Jogging is one of the most recommended kinds of exercise to break a sedentary lifestyle, as it doesn’t require financial investment, special gear or a specific venue. The only drawback is that those who choose jogging are not often prepared by sport experts, and they are not supervised during exercise. Usually experienced joggers share their wisdom with newbies, and lots of myths may be transferred along with the hard facts. Here’s a list of twelve such misconceptions.
Myth #1. Walking is not as useful as jogging
In fact, walking with varied intensity is more recommended to beginners, to overweight persons, and to individuals suffering from knee or spinal cord problems. With walking, the risk of injury is greatly reduced because of the lower intensity and the weaker impact with the ground. Fast walking, moreover, can be more efficient than slow jogging.
Myth #2. Beginner joggers don’t necessarily need a new pair of running shoes
The sacrum of a person who doesn’t do sports is 40% weaker than that of a regular jogger. The physical and theoretical lacks of a beginner need to be counterbalanced by the equipment, that is, the clothing and the shoes. Significant sport injuries are the result of initial micro-injuries.
Myth #3. You must tire yourself out even during the first jogging sessions, and you have to hurt
Excessive exertion in the beginning won’t make us enjoy being outdoors. It will be difficult to keep working out if we put the stake very high. If we gradually raise the intensity of the exercise instead, we can reach the limits of our capabilities in a few weeks, from which point we can push ourselves to an even higher performance. However, the first jogging sessions should be easier and shorter.
Myth #4. You have to exercise every day
What will make you fitter is not exercise, but the response of your body to the exercise. To make the response as efficient as possible, your body needs resting periods. These periods can be longer or shorter depending on the intensity of exertion. For example, after a competition the body needs several days of rest.
Myth #5. Jogging is not suitable to prevent osteoporosis and joint problems
On the contrary, regular jogging reduces the risk of developing osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Softening of the joint surfaces and osteoporosis are the results of metabolism deficiency, which, in turn, has its origins in a sedentary lifestyle, similar to type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. The majority of regular cyclical resistance sports help maintaining young age abilities, or even rebuilding these abilities, as the body adapts to the new circumstances. The length of adaptation depends on the type of exercise and the age. We can build muscles faster than bone mass.
Myth #6. You need to start with stretching
Only warm muscles can be stretched efficiently. Stretching cold muscles can lead to injuries and even to ruptures. You need to do a 15 minute warm up for the muscles to reach an optimal temperature for the workout. The surest sign that your muscles are sufficiently warmed up is that your skin pores open up and you start sweating. In the winter you will be cold until this process starts.
Myth #7. You need to break in new running shoes
If you find a pair of shoes slightly uncomfortable in the store, make sure to choose another pair instead. You don’t need to be able to start doing maximum intensity jogging at once, but your shoes need to be completely comfortable from the very first moment you start wearing them.
Myth #8. All your body needs is slow, prolonged jogging
Jogging is great exercise, but hobby joggers tend to forget the necessity of developing muscle and cardiovascular exercise, both being necessary to balance the strain and to avoid injuries.
Myth #9. Varying the intensity of long exercise sessions leads to fast results
Varying intensity is straining enough; it is best to introduce one new thing at a time in your exercise routine. This method is also important because we know at once if we have made a mistake.
Myth #10. The night before a competition you need to load up on carbohydrates
If the running competition involves a less than 15 km distance, this is not necessary. If somebody is not fit enough, he or she shouldn’t run so much.
Myth #11. Everybody is able to run the marathon
It may sound sad, but approximately one out of five people have a muscle mass that doesn’t allow them to run long distances. To put things in perspective, not everybody could ever become able to run 100 meters in 10.4 seconds either.
Myth #12. You only need a month to prepare for a marathon
If one claims he or she needs only six weeks to get ready for a marathon, probably that person is already in a great physical shape. However, lacking the basic requirements can lead to serious problems if you force yourself to do the marathon anyway, involving serious muscle injuries and joint cracks. Just remember the first marathon runner who died as a result of overexertion. You should rather wait until next year to try yourself out if you really are in top shape by then.