Body

10 reasons why jogging is good for you

Check out 10 ways that jogging can lead to a fitter, healthier you.

By Donna Fleming

1. It improves your cardiovascular fitness

Aerobic exercise like jogging improves your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles. It also helps your muscles to become more efficient at using that oxygen. The more you exercise it, the better your heart works, and this reduces the risk of a heart attack.

2. It can help to reduce your blood pressure

Improving the fitness of your cardiovascular system can reduce high blood pressure, which is one of the risk factors for a heart attack or stroke.

3. It increases levels of good HDL cholesterol

HDL cholesterol removes deposits of bad LDL cholesterol from your blood and carts it off to your liver to be excreted from your body. Excess LDL cholesterol is linked with heart disease as it blocks the flow of blood to your heart. Levels of HDL cholesterol can be boosted by improving cardiovascular fitness.

4. It helps to build strong, healthy bones

Weight-bearing exercise like jogging puts your bones under stress, so your body responds by increasing your bone mineral density to make your bones stronger. This makes them less likely to break, and helps to keep osteoporosis at bay.

5. It can help prevent diabetes

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factors for type-2 diabetes, as is being overweight. Jogging can help with both of these.

6. It may make your immune system stronger

A strong immune system helps you to fight bacteria and viruses. Regular exercise stimulates the production of cells in your blood that fight off bugs.

7. It may help decrease your risk of cancer

Several studies indicate that aerobic activity like jogging may be able to reduce the risk of cancer, in particular breast and colon cancer. It’s thought it does this by affecting several factors that can play a part in the development of cancer, such as obesity, inflammation and hormone levels.

8. It can help with weight-loss

Jogging is a great way of burning fat. If you weigh 65-70kg you’ll burn up to 335 kilojoules for every kilometre you run. So if you jog 5km four times a week, that’s up to 6700 kilojoules you’re burning each week.

9. It improves mental fitness

Jogging and other physical activity can lead to the release of endorphins, the chemicals in the brain that produce a sense of happiness and wellbeing. It can also help relieve stress and can improve your confidence and self-esteem.

10. It may help you to sleep better

Doing cardiovascular exercise such as jogging – particularly in the morning – may set your body clock so that you are wide awake during the day and sleepy at night. Plus it may help you to relax and go to sleep more easily.

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