If you're hoping to shed fat and get in better physical shape, jogging can be an ideal form of cardiovascular exercise. There's no "right" length of time for a jog. Instead, the amount of time you spend jogging should be determined by your individual comfort and physical fitness, your jogging goals and your overall health. The intensity of your jog can play a role in determining the right length.
General Exercise Recommendations
You need regular exercise to stay healthy and fit, so if jogging is your primary method for getting cardiovascular exercise, your jogs should be longer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises 75 minutes of intense cardio or 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week. If you're jogging at a moderate clip, you'll need about 150 minutes, or a 30-minute jog five times per week. If, however, you're getting other forms of cardiovascular exercise through cycling, swimming or similar routines, you don't have to spend as much time jogging.
The intensity of your jog can play a significant role in determining the ideal length, particularly if you're jogging to lose weight. Harvard Health Publications reports that a 125-pound person will burn about 180 calories jogging for 30 minutes. If you pick up the pace to a 5 mph run, you can burn 240 calories in the same amount of time, so you can scale back the time you spend on your run or jog.
If you're a novice jogger, try starting with a brief jog, perhaps combined with a walk. You might walk for 10 minutes, then jog for five minutes and return to walking. As you gain strength, you can increase the amount of time you spend jogging until you build up to 30 minutes or more of jogging. Using jogging as part of an interval training routine can help you burn even more calories. Try jogging for one to two minutes, then bursting into a sprint for a minute or two, alternating between the two paces for the duration of your run.
Jogging isn't for everyone, and if you have joint or muscle injuries or a history of cardiovascular problems, talk to your doctor before you start jogging. If you feel dizzy or shaky when you're jogging, you could be overdoing it. Drinking plenty of water can help you avoid dehydration, which can make it easier to jog for longer periods of time.
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- MayoClinic.com: Exercise Intensity -- Why It Matters, How It's Measured
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?
- The Ultimate Beginner's Running Guide; Ryan Robert
- Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images