How to Jog to Lose Weight

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Exercise is important for health and wellness as well as for losing weight. Running or jogging is one of the simplest and most effective workouts for weight loss, as it involves the whole body, with particular focus on the large muscles of the legs. When you're jogging to lose weight, a little bit of effort goes a long way, and you can easily build up to a steady exercise regimen.

  • Evaluate your physical condition and determine whether you'd be better off walking at first. Beginners, particularly those who are extremely overweight, should use caution when starting an exercise regimen. If you're only slightly overweight and in good shape otherwise, jogging to lose weight may work well for you.

  • Set a weight-loss goal. To lose 1 lb. per week, you need to burn 500 more calories each day than you consume. You can do this through exercise alone or through diet and exercise. Try reducing your caloric intake by 250 calories a day and burning at least 250 through exercise.

  • Learn how many calories you burn per minute of exercise. Joggers who weigh 127 to 137 lbs. burn 9.2 calories a minute, and 160- to 170-lb. joggers burn 11.5 calories a minute. If you weigh in between 180 and 200 lbs. you'll burn 12.7 calories a minute when jogging. Using 150 lbs. and 10 calories per minute as an average, simply add a zero to the number of minutes spent jogging and you'll have an estimate of calories burned; 250 for 25 minutes, 300 for 30 minutes.

  • Create a jogging schedule to follow throughout the week, varying your exercise routine for best results. Try jogging 15 minutes at a higher speed one day and 35 minutes at a slower pace the next. A few moderate 30-minute jog days in the mix will round out your schedule.

  • Buy good running shoes and hit the road. Map out a few routes, and start slowly if you need to, working up to a faster pace.

Tips & Warnings

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while jogging.
  • Consult your health care provider before starting a new exercise regimen if you have a heart condition or other health problem.
  • Those who jog alone, particularly women, may want to consider carrying pepper spray for protection.

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  • Photo Credit jogging on the beach image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com
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