Now that the mornings are getting brighter and it is not quite so cold outside, I have decided to begin jogging before work again. It is a great way to start the day and also kick start the metabolism. Jogging provides me with a period of time to clear my thoughts and plan what I want to achieve for the day. It has been proven that jogging, along with other forms of exercise, can counteract depression and improve your mood. It increases the capacity to work and lead an active life. Jogging helps you to burn fat which in turn helps you to lose weight. It increases your metabolism which will help you to burn more calories throughout the day. The important thing is not to eat a lot more during the day because you have exercised in the morning. If you feel more peckish, which can happen, ensure that you have healthy snacks with you such as fruit, nuts and seeds, or a low fat yoghurt. You do not want to undo your hard work by eating the wrong type of food. Many people have had success with jogging and found that it helps them to lose weight and also stubborn stomach fat. This is because you are burning fat through the activity and also strengthening your core muscles which wrap around your stomach and aid pulling it in. The website http://www.ehow.com explains that strengthening your stomach and spinal muscles through jogging can be invaluable to your overall health and longevity. Jogging is a great cardiovascular work out and improves your overall strength and endurance. It can also: – Reduce blood pressure – Reduce the risk of heart disease – Strengthens bones – Reduces cancer risk – Improves sleep You do not need to run at a specific speed or try to keep up with anyone else, just jog at a speed that is comfortable for you. It is important to try and improve your distance or speed every week. I sometimes jog continuously for 20-30 minutes, or I run in intervals, for example 2 minutes jogging and 30 seconds sprinting. If sprinting is too much for you it is fine to walk briskly for 2 minutes and then jog for 1 minute and so on. Repeat this as many times as you can (usually about 4 or 5 times approximately 15- 20 mins) and aim to improve each week. I would say that it is good to have a comfortable pair of trainers. I do not have specific running shoes but I always ensure that my trainers are comfortable. Jogging can be enjoyed at any age and is great for the whole family. I recently went jogging with my 11 year old brother who was convinced that he would be able to run further than me as he is younger. Needless to say I left him huffing and puffing behind me! If you have any discomfort when jogging then you should address it, better to be safe than sorry, but it is a fun and free way to exercise and will only become more enjoyable as we move closer to spring and summer 2011.