes is mandatory to protect against potential injury. The environmental conditions should dictate the remainder of the attire.

Another appealing factor is that participants can walk or jog alone or with others. Walking or jogging in solitude provides the opportunity for introspection, or to mentally organize that paper that you have to write for class, or it provides a setting for the mind to roam freely. Walking or jogging also offers the opportunity for socialization and camaraderie with friends who are interested in the same form of exercise, and it is an ideal circumstance for conversation.

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