I miss running at night after work. Back then pre-pandemic, no matter how busy my day was, I’d make it a point to run at least 30 minutes at the park near my office as soon as my schedule’s clear. When friends or colleagues ask at which gym I go to, I’d joke that mine was big but free and round and have lots of greeneries. Now two years into the pandemic, I invested in a watch for health though I have not done any running outdoors. Instead, I’ve been casually doing quick jogs at home with a treadmill. Now given the circumstances, how can we best improve our cardiovascular fitness?
Well, whatever your choice is, as a famous running shoe brand would say, just do it! Running and jogging are not the same in that they differ in terms of pace and execution. While jogging is usually low in intensity and slow in speed and ideally done longer, its target is more on stamina over speed and focuses on aerobics. You sweat without losing breath. With running, the pace is moderate to high especially with the speed. Because of its high intensity, the average duration is usually an hour or less as greater emphasis is on speed and power. You’re wet with sweat for sure and catching your breath.
You can of course do both runs and jogs and sprints on the treadmill, but since I haven’t been training lately, I only jog when I have the time. But that doesn’t mean it’s lesser of a workout for the heart. While jogging is considered only a runner’s warmup, you actually burn a higher percentage of fat and burn more calories when done for a longer duration.
The reason why I’m focused on cardio is because of that unforgettable encounter with a doctor in one of our annual physical exams with my previous company. When the doctor learned that both my parents died of a stroke, I was told that I would likely suffer the same fate if I don’t take care of my heart. This, even when I stopped smoking for over a year already, but have not been watching my diet, and doing any physical activity.
The work schedule or the work itself were to blame, I thought. That’s too easy and quick to pass the blame for something I couldn’t control. I realized though that there’s no one else to blame but myself, for being somewhat careless and getting used to my day-to-day schedule, and believing I’m too young or tough and healthy to get sick. Of course, that can never be true. The doctor said there’s no better time to change my lifestyle than now. And so I obliged, not only because I need to take care of myself but because I needed to be healthy for my family. Since then I squeezed in time to run after work, though not religiously, but I was enjoying my run at the park, every time I get the chance.
And that was years before the pandemic. No matter how busy you are, you need to find time to focus on your well-being. And this still rings true until today, especially when we’re left with no choice but to live and adjust to the new normal. While I couldn’t run outdoors because of the pandemic restrictions, well there’s no nearby park in my current office (and I know it’s really difficult to run when you’re required to put a face mask on), after work I would just go straight home and take the time to rest. So I now jog (or use the stationary bike) mostly during the day, in our humble home gym.
@cclozan0 Happy Sunday! #cclozano #heydaddyc #fyp #foryoupage #home ♬ Get On It – Clutch
It’s OK to be busy with school or work but it’s never OK to forget about taking care of yourself. Let’s run or jog our way to health and reap these benefits: (1) helps maintain a healthy weight; (2) strengthens immune system; (3) builds stronger bones, as it is a weight bearing exercise; (4) boosts your mood; (5) strengthens muscles; (6) improves cardiovascular fitness; (7) burns plenty of calories; and (8) helps you sleep better (aside from being fun to do)!
Both running and jogging will make you sweat and pump your heart to its health, it all depends on your fitness level. I can’t wait to do both when finally (and hopefully soon) it’s safe to do more physical activities outside.
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