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Jogging is a form of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise that provides you with many physical, mental and even social benefits. Some of the benefits of jogging won't show up for weeks, while other benefits can be enjoyed more quickly. Before you start a new jogging program, speak to your doctor to make sure you proceed in a way that's best for you.
Heart Health Benefits
An easy-paced jog, for a total of one to 2 1/2 hours each week, that leaves you a little bit breathless but still able to talk intermittently provides your body with many cardiovascular benefits, reports New York University's Langone Medical Center. These benefits can extend your life up to six years. Similar to any other muscle in your body, your heart becomes strengthened and works more efficiently as you jog regularly.
Jogging is an excellent way to lose weight. You'll burn approximately 250 calories in a half-hour jog and about 500 calories after one hour. As you burn 3,500 calories over the course of a week or more without increasing your food intake, you'll enjoy the benefit of losing 1 pound of fat. To boost this benefit of jogging, you can follow a calorie-reduced diet that adds to your weight loss. A reduction of 250 to 500 calories each day will help you lose 1/2 to 1 pound more each week, in addition to the weight you lose jogging.
Mental Health Benefits
The mental health benefits experienced during and after jogging are some of the quickest benefits you'll reap. As endorphins are released into your body, you'll begin to feel calmer and happier. Some joggers even experience a mild euphoric feeling, often referred to as a "runner's high." These feelings help relieve stress and, as you continue to jog, the strength and stamina you build will help you feel more confident.
Muscle Development Benefits
When you jog, the large muscles of your lower legs are engaged, as are your abdominal muscles and arm muscles. Regular joggers and runners often look lean and toned, which is due to the muscle development that occurs naturally as you jog. You can increase this benefit and burn more calories to promote weight loss by wearing a 4- to 7-pound weighted vest while you jog. Start out with less weight and slowly increase it every one to two weeks. Alternatively, you can also build more muscle and burn more calories during your jog by incorporating a few hills into your jogging workout.