The benefits of brisk walking and jogging: From couch to 5k

Physical activities that entail moving steadily for an extended length of time include brisk walking and jogging.

While jogging involves running continuously at about 5 to 6 miles per hour, brisk walking often entails walking at a faster-than-usual pace, typically about 3 to 4 miles per hour.

Brisk walking and jogging are two forms of cardio exercise that can enhance your general health and fitness [1]. Learn about the advantages of both brisk walking and jogging and how to include them in your fitness regimen. 

Brisk walking and jogging

Running and brisk walking are simple and convenient exercises because you can do them inside and outside. Jogging, on the other hand, can be more demanding than brisk walking and may only be appropriate for some people, particularly those who have joint troubles or other medical conditions that make high-impact exercise challenging.

Both jogging and brisk walking have several health advantages [2], including enhanced cardiovascular health, weight management, lowered risk of chronic diseases, improved bone health, improved mood, and more energy. It’s important to start slowly and gradually raise your exercise’s intensity and duration over time to avoid injury and ensure you get the greatest benefit out of your physical activity.

The benefits of brisk walking and jogging: From couch to 5k

How to do brisk walking

Typically, brisk walking is three to four miles per hour faster than usual. Start walking briskly by following these steps:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes: Go for loose-fitting, lightweight clothing that offers your feet good support and padding.
  • Warm-up: It’s essential to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for exercise before you begin your fast walk. You can accomplish this by starting out slowly and stepping up your pace over a few minutes.
  • Start slowly: If you’re new to brisk walking, start off slowly and gradually pick up the pace as you go. Strive to walk for at least 10 minutes, then build up to greater periods of time.
  • Maintain good posture: Maintain proper posture by keeping your head up, shoulders back, and arms naturally swinging at your sides. To assist you in walking with appropriate posture the entire time, contract your core muscles.
  • Increase your pace: As you get more accustomed to brisk walking, attempt to pick up the pace until you notice that your breathing is heavier and your heart rate is higher.
  • Cool down: It’s essential to cool yourself down and relax your legs after a strenuous walk to prevent damage. This can be accomplished by going for a short, leisurely stroll while engaging in some simple stretching exercises.

Always be mindful of your body and adjust your pace as appropriate. Staying healthy and consulting a doctor is essential before starting a new exercise routine, particularly if you’re suffering from any existing medical conditions.

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The how-tos of jogging

Running more slowly than sprinting is what it meant when someone is jogging. You can start jogging by following the steps listed below:

  • Dress appropriately: Wear relaxed clothes and running-specific footwear that is supportive and comfy.
  • Warm-up: Start with a 5–10 minute warm-up to prepare your body for the activity. You can perform gentle stretches, walk quickly, or jog moderately to raise your heart rate and warm up your muscles.
  • Start jogging: Set off at a slow, relaxed pace. Keep your posture upright and pay attention to your breathing. Aim for a soft landing and minimize overstriding.
  • Set a goal: Choose the distance or duration you wish to cover throughout your run. Start with a modest objective and progressively up the length and intensity of your jogging workouts.
  • Monitor your progress: Watch your time, pace, and distance with a smartwatch or a fitness app. This will support your progress monitoring and motivational efforts.
  • Cool down: To progressively drop your heart rate and prevent muscular pain after your jogging workout, cool down with a 5–10 minute stroll or gentle stretching.

Stay fresh and pay attention to your body. Should there be any discomfort or pain, learn when to stop jogging or doing brisk walks and seek medical assistance.

Why does cardio matter?

Activities that boost your heart rate and breathing rate for a prolonged time are referred to as cardiovascular exercises, often known as cardio or aerobic exercises [3]. Brisk walking and jogging are examples of these.

Cardio exercise is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle and has several advantages for your health, including the following:

  • Improved cardiovascular health: Cardiovascular activities strengthen the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. This lowers the chance of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic illnesses.
  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases: It has been shown that regular exercise reduces the risk of chronic illnesses like diabetes, certain cancers, and osteoarthritis.
  • Improved brain function: Regular cardio activity boosts blood flow to the brain and encourages the creation of new brain cells, which can improve brain function and memory.
  • Increased calorie burn: Cardio activity boosts metabolism and aids in fat burning, which makes it an efficient way to burn calories and shed pounds.
  • Improved sleep: Cardio exercise can aid in lengthening and improving sleep, which lowers the risk of sleep problems like insomnia.
  • Better mood and stress relief: Physical activities release endorphins, feel-good hormones that can uplift your spirits and soothe tension.

Aim for 75 minutes per week of the strenuous cardio activity or 150 minutes per week of moderate cardio activity for overall health and fitness, along with resistance-training exercises.

Benefits of brisk walking and jogging

Jogging and brisk walking are both excellent forms of exercise that are good for your physical well-being. They are easy to get and execute and can be performed by oneself or with friends. Here are just a few of the numerous health benefits:

Reduced risk of chronic diseases

Your risk of contracting chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and coronary artery disease can be reduced by engaging in regular physical exercise like jogging and brisk walking. Being overweight or obese raises your chance of getting a number of chronic illnesses [4], so vigorous physical activity can assist you to lose pounds and keep it off. 

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Improved cardiovascular health

Raising your heart rate and oxygen intake, in both activities can assist your heart and lungs stay healthy. They are an excellent way to strengthen the heart, increase circulation, and lower the chance of developing chronic diseases. 

  • Strengthens the heart: As you jog or walk efficiently, your heart beats more quickly, pumping more blood and oxygen to your muscles to help them work better. Enhancing the heart’s capacity to pump blood effectively can also help lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels: Exercises like brisk walking and jogging can help reduce “bad” levels of cholesterol, which may boost the likelihood of heart disease and plaque accumulation in the arteries.
  • Improves circulation flow throughout the body: Both jogging and brisk walking promote better circulation. This can lower the chance of developing cardiovascular problems like strokes, heart attacks, and high levels of blood pressure.
The benefits of brisk walking and jogging: From couch to 5k
Photograph: Johnstocker/Envato

Weight management

Exercises like brisk walking and jogging can aid weight loss or maintenance by burning calories [5]. By burning calories, enhancing metabolism, decreasing hunger, enhancing insulin sensitivity, and boosting energy levels, both activities can effectively manage weight. To get the best effects, keep in mind that vigorous walking and jogging should be combined with a healthy, balanced diet.

Boosted mood and reduced stress

Exercises that release endorphins, which are bodily compounds that can elevate mood and lessen stress, include brisk walking and jogging. Because they are capable of evoking sensations of joy and pleasure, endorphins are also referred to as “feel-good” chemicals [6].

Jogging and brisk walking have additional advantages for your mental health, such as:

  • Improved sleep quality and duration
  • Reduced stress hormones
  • Higher self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Sense of accomplishment and self-efficacy

Finding cardiovascular activities that you like and can fit into your lifestyle is essential because doing so can enhance commitment as well as mental health benefits [7].

Increased energy levels

Exercise on a regular basis can assist increase energy and reduce tiredness. The supply of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals to the muscles and organs is increased during jogging and brisk walking, which also boosts energy generation.

From couch to 5k: our takeaway

If your workout goal is to increase your stamina, reduce weight, or boost your heart health, both brisk walking and jogging are suitable options. It’s important to choose the activity that suits your hobbies and physical fitness most effectively.

Brisk walking might be a better option if you have joint issues or are new to exercising. As you go on, you can increase the pace and length of your walks little by little. Jogging can be added to your schedule once you’ve developed some endurance to get additional health benefits.

Your unique exercise goals and way of life ultimately determine whether you integrate brisk walking and jogging. By incorporating both forms of exercise into your daily routine, you can gain a lot of benefits and enhance your overall health and well-being.

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The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.