How to jog; jogging tips

Proper equipment; warming up; getting started. An exercise program for a normally healthy person should consist of a warm-up, an aerobic portion, a muscle strength and flexibility section, and a cool-down. Jogging-running at a comfortable pace for 20 to 30 minutes-can be the aerobic portion.

The right equipment is essential to preventing injury: a pair of jogging shoes, not tennis or basketball shoes. The shoes should have good support around the heel, a well-cushioned midsole (to reduce impact shock), enough flexibility to bend easily at the ball of the foot (test the shoe with your hands), a wide sole, an arch support, and a thumb’s width of space between the big toe and the shoe tip. Most important, the shoes should fit your feet; don’t buy a pair just because it matches your outfit.

Clothing should be loose and comfortable, of porous fabric, and light. Once you’ve warmed up, you’ll need less than if you were walking.

It’s best to jog on a resilient surface: dirt, grass, or a cinder track. If it must be paving, asphalt is preferable to concrete. Try to find a partner; it’s easier and more fun.

First, warm up with about 10 minutes of exercises-walking, arm circles, ankle rotations. In addition, stretch the calf muscles and hamstrings (the muscles in the backs of knees and thighs).

Start out at a slow, comfortable pace. How long you jog is more important than how far or how fast. Jog until your heart rate is at your training level for aerobic exercise. Keep it there for 20 to 30 minutes. At the start, if you cannot run in your training zone for that long, alternate walking and jogging; gradually increase the jogging.

When you finish, slow to a walk, then cool down with more exercises and stretching so that your heart rate drops gradually to normal. If you have questions about your health and exercise or are over age 35, see your doctor before starting to jog.