If you’re looking for a versatile exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment or gym memberships, then jogging may be for you. Jogging can be done inside, outside, on a track, in the woods, on the beach or anywhere else with open space. It can help you lose weight, tone your muscles and strengthen your heart. If you are looking to spice up your jogging routine, break it up with different types of jogging exercises.
Incline Jogging on Treadmill
Training on an incline, whether it’s outside on hills or in the gym on a treadmill, can burn major calories and strengthen your leg muscles. When you run on an incline, you use your own body weight as a resistance to push against, so your leg muscles have to work harder. Start with a five-minute jogging warm-up at a slow pace, such as 5 mph. Increase your pace, but keep it within a comfortable range, such as 5.5 mph to 6.0 mph. Run at this pace with a 4 percent incline for five minutes. Increase your incline to 5 percent but maintain your speed at the same pace for another 10 minutes. Keep your pace, but increase your incline to 6 percent for 10 minutes. Finally increase the incline to 7 percent for 10 minutes. Bring your incline down to 2 percent for two minutes and then down to no incline for three minutes to cool down properly.
Mile Repeats at Tempo Pace
If you’re looking to set a personal record with your 10K race time or you simply want to boost your jogging fitness, mile repeats are a classic and versatile jogging exercise. Joggers can build stamina with a tempo pace exercise, and breaking a tempo jog into mile repeats is a great strategy, especially for beginners. Start with two- to six-mile repeats at a tempo pace, a comfortably hard pace that you can keep for a measured distance without slowing down. Jog a mile at your tempo pace and take a short 60-second rest after you’ve completed your mile. Repeat another mile at your tempo pace and take another short rest for 60 seconds. Repeat this same strategy for however many miles you choose to jog during your workout.
Interval Jogging on Treadmill
"Fitness" magazine recommends doing intervals on the treadmill to burn major calories with your jogging routine. Start with a five-minute warm-up at zero incline and a 3.5 mph walking pace. The first interval starts at a 5 percent incline with a 5 mph pace for three minutes. Follow this with a two-minute interval at 5 percent incline and 5.5 mph. Increase your speed to 6 mph for one minute, but keep the incline at 5 percent. Take it down to zero incline, but bring the pace up to 6.5 mph for one minute. Repeat this interval group three times. Cool down for two minutes at zero incline and a pace of 3 mph.
Jogging has a multitude of health benefits, but it also has some risks. The consistent pounding pressure on your knees and other joints can cause damage to them, especially if you haven't exercised in a while and don't warm up properly. Jogging also puts a strain on your heart, which can cause a heart attack if you have heart problems and don’t closely monitor your heart rate. Check in with your doctor if you're just starting out and are significantly overweight or have health problems. Staying hydrated is important when running and can prevent fatigue, fainting and muscle cramps.
Danielle Clark has been a writer since 2009, specializing in environmental and health and fitness topics. She has contributed to magazines and several online publications. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology and environmental science.