Jogging Benefits: Lose Weight, Improve Heart Health & Why Slow is Better

Jogging is an unsung fitness hero. Here's why.

jogging health benefits

Jogging is an unsung hero among many fitness enthusiasts. You probably haven’t heard anyone say “I had a really good workout going jogging.”

But here’s the thing: there are so many health benefits of jogging. In this article, we will discuss a few of the benefits (in a moment).

But first, let’s clarify one important difference.

What’s the difference between running and jogging?

Jogging and running are not the same things. Jogging is running, but (and a big but) at a slower pace. 

The steady, slow and maintained rigor helps you to build endurance and stamina. It’s also a good warmup before any form of high-intensity training.

It comes down to intensity.

Running is at a more rapid pace. It also exerts more kilojoules and requires a higher aerobic effort. Your lungs, heart, and muscles will all be involved in a greater way.

Keep in mind that as an aerobic type of exercise, both jogging and running produce energy. They do so tapping into the oxygen and blood glucose or body fat.

Can jogging help you lose weight? 

In a newly published study, researchers set out to investigate how factors such as genetics and lifestyle impact on extreme weight gain or obesity.

Over 18,000 adults with ages between thirty and seventy participated in the study, enabling researchers to observe both their exercise routines and unique genes.

Five measures of obesity were investigated as part of this study, and they are:

  1. Body mass index (BMI)
  2. Body fat percentage (BFP)
  3. Waist circumference (WC), 
  4. Hip circumference (HC), and
  5. Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)

To understand participants’ genes, researchers created from blood samples to find certain gene variants related to obesity. 

Also, participants were enrolled in an exercise or activity of at least 30 minutes, and they had to do this three times a week.

The findings which were published in the reputable PLOS Genetics journal reported something shocking.

Lin, the lead researcher, and colleagues found that even if obesity runs in your family, you can lose weight and keep it off without any diet.

And the number one activity the researcher found to help is jogging.

The reason is that jogging helps you burn more calories both during the jog and afterward. This two-edged benefit means that for the effort jogging session, your body is set to viscerate calories post jog.

For example, another study found that suggest that compared to walking, joggers or runners are more likely to lose weight over six years.

But not all jogging is created equal.

Is slow jogging better than fast jogging?

You would think that in the long term, fast jogging pays off. But the research points us in a very different direction.

One of the longest continuous studies was conducted by the Copenhagen City Heart Study. 

In the study, researchers have followed the health of 1,098 healthy joggers and 3,950 healthy nonjoggers have since 2001.

The researchers published one of their main findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Their findings suggest that an hour of jogging per week was associated with a significantly lower death rate. 

But wait, there’s even more.

The researchers also reported that light and moderate (slow) joggers have lower mortality than sedentary nonjoggers.

However, intense (fast) joggers have a mortality rate not statistically different from that of the sedentary group.

According to the findings:

“…if the goal is to decrease the risk of death and improve life expectancy, going for a leisurely jog a few times per week at a moderate pace is a good strategy. Higher doses of running are not only unnecessary but may also erode some of the remarkable longevity benefits conferred by lower doses of running.”

The best form of jogging is the slow and moderate pace for a total of 60 to 145 minutes across the week. 

In general, jogging is a good way to improve cardiovascular health, improve lung capacity, and at the same time refreshing your mind and body.

Higher doses of running are not only unnecessary but may also erode some of the remarkable longevity benefits – Copenhagen City Heart Study Click To Tweet

Can jogging prevent hypertension and heart disease?

One of the many health benefits of jogging has to do with our cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular health refers to how healthy our hearts and blood vessels are with each day. 

If we don’t take care of our cardiovascular health, we tend to struggle with diseases like coronary heart disease, heart failure or stroke.

The good news is that several studies have linked regular physical activity to improve cardiovascular health.

When you go jogging, you improve your blood pressure. It’s like a clean fuel for your cardiovascular system. Jogging also helps to stimulate the reduction of bad cholesterol in the blood. 

This means not only are you able to improve your heart’s immunity to diseases but also you’re improving the healthy circulation of blood to different parts of your body.

This, in turn, helps to prevent hypertension and the negative long term impact it could have on your health.

Takeaways

Jogging provides so many health benefits for our bodies. Add it to your fitness routine.

Jogging is a wonderful early morning exercise if you’re a morning person. If you’re not, do it in the evening, when after a hard day’s work.

If you take to moderate jogs, it’s even possible to lower risks of mortality and improve your life expectancy. 

You can also consider a form of exercise like playing soccer which combines a form of jogging.