Jogging, or running, is an aerobic exercise that gets you in shape quickly. A regular running program can give you a more athletic look as your legs become firm and toned. Jogging exercises your legs, buttocks, core and biceps. On top of that, your cardiovascular system gets in better shape as well.
The muscles used mostly when you run are those of your lower body. Your hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, hip flexors and gluteus maximus propel you forward as you run. However, your larger leg muscles contain several smaller muscles. For instance, both your hamstrings and your quadriceps contain four distinct muscles. When you are lean and firm, the definition of your muscles gives you a more toned look.
Supporting and Auxillary
Running also tones and firms your core muscles. For example, your abs help maintain posture while you're running. And since running is easier with a bent elbow, the biceps are also engaged. You can run with light hand weights to really firm up your biceps. You also use the muscles between your ribs to breath at rest, but you have to breath more and deeper while running. By additionally working these muscles, leanness in your midsection develops.
Running is a very effective aerobic exercise. As you run, your muscles require a stronger flow of blood, as they are in constant need of oxygen. Your heart is also a muscle and works harder as you run. As a result, running makes your heart stronger. The importance of cardiovascular health cannot be overstated. Running lowers your risk factors for developing heart disease.
Running on hills builds more quad strength, which is good for healthy knees. However, you don't have to worry about getting huge legs. The legs of a well-conditioned runner are slim, proportionate and toned. There are other exercises you can do in addition to running that will give you a great set of legs. For example, most cardio machines at the gym involve the use of your legs. By increasing the resistance on leg-based cardio machines, your legs firm up and gain definition as they become better toned.
Marcus Schantz is an author and licensed attorney based in Chicago. He holds a Juris Doctor from the Northern Illinois University College of Law, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin.