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As one of the oldest and most popular forms of aerobic exercise, jogging has numerous benefits. But are you doing it correctly? Jogging and running are aerobic exercises that give the body positive health benefits such as weight loss and decreasing blood pressure levels.

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First, a disclaimer: We love the gym. We love strength training with free weights and workout machines. But, the benefits of running make a pretty strong case for any guy to consider becoming a runner. Here are 25 running benefits to consider. In one Archives of Internal Medicine study, researchers followed about 1, adults ages 50 and older for 21 years. At the end of the study, 85 percent of the runners were still kicking it, while only 66 percent of the non-runners were alive.

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Thinking about running? On your marks, get set, go!

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W hy run? Running can change your life.

2. running can get you high

Running can be sheer, bursting-into-song joy or heart-pounding effort, sometimes on the same run. Or it can just be just floating easily along, watching the ground beneath you recede, marvelling at the capacity of the human body to adapt and improve. Running clears the mind — something about the flow of oxygen to the muscles, not the brain, simplifies the most thorny problem. Running can be blissful solitude, and the most social of sports.

Running means different things for different people, from park pootlers to supersonic sprinters, but I believe there is something in this wonderful sport for everyone. Yes, everyone. Whatever your age, size or background.

Definition and intensity of jogging

Study after study shows that running brings enormous benefits, from cutting your risk of getting some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, to reducing your chances of high blood pressure and stroke. Of course, you should check with a doctor if you have any concerns, but the vast majority of people can improve their state of mind and health with a couple of runs a week. Following a realistic plan will help you improve faster than simply winging it.

Realistic might mean not pushing yourself too fast, too soon and risking burn out — or equally, not slogging around a half marathon horribly underprepared. It assumes nothing beyond a certain amount of willpower, and will get you from panting by the first lamp-post on day one to running 5km without stopping in nine weeks. If you are already in reasonable shape there are many online training plans, podcasts, apps and magazines or books that will help you step up. Just make sure they have been devised with the help of a reputable coach and that they have the right focus for your individual goals.

Everyone struggles with motivation sometimes, even the pros.

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Running has a steep learning curve, not so much for your head as for your unaccustomed-to-the-impact muscles. And any time you push your body to do something new, you are probably going to feel it the next day. DOMS — delayed onset muscle soreness — is perfectly normal, and nothing to worry about. It passes. But if you have something that hurts for more than a couple of runs, do try to get it seen to.

The idea of talking while running might strike fear into you, and leave you feeling breathless with mere anticipation. But running with a friend can make a slog seem like a jaunt, even if you save all the actual chatting for afterwards. You might also strike up friendships at your local parkrun — runners love to talk about running. And surrounding yourself with people who love running, and are positive about it, is contagious. Running can be a very cheap sport — what more do you need but shorts, a T-shirt, and some trainers?

History of jogging

Of course, you can also spend a fortune on top-of-the-range gear, fancy GPS watches and expensive race entries. But one thing that is worth investing in is the right shoes. Good running shops will analyse this free on a treadmill for a couple of minutes before recommending shoes for you.

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Many people over- or under-pronate — pronation is the way your foot rolls when it lands on the ground — and they will generally require some support in their shoes to counteract those forces. One way to do this is by making one of the weekend days an easy-paced long run — perhaps increasing the distance by no more than a mile a week. Then also add in an interval session, where you mix faster efforts with gentle recovery.

Repeat six times. Cool down. Of course you can vary the amount of reps, and their duration, but the basic principle is that you are teaching your body to work at a higher intensity for short periods.

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They are wrong. Core work, and strength and conditioning work, are hugely important, both in injury prevention and in improving your running form and economy. For instance, on a longer run, when we get tired, we tend to slump forwards — a strong core can help prevent this.

What are the best exercises for me?

Five minutes a day spent doing targeted exercises can reap ificant rewards. There are numerous apps and online videos to help, but a simple mix of planks, side planks and crunches can build your core strength, and squats and bridges are great for glutes. An entire industry is devoted to selling you products that promise to make you run better and recover quicker. The reality is that for most recreational runners, a decent diet is more than adequate fuel.

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Generally, your body digests simple carbohydrates toast, porridge, cereal faster than protein, so a bagel with peanut butter a couple of hours before a workout is ample. Just make sure your next meal is fairly soon after the run, and that it contains some healthy natural protein, such as eggs, yoghurt, nuts, or lean meat.

For long runs, your body has enough carbohydrates stored to fuel you for around 90 minutes, after which you may find it necessary to take some gels or jelly beans, or gel blocks — all the same thing, just in different forms.

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No one is too old. And you might just live longer if you start running.

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There is some evidence that people with a very high physical activity level have longer telomeres. These are the protective caps on the end of your chromosomes, and are considered one marker of biological age.

Planning helps

Endurance exercise has been shown in studies to preserve telomere length. Your endurance tends to peak later than power, so you can take up running later than most sports and still get faster. Plenty of people set personal bests at all distances into their 40s and 50s.

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Study after study disproves it. For instance, a huge study of nearly 75, runners and 15, walkers in found that the runners were almost half as likely to develop arthritis as the walkers. And the more miles per week those runners did, the lower the risk. The biggest risk factor for knee osteoarthritis is obesity, not pounding the pavement.

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Of course, those with pre-existing knee issues should be wary, but for those of us in good health the benefits of running outweigh any risk. Observer running special Running. A beginner's guide to running: 10 quick tips.

Everyone can run

Age is no barrier to running — and ing a local club can help you too. Kate Carter. Mon 14 Aug Everyone can run Yes, everyone. Planning helps Following a realistic plan will help you improve faster than simply winging it.


Make running social The idea of talking while running might strike fear into you, and leave you feeling breathless with mere anticipation. Get the right kit Running can be a very cheap sport — what more do you need but shorts, a T-shirt, and some trainers? Fuelling your run An entire industry is devoted to selling you products that promise to make you run better and recover quicker. Age is no barrier No one is too old. Reuse this content.