Running

Jogging or running is a free and easily accessible form of physical activity for most people which burns more calories than many other forms of exercise.

Health benefits

Jogging or running regularly is a great way of improving your overall physical health. It can improve heart and lung health, increase joint strength and stability, reduce your risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Running is also thought to improve mental wellbeing and can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress, and simply improve your mood.

Get started

Jogging or running involves very little equipment other than a pair of suitable running shoes. It is best to go to a sport or running shop where a specialist can help you choose the right shoes for you. You don't need to spend a lot of money to find a pair of supportive, comfortable running shoes.

If you haven't been active for a while or are just starting out, you may want to begin walking first, then slowly build up the pace to running. Once you can walk at a steady pace for around 30 minutes, include some intervals of running for a few minutes at a speed that feels comfortable.

Start each run with a gentle warm-up of at around 5 minutes. This can include walking, marching on the spot, knee lifts, side-stepping or climbing stairs.

Joining a Jogscotland jog group is a great way to start and to keep motivated to run regularly. Most jog groups have different ability and fitness levels, including beginners and walking groups, as well as a programme for mums to be and new mums.

To find your local group visit Jogscotland's website.

If you're recovering from injury or worried about an existing condition, talk to your GP or physiotherapist before taking up running.