Counseling Sheet


Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
Preventive Medicine

Not the Best Exercise for All People

The widespread interest in jogging continues and for many men and some women it is all right as a form of exercise. But we do not recommend jogging as the most advantageous type of exercise for most people. Jogging should usually be avoided as a regular form of exercise for women. While it is quite permissible for a woman to run occasionally, it is not advisable for her to use jogging as a regular form of exercise. More menstrual problems, skeletal problems, headaches, urinary problems, and other related problems are seen in women joggers.

Systematic exercise must progress from easy to hard and then still harder exercising. Work must be performed at more than half capacity to be effective as an athletic training for heart and lungs. A hard workout requires adequate rest and proper nutrition for recovery. Fitness exercising must be frequent, regular, sustained, and vigorous. Jogging is a form of exercise that consists of fast walking and running alternately at a slow to moderate pace.

Men may recognize some advantages in jogging; it is usually noncompetitive, and requires no unusual skills, no expensive equipment, and only a few minutes daily to maintain physical conditioning. Nevertheless, we still believe that the ideal form of outdoor exercise is walking and purposeful labor such as gardening and woodcutting.

To avoid foot, ankle, and leg problems while walking or jogging wear two pairs of athletic socks, or cushion sole track shoes. Always warm up with stretching exercises, or get slowly into the activity to help reduce backaches, strains, and muscle soreness.

To exercise to the point that sore muscles result is not wisdom. Sore muscles indicate the tissues are inflamed. Muscles that have been overworked tend to leak muscle enzymes from their cells, and often leak muscle pigment which ends up in the kidneys where it can cause damage or irritation to the blood filtering system. Any potential stress to the body can be easily avoided by a gradual exercise buildup program rather than starting out too ambitiously.

It has been shown that an exercise program does not increase the appetite or induce a large food intake. (Medical Tribune, April 25, 1973) While mild exercise in convalescents or elderly patients will greatly increase their appetite, very intense exercise programs in active and healthy persons may actually decrease the appetite and the desire for extra food, apparently by reducing tensions and cravings.

Total fitness means having a body free from disease with muscles, heart, and lungs developed to give strength, speed, agility, and endurance so that each day's task may be easily performed. A part of total fitness also includes an alert mind free from undue worry, fear, or tension - capable of complete relaxation.

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Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center
30 Uchee Pines Road #75
Seale, Alabama 36875