Jogging When Very Overweight
Running is a great way to lose weight but is a very high impact exercise. If you are significantly overweight you want to avoid 'shocking' your body with excessively intense physical activity, but that's not to say you should avoid running altogether. Read the following for some ideas on how to get started.
Obviously, the heavier your bodyweight, the more force goes through your joints during jogging. So, potentially, those classed as 'overweight' could be putting more stress through the joints than is ideal. However, previous injury history, muscle imbalances, frequency of exercise and nutrition are the real factors that determine whether someone can safely include running in their exercise program. It's not all about weight!
How to get started on a running programme
If you already walk regularly, you could try bringing small bouts of jogging into a scheduled walk once a week. On a 40 minute walk try jogging from one telegraph pole to another before reverting back to walking. Do this once within a five minute period. Keep the bouts short to start with to ensure you slowly introduce the impact to your joints. This will allow you to gauge whether your body can cope with it.
Listen to your body
Your own body knows better than anyone else what is good for it and what isn't. If you do a small bout of jogging on a Monday, listen to what your body tells you on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you experience stiffness and tension that subsides by Wednesday afternoon it's fine to try running again the following week. If you experience muscle tension that stays with you for more than two full days you should remove impact training in the following week. This is your body telling you it needs more time and support (a better stretching routine or massage) to recover. If you experience joint pain then leave impact exercise out of your training plan at this stage and try to lose another stone or two first.
It is imperative that you have an effective stretching routine to support all your exercise, especially with the addition of more impact. Speak to a qualified instructor if you need more tips on how to stretch properly.
Take it slow
Build up the distance and intensity of your jogging gradually by using the method described above. It should help you judge whether jogging can be used as part of a regular routine. Impact exercise does help to increase calorie burning and weight loss but shouldn't be done if it increases the risk of injury. Listen to your body's feedback!