One of my early posts was about the benefits of a walking program. If you are thinking about increasing the intensity of your exercise, jogging is a logical next step. Jogging/running is a good cardio workout, requires minimal gear, and can be done almost anywhere. However, transitioning to running should be undertaken judiciously. To avoid injury, build up distance slowly! And, after exercising, stretch your legs for a few minutes.

One way to build up your time and distance appropriately is to use a training plan or train with a running group. I have used Cool Running’s Couch-to-5k ® plan. Although I was already active and had reasonable baseline fitness, jogging put different stresses on my body than I was used to. Using a training plan helped me be smart about adding running to my exercise program.

One other strategy that has helped keep my knees happy is running on a soft surface. Some favorite unpaved trails are at Hyland Park in Bloomington and the Luce Line state trail. The Luce Line is unpaved from Plymouth west, and is paved between Plymouth and Minneapolis.


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