Which fitness program is the best? The type of exercise is not nearly as
important as your consistency doing it. Select a fun fitness program, and
you'll do it more often.
Exercise you look forward to is the best fitness program!
I was Race Director of The Great Pumpkin Race for 7 years. I've seen lots of people have fun running.
People from 1 to 100 years old ran. Short, tall, slender, hefty, old or
young, they all had a great time.
Running is an important foundation for many sports. You develop strength and
endurance. Jogging for weight loss works because it burns calories. A good
jogging program allows us personal quiet time to enjoy scenery and think deep
thoughts (or just plan your day). Jogging for exercise keeps you fit and
looking your best.
The true benefit of jogging is being healthy and looking
Our daily fitness level can even act as an early warning system for sickness.
How you feel after your run, indicates your current health level.
If your regular jogging program is unusually difficult one day, you may be
getting sick. Take appropriate steps to improve your health. Eat a few
vitamins or extra vegetables. It's much better than a week in bed from the
flu or a cold.
How to start jogging
Jogging gear doesn't require a lot, but you can look great running. It
doesn't even require the expense of a gym membership.
Your basic jogging gear is simple. Just dig things out of your closet and
start. As you run more, pick the equipment and outfits for your specific
circumstances. Don't worry, you'll figure out what you need.
All you really need are shoes, socks, shorts and a shirt ...but
Individual jogging gear depends on your circumstances. On a nice
summer day, I wear good running shoes and enough clothes to enjoy the
sunshine, and still be decent.
As the weather cools, I add layers. Modern jogging gear works great,
because it wicks away moisture, protects against wind and rain, but
still moves. Cold weather running apparel is amazing in cold
Exercise raises body temperature. While cool weather requires layers
of clothing, hot weather needs material that expels heat. Too many
clothes on your run, causes you to overheat.
In boot camp, our equipment used for jogging was hightop leather
shoes and something like cotton blue jeans and a golf shirt.
I wished for those sleek Star Trek uniforms that worked equally well,
in hot or cold weather. Today, modern jogging gear is made of those
materials, about 300 years early!
Of all the equipment used for running, shoes are most important.
Running shoes are the interface between the runner and the road. The
running shoe you choose can make the difference between running
comfortable or getting injured.
Running shoes have made incredible advances in the last few decades.
They last longer, while providing ideal support for your feet.
Tougher, lighter materials make running easier and your shoes keep
your feet dry while allowing them to breath.
A shoe is not just a shoe anymore. Running shoe companies now provide
different feet with a different shoe. While this seems to complicate
shoe selection, running in comfort with fewer injuries makes it
Every foot is built a little different and requires
a different running shoe
Special attention should be given to running shoe selection. Shoe size
is usually the one thing people know.
To determine your arch, look at your footprint. Just get your feet
wet and step on some thick paper.
don't absorb shock. Instead, the shock is absorbed
by the legs. The high arch tends to be a supinator (underpronator). A
shoe works best.
A normal arch
is most common. This normal pronation arch
absorbs the shock. Normal arch feet can wear most shoes but might tend
The low arch
is also called flat foot. The arch tends to
collapse and absorb more shock. This is overpronation and your foot
has excessive motion. The low arch is more prone to injury and should
shoes if you are looking for good
weather resistant running shoes. They are more likely to be waterproof and
gives you better traction.
The type of jogging clothes you wear, determines your comfort level and even
your speed and health. Dressing in layers works best. You want to dress a
little bit cool, because you heat up as you exercise.
I have a running shirt, not much thicker than a T-shirt. The first
time I wore it, it was about 8ºf.
As I ran, traffic slowed and stared at me. When I stopped, I noticed
steam coming off the shirt. I was dry and toasty, while the shirt was
On a warm day, I can wear the same shirt and stay cool. Weird
stuff, but I sure like it.
People who try technical clothing, seldom go back!
The inner layer
should fit snug and wick moisture away from your body.
Coolmax® or Lycra® are great materials for the first layer (only
layer in warm weather). Sweat makes you clammy and uncomfortable. Coolmax or
Lycra dries twice as fast as cotton and keeps you warm when it's cold and
cooler when it's hot.
Coolmax® or Lycra® wick moisture away quickly and dry in half the
time of cotton. These materials make a great first layer (only layer in warm
weather). Lycra is a stretchy material and fits very snug, like a second
skin. Long distance runners can appreciate that a fast drying fabric takes
the rub out as well.
High tech materials mean you dress like Star Trek,
instead of the Michelin Man
Cold weather running apparel, includes an outer shell. This shell should be
waterproof and wind proof, but still allows moisture to escape.
Rain cools you faster than you think. Heat transfers quicker through water
than air. An outer shell
should be waterproof and wind proof, but
still allow moisture to escape. Gore-Tex® is another magical material.
It allows steam through, but blocks rain because it has a larger molecule
Lots of heat escapes through your head and hands. On a cold day, a hat keeps you
surprisingly warm. Gloves or mittens keep your hands warm. I like polar fleece,
maybe with a water resistant shell.
If the weather becomes really cold, you may want to add an insulating
. Polar fleece works great. It allows moisture to continue away from
you. It also keeps you warm even when it's wet.
The legs don't sweat as much as the torso, so usually one layer is
sufficient. Athletic gear is designed for movement and works best.
Sweat clings to cotton. Lycra pulls sweat away from the body and expels it.
Along with details like support and rub, new materials can make running so
much more comfortable and even faster.
When to Run
Jogging can fit any schedule. Some people do mornings, others do
You don't have to run every day. You need time between runs to recover. As we
get older, recovery time increases. Any type of exercise stresses the muscles,
but we actually get stronger during recovery time.
Get creative and you'll find time
Travel can be tough on your running schedule. Once, at a hotel, I ran up 27
flights of stairs to the top floor. What a great workout with a reward of a
wonderful view of the city!
I was training for a marathon and needed my long run, but I was flying that
weekend. The solution? Simply put on my running clothes at the airport, my
wife drove home with the luggage. After 20 miles and a few hours, I finally
Do whatever works most consistently in your schedule
Jogging for weight loss or jogging for exercise only requires running 2 or 3
times a week. You might try mixing other types of workouts with your
Where to Run
A marathon goal obviously requires longer runs than a goal of
jogging for weight loss. Goals can change over time. Follow your interests,
they guide the way.
Try a fun run and ask the Race Director for a course map. Don't be shy, we're
regular people and are thrilled when someone appreciates our course enough to
run it often (after all, it took hours to design). A fun run route is usually
measured and the kinks have been smoothed out, making it an ideal run.
A simple course is to run down a road for a while, then turn around and come
back. This works great when I'm out of town. I don't get lost. Remember,
to run up a hill first.
Keep it simple and pick a course you want to run
You don't have to run the same course every time. Different courses offer
different exercises and different scenery.