Sanu Miah Head & Shoulder Shot

CheekyLittleCareers’ founder Sanu Miah explains why, notwithstanding how much he disliked cross country running as a child, he’s decided to get off the sofa and put his jogging pants to proper use.

I recently started jogging, which is quite unusual for me because I’ve never liked running. Even as a child I absolutely hated cross-country (maybe because I was never good at it). I rarely, if ever, used a treadmill when we were allowed inside gyms. It’s not down to being lazy. I just found it all, well, boring to be honest.

But living through a pandemic and spending the best part of a year in lockdown has changed my view on this popular form of exercise. If like me, you’re not quite yet ready to step inside gyms when they re-open next Monday (12 April) and don’t have the space for home fitness equipment, jogging might just be the best way to keep fit and stay healthy. Think about it – it’s free, most of us can do it, you don’t need any expensive equipment, the vast majority of us already own a pair of trainers and best of all it’s time spent outdoors. So, what’s not to like?

If like me, you too are a beginner and like the idea of putting on your trainers and hitting your local roads here are a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Try to invest in a decent pair of running shoes as this will make a massive difference. As I recently found out, they help absorb the shock of thumping into the tarmac and makes jogging a lot more comfortable.
  2. Wear appropriate clothing. With the weather still remaining stubbornly cold, go for light weight fleece tops and running tights under your shorts or a pair of good quality leggings. In the summer months you can of course get away with less.
  3. Plan your runs in advance by working out your route and related distance.
  4. Spend a few minutes warming up your muscles. Start-off walking then gradually build up speed until you’re gently jogging. During the early days you may also want to alternate between walking and jogging. Similarly, increase distances over a period of time and across several different outings.
  5. Don’t get carried away and set realistic goals. Your brain may think you’re capable of doing more than is appropriate for a beginner. The minute you start jogging, you’ll find this out the hard way. Plus, you don’t want to injure yourself which will keep you off the “road work” for a few days.
  6. Obviously stay safe! If you’re running in the dark wear reflective clothing or a headlamp. Be careful when you’re crossing roads and look out for other road users.
  7. Stay hydrated, carry a small bottle of water with you and take regular sips.
  8. Listen to some music or an audio book. It’s a great way to trick your mind’s focus away from the physical activity you’re engaged in.

I’ve shared above some of the stuff that has helped me get into jogging. But please do your own research and follow expert advice if you need too. The main point is to enjoy your time outdoors and get fit at the same time. It really isn’t a race or sprint meaning you should aim to slowly build up your endurance. Set yourself weekly goals, such as jogging a little faster to beat your “personal best” time or jog a little further each day.

Whatever you chose to do remember enjoy yourself and stay safe.