What Parts of the Body Does Jogging Target?

Jog your way to a healthy body.
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Jogging can be one of the most effective forms of exercise -- it's easy to do and requires no special equipment other than a comfortable pair of shoes. Jogging is beneficial to your body, mind and overall health, particularly if you follow the American College of Sports Medicine's recommendations of accumulating at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Maintain or improve your fitness while targeting several parts of the body with regular jogging sessions.

Cardiorespiratory System

Jogging does a number on your cardiorespiratory system, which consists of your heart, blood vessels, blood, lungs and airways. As you jog, your working muscles are in constant demand of oxygen. Your heart and lungs must then kick into overdrive to bring oxygen into your body, transport it to your muscles, carry the waste byproducts away and expel them from your body. This process occurs repeatedly throughout your workout. The faster you jog, the harder your cardiorespiratory system has to work to accommodate your muscles.

Metabolic System

Jogging targets and speeds up your metabolic system, making it an effective way to burn calories. In fact, the Mayo Clinic notes that a 160-pound person can burn more than 600 calories an hour while jogging. Your metabolic system will continue to run at an elevated pace for a few hours after your workout, so even though you're not actively exercising, your body is still burning extra calories. Make jogging a regular part of your routine to rev up your metabolism and burn fat.

Lower Body

As you would expect, jogging targets several muscles in your lower body. The quadriceps work hard to extend the knees with every stride. Jogging uphill or downhill will further increase the workload on the quads. The calves work continuously to lift your heels off the ground and propel your body forward. During your jog, the gluteus maximus stabilizes and extends the hips, while the hamstrings assist in hip extension and are the primary movers of knee flexion. Jogging at in incline will put more emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes.

Upper Body

While not blatantly obvious, jogging also targets a few muscle groups in the upper body. The rectus abdominis supports your torso, while the transverse abdominis stabilizes your pelvis. Your back is held erect throughout your jog by the spinal erector muscles. Lastly, your biceps maintain an isometric contraction to keep your elbows bent, and the deltoids repeatedly contract to swing your arms in rhythm with your legs.

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