The weather's warming up, and you're feeling more motivated to head outside in the early AM for a jog. As the world wakes up, you look forward to this peaceful bit of time to yourself before the workday gets crazy. After all, aerobic exercise is such a wonderful way to start the day, and it's chock-full of health benefits. This "sweet spot" between a stroll and a full-fledged sprint can help you shed excess weight, fight stress, boost your immune system, and make moves off of that exercise plateau you may be on, according to Healthline. If you're looking to jog your way to a lean body, you've come to the right place.
Jogging can help you reach and surpass your exercise goals. All you need to do is carve out time in your busy schedule to do it and follow the proper tips and tricks. We spoke with Jacquie Smith, certified integrative nutrition health coach and fitness instructor about the secret hacks you can do to jog your way to a lean body. "Jogging is effective at creating tight, toned bodies when it is done consistently and paired with a healthy diet. It is a high-intensity form of movement that will burn a higher amount of calories overall, which leads to burning more fat," she tells Eat This, Not That!
Read on to learn more about how you can get into shape through jogging. And next, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Focus on good form
Smith stresses the key to achieving a sculpted, lean figure through any exercise is by focusing on good form. By doing this, you'll target just the right muscles and hopefully avoid injury. "Make sure to maintain an upright posture, relax your shoulders, engage your core, drive your knees forward, and pump your arms alongside your body while jogging," Smith says.
Link up your jogs with your cycle
If you want to make the most out of your exercise and achieve the best results, Smith says women should jog when they're in the ovulation and follicular phases of their cycle. Why, might you ask? Since jogging is a full-body workout, "you will need a ton of energy which is available during this part of the cycle. If not, it can cause your body to become inflamed and store fat," Smith explains.
Don't skip out on recovery
Okay, we know you're eager to hit the pavement again and experience that rush of energy—but don't sleep on the recovery process. "Jogging is a lot on the body," Smith says. "To be able to run on a consistent basis and get a toned physique, you will need time for your body to recover in between [workouts]. This could be as simple as stretching, foam rolling, or taking a yoga class."
Jog for mileage over time
In her experience, Smith says you'll become much better at jogging and achieve lasting results when you focus on running a certain amount of miles over the time it takes you to run them. She adds, "Plus, as you continue to [jog] on a regular basis, you will naturally get faster and more efficient each time you run this distance."
As for additional tips on losing weight and getting lean, Smith notes you should add low-impact strength workouts such as yoga and barre into your regimen to further sculpt those lean muscles. Getting your body up and moving daily is also key, along with eating a diet that's full of veggies and greens and staying hydrated.