Jogging Tips for the Unmotivated and Over 40

The first of our jogging tips and all other tips is SEE A DOCTOR BEFORE BEGINNING ANY EXERCISE PROGRAM!

I gave in and added jogging tips for healthy guys over 40 and for younger people. There's a secret to speed!

Jogging Tips 1: Stretching

Don't stretch before you jog. Warm up instead, then stretch afterward.

Stretching before you exercise is old school. Modern coaches who keep up with the latest research know the new principle:

You should only stretch warm muscles; therefore, stretching cannot be a warm-up.

Instead of stretching, start slow. Nowadays, a good distance runner will run a mile at a slow speed to warm up. A poor distance runner will walk for 10 minutes to warm up before he or she runs. A weight lifter will do light weights before he hefts the heavy ones.

Jogging Tips 2: Always warm up.

There's one exception to Jogging Tips 2. If jogging—walking or running at a slow, leisurely pace—means walking slowly for you right now, then you need no warm-up. Your exercise is a warm up.

  • If you're throwing in a few short runs in your jogging, then don't do them right at the start. Warm up first by walking at least a couple minutes.
  • If you just got done cleaning out your closet, mowing your lawn, or weeding your garden, then you already warmed up. If you've been active, you don't have to do a warm-up because you are warm.

Jogging Tips 3: Throw in a little run during your jog.

Varying your speed helps your joints and your muscles. Your muscles don't do the same things over and over, so they don't get so stiff.

You were not made to run, run, run, or to walk, walk, walk. You were made to run, walk, go up a hill, go down a hill, go over soft ground, go over hard ground, go over rough ground, cross a creek, climb over a couple rocks or through a couple gullies …

You get the idea. Jogging tips 3 is to vary what your muscles are doing, which will make them supple and keep them from stiffening.

Some Safety Jogging Tips

  • Make sure you can throw in runs. Consult your doctor, and consult your joint pain. Don't run if you can't.
  • Don't run far. If you can only run 10 feet easily, run 10 feet. If 200 yards is easy, then run 200 yards.
  • Be repetitive. If 200 yards a second time is easy, run 200 yards a second time. If it's easy a third time, do it a third time. And so on.
  • Quit when you think you could do three or four more repeats of your run! Do not wait until you wonder if you could do one more. If you do that, you will quit jogging in a day or a week. You want to do this for the rest of your life!

I met a 78-year-old who would run 5 miles, then do 75 sit-ups with his feet in the air. (He wasn't in the pain you would be in if you did this. Take it easy.)

You can work on these jogging tips for the rest of your life.

In fact, a better example were two men in their 70's who used to come into the health spa I worked in. They would hang out in the spa for a couple hours every day, chatting with one another. They would climb on the climbing machine for a couple minutes, then spend 5 or 10 minutes on the stair stepper, then chat a while, then tinker with some other machine.

One of those guys was 78 as well. He wasn't in the kind of shape the 5-mile-running 78-year-old was in, but he was active, happy, clear-minded, and in no imminent danger of going to a nursing home.

That's where you and I want to be.

Shift things around. Vary your speed, your terrain, and your scenery. It'll keep you going, and it will keep you flexible and mobile.

Jogging Tips 4: Don't do the same thing every day.

You may or may not know this, but a lot of over 40, very fit men have had heart attacks and died while they were jogging. In fact, in 2002 four middle-age, fit, jogging physicians—Dr. Michael Gallagher, Dr. Frederick Montz, Dr. David Nagey, and Dr. Jeffery Williams-all died of heart attacks … while jogging … in a seven month period … in Baltimore!

How unusual is that?

It's important to heed these jogging tips!

One exercise authority I read suggested that the reason that so many fit, middle-aged men die of heart attacks while jogging is because they do the same thing over and over and over every day. Their hearts are conditioned for two speeds, sitting and running. Anything in between is still a danger.

I don't know if that's true, but I do know that if you want to improve your fitness, it is best to vary the strenuousness of your exercise.

World-class runners vary their workouts, alternating easy days with hard days. Even their hard days vary. A world-class long-distance runner will normally do one long run per week, one tempo run (medium distance at near race pace), and one interval day (repeated short runs at faster than race pace). In between they will either rest or have an easy, slow day.

You should do the same, just with not so much effort.

Follow these jogging tips! Remember, you have to do this for the rest of your life, so you have to do what's easy!

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