Oh I can hear your cogs a-turning as some of you think “this month’s not for me then”.
Aha! Do not be fooled my friends, this applies to everyone who can stand on their own two feet and stride out without an unsteady shuffle in their legs. It doesn’t matter about your choice of lifestyle, your interest in running or your size and shape, no no no! If an unseen car was heading towards you or you were rushing to save another soul (child, human or animal) your instinct would be to break into a very fast leg action, commonly known as a jog, so as to arrive in the nick of time.
The thing is, if you don’t check whether you can still jog, it’s easy to assume;
1) Oh I could do it if I needed to. But could you? Really?
or you may think:
2) My jogging days are over.
I am not suggesting that you all need to start digging out the lycra and sweat bands and head for the athletics track.
What I am saying is that as homo sapiens you are designed to move pretty quickly i.e. jog, however slowly that may be. If you don’t do it every now and then, you can lose the confidence in your ability to do it OR you simply lose the dexterity of performing the act with grace and ease.
In either case if you were ever faced with the save a soul scenario, or the playing ball with your grandchildren analogy or simply the need to move as a matter of urgency, and you haven’t increased the velocity of your walking ability for sometime, your instinct would still kick in but the chances of you stumbling and falling or jarring yourself, are very high. This is not good.
I’m not talking about an all out sprint for 100m (although never let me put you off wanting to aim for this, if your body is up to it). I am talking about several consecutive jogging steps, at a pace that is within your instinctive ability. It may be slow compared to Usain Bolt but a jog’s a jog and what it does for your health and confidence is not to be sniffed at.
I can still hear the doubters sniffing but KEEP READING…
If your thoughts are in the order of; ” what if I fall? what about my back, my knees, my hips, my everything?” then let me explain. I would NEVER advocate attempting ANYTHING where you could put yourself at risk of falling or hurting yourself. If you have any doubts then no, what I am saying may not be for you. Indeed if you have been advised by a doctor not to jog, EVER, even just a few steps due to a medical condition again this is not for you. You’ll remember if you were told the latter because it’s such a great shock to hear it. You may never think you ever wanted to jog until you’re told that you never can.
HOWEVER, there are many of you who could jog a few steps but don’t because “Well, why bother? It’s not my thing, I’m too old”. As time goes by your fitness to jog lessens to such a degree that there comes a point that if you were to jog, the strain on your body would be such that you could hurt yourself or stumble and fall. Horrible.
Just throwing this image in because England is so beautiful and this path inspired me to pick up my pace with my arms outstretched.
The vast majority of people who can stride out, head held high with a mental skip in their step have an inner jogger just bursting to get out.
In answer to the eager beavers crying out, “Where do I start?”
1) Walk briskly on the spot along with marching on the spot, swinging your arms with a spot of enthusiasm little and often through the day.
2) Progress to doing the above up on your toes, keep breathing, shoulders relaxed.
3) Gradually pick up the pace just for a few seconds and then relax back to a steadier pace. Over time increase the length of the faster pace.
4) Keep your breathing comfortable. You should still be able to hold a conversation (short and brief it may be but a conversation none the less)
5) When you go out for a walk where the ground is smooth and even, increase your walking pace and when you feel ready take a few steady jogging steps then resume your normal walking pace. As you feel able, continue to increase the number of steady jogging steps per walk and the frequency of times you perform them on a walk.
NEVER PUSH YOURSELF BEYOND WHAT FEELS SAFE, CONTROLLED AND COMFORTABLE.
AND HERE’S ANOTHER THING:
If you were to improve your fitness in a graded controlled and realistic way with no medical condition which states differently, you really could restore your ability and confidence to jog. The benefits could be:
i) emergency dashes would be taken in your stride
ii) remarkable improvements in your confidence
iii) improving your bone density, strength, cardiovascular fitness and balance PROVIDED YOU LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND WORK WITHIN YOUR OWN BODY’S ABILITY.
So if you feel inspired to give it a go, my advice is, give it a go! Don’t think those days are gone and remember, you’ll still be lapping those slouched on their sofas.
See you next month!