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How to start jogging at 40 years of age – a beginners guide

How to start jogging if you are over 40!

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Wanting to know how to start jogging at the age of 40? Look no further. We are going to look how you can start jogging and running, no matter what your age!

Perhaps you’ve considered jogging by way of getting fit. Perhaps you’ve considered it to lose some weight. Or perhaps you’ve looked at the window one day, noticed a few joggers and thought … that looks like fun. Whatever the motivation, exercise is good for you and once you start jogging you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this long ago.

One of the things that might hold you back might be your age. Jogging is all good and well for young people, but what if you’re 40 or older? Not to worry, with this beginners guide to running, everybody can get in shape.

Clothing and Shoes

Every beginners guide to running will tell you that you need comfortable clothing and a good pair of shoes. Not ordinary sneakers, not walking shoes, but proper running shoes. As you run, the heels of your feet make contact with the surface and carry the weight of your body. As such, your shoes must have heels that absorb your weight and cushion the impact with the surface.

Check out our reviews section to find the best trainers and running gear.

Take it easy

No matter how good you look and feel, keep in mind that you’re not a spring chicken anymore. As such, if you start jogging at 40, take it slow. Don’t think that you can put on running shoes and start running. The first week, don’t even think about running, think about walking.

Walk ten minutes on Tuesday, ten minutes on Thursday and then minutes on Saturday. When you get home, stretch your calves, outer thighs, inner thighs, hamstrings, and squad a few times. Hold each of these stretches for 15 seconds. The stretches will increase the blood circulation to the muscles and will prevent injuries.

In the second week, do the same thing, go running every other day, but increase the length of time you walk. On Tuesday walk 20 minutes, on Thursday 25 minutes and on Saturday 35 minutes. In addition, increase the length of time of your stretches, hold each stretch 30 seconds instead of 15 seconds.

In the third week, you can start your pre-cardio warmup. Walk for 15 minutes, but when you do your stretches only hold them for 8 seconds. The reason for the stretches is to increase blood and its nutrients into your limbs so they are prepared for what’s to come.

Walk for five minutes and then jog for 30 seconds, run again for five minutes and jog for 30 seconds. Repeat this routine two more times. When you’re done, stretch to get more flexible. If you like, you can finish with a brisk walk.

On Saturday, do the cardio warmup for 10 minutes, walk for one minute and jog for three minutes. Repeat this routine until you’ve walked and jogged for 25 minutes.

In the fourth week add five minutes to your exercise program, increase the tempo of your walking and jogging until you’ve reached 30 minutes. Don’t forget your stretch exercises. After each cardio session and jogging session, stretch your leg muscles for 30 seconds.

If you feel up to it, gradually increase the time that you’re jogging and decrease the time that you’re walking. The operative words being ‘if you feel up to it’. If you do, great, if you don’t, so what, just keep doing what you’re comfortable with. Remember, you are following a beginners guide to running, not training for the Olympics.

It’s also important that you don’t always follow the same route. Changing your routine may expose you to roads going uphill or downhill.

Get a buddy

Be prepared that at some point you might not feel like jogging or even might want to give up. That’s where a running buddy comes in handy. A buddy will show up at your house and get you off the couch.

If you have a good running buddy, he or she will be prepared for your excuses: you’ve had a hard day at work, you have to prepare dinner, the kids need help with their homework, you have laundry to do, etc. etc.

Your running buddy won’t stand for that. He or she will dismiss those excuses, get you into your running gear and get you out the door. You’ll thank him or her later.

Another helpful tool to start jogging is music. If you like listening to the sound of the cars and the birds that’s fine, but if you need something more, load a few of your favourite tracks on your phone. Something with a bit of beat.

Start jogging at 40 is not easy, but if others can do it, so can you. Before long you’ll meet other joggers along the way and you’ll make friends who will support you. And don’t forget to reward yourself. You made a plan, you’re following through and so a reward is justified.

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Andy Barr
the authorAndy Barr
Editorial Lead
Andy was late arriving into the world of fitness, running and training. He did not really take up regular gym going until he was in his late 30's. He lost over 7 stone in weight since starting and is currently training for his first triathlon in June 2018. He enjoys playing football, boxing and outdoor running.

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