One of the biggest mistakes that people make in their attempt to lose weight and get fit is to start jogging. This activity is so common and has been done for so long that everyone automatically assumes it’s effective and safe.
This is far from the truth. Step into any gym and you’ll see people pounding on the treadmills endlessly. Sweaty heaps of exhausted flesh dragging their feet as they mindlessly put one foot in front of another.
Here’s the kicker – for all their efforts, they see minimal results. They always look the same. Some of them develop joint pain in the knees and back.
Why Is Jogging Bad For Me?
There’s a difference between running and/or sprinting and jogging. While both are high impact activities, running/sprinting is high intensity. Your metabolism gets a boost and your strength and stamina improve remarkably.
Running tends to be done for a shorter duration because it’s a much tougher activity. So, there’s less impact on your joints.
Jogging, however, is a lower intensity form of exercise. So, you don’t really get a boost in metabolism that lasts for hours (excess post-exercise oxygen deficit), but since it’s slower-paced, you can go on for a much longer time and actually wear out your joints without even realizing it.
You’re getting the worst of all worlds. Jogging is still tiring, takes up more time, causes pain in the long run – but the results are unimpressive and not worth the effort.
Introducing the Power of Walking!
Contrary to popular belief, walking is actually MORE effective than jogging. For starters, it’s a low impact activity and will not stress out your joints.
If you’re looking to lose weight, you may wonder if you should walk or jog. This should not even be a debate because almost 90% of your weight loss results will depend on your diet.
What you eat is much more important to weight loss than the type of activity you engage in. Exercise is just a means to an end. It’s supposed to boost your metabolism, burn some calories and improve your strength and stamina.
If you incorporate 2 or 3 resistance training sessions a week with a daily walking program, you’ll be set. Walking for 30 minutes first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach), is one of the best ways to burn stubborn fat.
The glycogen levels in your body will be low and your body will be forced to tap into its fat stores for fuel. If you were to try this with jogging, you’d be exhausted because there’s not enough glucose to fuel the activity. You’d be stressing your body out unnecessarily.
Depending on your goals, walking can be a meditative process if you try to walk mindfully and appreciate your surroundings. It’s a stress soother and can help some people more than meditation while sitting.
It also helps to improve your focus if you walk in a place with less distractions. Hiking in the mountains or through a nature trail is a form of walking. People don’t realize that hiking is actually a ‘walking activity’. It just has a different name.
Just like most forms of exercise, walking will improve your blood circulation, reduce cholesterol levels, lower the risk of heart disease and other health issues such as glaucoma, etc. If you walk daily in the sun, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamin D too.
The beauty of walking is that most people can do it. You’d be amazed to discover how many morbidly obese people who could barely walk for more than a few minutes, gradually lost all their weight and increased their stamina just by walking alone.
Unlike jogging which is a draining activity, walking is easier and for people who dislike exercise, it’s an easier mental hurdle to cross. Once you start walking daily, you’ll inculcate the habit of activity in your lifestyle.
As time goes on, you may wish to try out higher intensity workouts to challenge yourself. But that’s later…
For now, lace up your walking shoes and start walking. There’s immeasurable power in this simple activity that we were born to do.
“Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far“Thomas Jefferson