Journey to Fit (Ep.2): The Joy of Jogging

I never in a million years would imagine me saying what I’m about to say, but:

I ENJOY JOGGING!

There was a time when the very thought of jogging was frightening. Back in high school, when we would have to run two and a half miles during P.E., I would do everything in my power to get out of it. I hated running! Having to push my body to exhaustion was not something I wanted to do.

After my diabetes scare, I decided to push myself beyond my limit and decided to join a gym. I joined one of my local gyms, and my initial visit there was intimidating. I was even more nervous about using the machines because it was my first time in a gym. I took my time, walked around the gym, getting familiar with the place. I worked my way to the treadmill, and on that day, I told myself that I would eventually love running.

(Five years later)

I wake up, freshen up, put on my exercise clothes, tie my shoes, grab my phone and headphones, and head out of the door. As the humid air engulfs me, I take a few deep breaths before I turn on my music and prep myself for the run that was about to occur.

With the music blasting in my ears, I take off on my jog. The beginning of it is always the easiest, but it doesn’t take long before my breath begins to quicken. Breathe in, breathe out; I steady my breath as my feet continue to pound the pavement. As I reach the end of my jog, I let out a massive sigh of relief and give myself a little pat on the back. “I did it!” I say quietly to myself.

Before I venture off on runs, I usually set a time for myself. In the short story above, I challenged myself to run for thirty minutes on that particular day. Was it easy? Nope! It was a challenge, but I pushed through. I’ve concluded that if I can physically push myself beyond my limits through exercise, I can do it in other areas of my life and yield exciting results.

Running is therapy. 

When I need to clear my head, I jog.

When I’m stressed, I jog.

When I’m depressed, I jog.

When I feel overwhelmed, I jog.

Jogging, alongside praying and journaling, has to be my favorite combination to get me back in the right headspace.

The benefits of walking/jogging

Words cannot explain how thankful I am for sticking to my goal of jogging for more extended periods. Am I perfect? No! But one thing for sure is that I’m getting better at it every single day.

The benefits of jogging, even walking if you’re not quite ready to run yet, are:

• reduced stress
• clearer mind
• weight management/weight loss
• better sleep
• decrease in anxiety/depression

Tips for new runners

When it comes to jogging, have a goal in mind. Do you want to jog a mile in less than twenty minutes? Would you like to be able to jog for thirty minutes without stopping? Like with any goal, it’s best to have an achievable milestone in mind. 

I will also encourage you to work your way up to it. Start with a fast-paced walk and increase your speed from there. Please don’t do as I did and expect to be jogging with ease almost immediately after starting my fitness journey. I was extremely out of shape, and my body showed me on several occasions when I would try to run fast and for longer distances that I wasn’t ready for lengthy runs yet. I slowed my pace and increased my speed as I became healthier and more fit.

However you go about your fitness journey, please keep in mind to listen to your body. If you begin to feel pain or your breathing is uncontrollable, stop and calm down before moving forward. You got this!

Are you a fan of jogging? When did you begin to enjoy it? Let me know in the comment section below!

Stay hydrated, and continue pressing forward!

-Nieshia

Published by Armored with Faith

Hi, and welcome to Armored with Faith! I'm super excited to be sharing my story, my journey with you all. We will discuss everything from faith/Christian living, confidence-building, mental health awareness, fitness, productivity, and life hacks. Join us as we learn to utilize the faith within us to live a life full of gratitude, growth, and helpfulness!

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