You might not be looking to get jacked or have a six-pack by summer — and why the hell not, may we ask? — but it’s a good idea to ward off an enormous spare tire as the weather gets warmer and you shed layers. For one, in no study that we’ve ever seen do guys with robust beach-ball sized bellies get laid more often than guys semi-toned or flat stomachs.
Two, things like diabetes and high blood pressure and heart disease are awful for guys who like things like breathing and staying alive. While your diet is key to weight loss and weight gain, running and jogging can also provide benefits to your health and, well, a slew of other things.
1. Weight Loss
One of the most noticeable benefits of making jogging a regular part of your exercise routine is weight loss. Jogging at speeds between 4 and 5 miles-per-hour will cause the average person to burn about 400 calories an hour towards your fat-burning calorie deficit goals.
2. Muscle Strength
Jogging targets four main muscle groups, your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Building muscle not only helps improve your overall athletic performance, but the more muscle you have, the greater calories your body burns, even while at rest, according to the Mayo Clinic.
3. Bone Strength
Jogging is a weight-bearing exercise that places stress on the bones. However, in this case, stress on the bones is actually beneficial. Jogging stress encourages the growth and strengthening of your bones, which can help reduce the risks of common bone diseases like osteoporosis, suggests the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
4. Cardiovascular Fitness
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jogging is an aerobic activity that can help strengthen the heart and reduce your risks for many of these cardiovascular diseases. However, it’s important to work with your doctor to ensure your heart is healthy enough for the intensity of the exercise. For maximum benefit, aim for at least 150 minutes of jogging mixed with other moderate aerobic activities each week.
5. Improve Your Mood
A strong link exists between exercise and your mood, according to the American Psychological Association, and jogging is no exception. Exercise can not only help prevent mood disorders, but it can also ease symptoms of depression and anxiety by releasing chemicals in the brain like endorphins and neurotransmitters that are associated with good feelings. Jogging also provides a healthy coping strategy and overall physical and emotional release.
Whether you’re just getting into jogging or are thinking about it as you shovel chips and greasy foods into your maw, consider these pieces of gear for when you decide to hit the pavement …
#1. New Balance Men’s 990V3 Running Shoe ($150 @ Amazon.com)
You can be one of those wackos who runs barefoot, or you can avoid hepatitis and jog comfortably with proper footwear. New Balance is a reliable source of stylish, comfy running shoes. The lightweight pigskin and mesh material also feature a soft density foam cushion, reflective detailing. Best of all, these babies are made in the USA!
#2. Nike Mens Shox NZ Running ($85 @ Amazon.com)
One-piece construction helps keep your laces secure. However, the minimalist design provides maximum comfort for your feetsies. The outer leather and synthetic shoe also contain a added padding between the midsole and columns for better lateral stability. There are a bunch of colorways available, so if grey (or is it gray?) doesn’t go with your pasty skin, you have no shortage of options.
Next: Jogging Pants, Headphones, and More!