Easy exercises: Jogging or walking


In one of my previous blogs How to Start Exercising for Beginners, I told you about why it is so important to do physical exercises and I gave you some examples of how you easily can integrate exercises in your daily life.

In this blog, I’m going to talk about two easy exercises for beginners, which don’t require much equipment and which also don’t cost much. It does not take very much of your time either. They are the optimal way of starting your new healthy way of life. That sounds great, doesn’t it?

Go on reading and you’ll get tips on how to get started and how to motivate yourself.



Easy exercises: Walking or joggingWalking or Jogging

For you who are a beginner, I recommend starting with walking. You who are used to doing exercises now and then can start with combining walking and jogging.





Walking EquipmentWalking Equipment

You only need a pair of comfortable shoes. It does neither need to be fancy nor expensive shoes. Important is though, to wear stable shoes to prevent sprained ankles, and that the shoes have got a good fit and shoe soles that are not too hard. An absolutely no go is to have too small shoes. You should have a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe (which isn’t always the big toe) and the end of the shoe. That’s what’s recommended by professional shoe fitters. Why? Because the feet swell and lengthen when we walk or run a longer distance.




Jogging EquipmentJogging Equipment

For jogging, I do recommend having real jogging shoes. It makes it easier and more comfortable to run. The best thing is to buy your shoes at a sports’ store or in a warehouse with a sports’ department. There you have qualified staff who can assist you while choosing the right shoe. The shoes have to have a good fit and they must not be too small. As explained in the paragraph above, there must be a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

You may ask what clothes should I wear? I think it is comfortable to wear jogging pants. For the upper body, you can choose any T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt and jacket you wish depending on the weather.



Health Information


Should I consult a doctor before I start walking or jogging regularly?

It’s always recommended to consult your doctor before you start with exercises, especially if:Consult your doctor, if you have any health issues

  • you have not done any exercises at all before
  • you are overweight
  • if you’ve got an illness of any kind
  • if you are a smoker
  • if you’ve got a high blood pressure

Almost in every case, a doctor will recommend doing walking as it is a very healthy activity. If not, then ask for suggestions about what exercise could be better for you to do.


Can I do walking/jogging when I’ve got a cold? Having a cold

If you’ve got a slight cold, without a cough, then it won’t hurt much to go for a walk. It’s important to put on clothing according to the weather and to avoid getting sweaty.

If you’ve got a lung infection, which mostly means you have got a cough, then it’s a no-go to do any strenuous exercises at all.

If you are uncertain the best thing is to consult your doctor in case you’ve got a cold or another illness.



When is the best time of the day to do walking/jogging and how often?


Time to do exerciseWalking or jogging you can do anytime during the day and as often you like to. Try out what is the best time for you. Some people like to do it right away in the morning before breakfast and some people find’s it better in the evening. Important is that you have not eaten a main meal at least two hours before the jogging exercise, otherwise you’ll easily get a stomach ache while jogging.

For beginners, it’s good to start with walking three times a week for about half an hour each time, with at least one days break in between. As soon as you feel fitter you can start walking every second day and extend the walking time as you wish. Later on, you may want to try out jogging as an alternative to walking. I recommend doing at least a half an hour exercise three times per week.



When to eat before the training?


The bigger the meal the more time you’ll need to digest the food.

  • For a gentle walk, it won’t hurt to do it rather shortly after having eaten a meal.
  • For a fast walk, I recommend not having eaten for at least an hour.
  • After the main meal, you should let two or three hours pass before you go jogging.

Otherwise, you may feel uncomfortable and you can more easily get side stitches.

If you feel hungry shortly before you have planned to do an exercise, you can, of course, eat a small snack about half an hour before, for example:Bananas

  • half a banana,
  • nuts or,
  • some spoons of cottage cheese.



How to prevent muscle cramps?


Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of liquids, preferably water, every day. Water helps your muscles contract and relax. Therefore, it is important to keep the muscle cells hydrated. During the activity, replenish fluids at regular intervals, and continue drinking water after you’ve finished the exercise.

Eating some protein, like for example some cottage cheese or half an egg around an hour before the exercise helps toNuts prevent pain in the muscles.

After the exercise, I propose to eat nutrients which contains magnesium like for example nuts, dried figs, dried dates or dried apricots. But be aware of not eating too much of the dried fruit as they have a high sugar content.

It is important to stretch your muscles afterward with a couple of stretching exercises. Stretching before the exercise won’t prevent muscle pains, but generally stretching does prevent the muscles getting shortened and stiff. Once the spasms start, do stretch carefully and help yourself by doing massage on the hurting muscle.


How to make a habit out of walking/jogging?


Schedule your exercisesFirst, you have to find out at what time of the day it’s easiest for you to do the exercise. For one person, it is in the morning for the other it is in the afternoon or in the evening. It depends very much on your daily life, if you’ve got a family to care for or not, what you’re working schedules are or if you are an early or late riser.

For my part, I have chosen to do my exercises in the morning, when I’ve got a day off from work. On the working days, I do my exercises right after coming home.

I plan my exercises for a week ahead and enter it in my calendar. The evening before I prepare my jogging clothes and place my jogging shoes at the front door. Often, I feel tired and rather don’t want to do any exercises. At these moments, I recall the memory of how good it feels after having done the exercise – my head feels less tired than before and my body feels alive and at the same time more relaxed.

Also, plan a reward for yourself after having done the exercise. See examples in the following paragraph.


A short summary:

1.      Plan

2.      Prepare

3.      Do

4.      Reward


Jogging for life


How to stay motivated?


When you have decided to start doing exercises regularly, it feels good at the beginning. Soon it can happen, that you do not feel for getting outside walking or jogging because of the bad weather, because of a tight schedule or just because you’re feeling tired. So how can we stay motivated to do exercises even at those moments?

A very good help is to enter the walking/jogging dates on your calendar like I mentioned in the paragraph above. When you do that, it’s an agreement with yourself to do that task. When you have done the exercise, you tick it off on your calendar and write down for how long you were out walking/jogging. It’s quite motivating to see the progress of your training, so I recommend having a special notebook where you write down the dates, the time and how many miles/kilometers you walked or jogged. Winner Award

Another thing that helps you stay motivated is to decide a reward for yourself after having done the exercise. No, it should NOT be a chocolate bar or a glass of beer. Choose a reward that is good for your health like for example taking a relaxing bath, sit down on a couch listening to your favourite music or reading an exciting book for a short while before going on with your chores.

For staying motivated in the long term, I suggest planning a bigger reward. For example, when having done regular exercises for a month, then your reward could be to visit a nice restaurant. Another reward could be, when having done regular exercises for whole six months, a weekend in a spa, visiting a great sports event or a musical or anything else you are longing for to do.


Exercising makes you happy


Keep going, feel alive!


I’d love to hear your comments. Please, leave a message in the comment box below.


10 Thoughts on “Easy Exercises for Beginners”

  • Good day Pernilla
    I enjoyed your post and found the information about having a thumb’s width between toe and shoe very interesting. Would that be only for running shoes, or would the same apply for walking or other shoes?

    • Hello Sharlee!

      Great to hear that you enjoyed this post. Yes, it is very important to have a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This applies not only to running shoes but also to walking shoes and to shoes for any exercises you do. The reason is that the feet swell and lengthen when we walk or run for a longer time or when we do other movement exercises.

      Have fun walking and running!

      Wish you a happy & healthy life!


      • Thank you for clarifying this Pernilla, I will give this hint through to a friend who loves dancing and refer her to your blog as well.

        • Perfect, thank you so much Sharlee for wanting to share my blog with your friend. Makes me really happy!

          I’m here for you whenever you have a question concerning healthy living and related topics.

          Enjoy life!


  • Hi Pernilla,

    You make excellent points about the value of exercising. The thing is most health experts will tell you that one of the best ways to break into a habit of exercising is to do something like making sure you set the time to get in about 45 minutes of walking a day.

    Most people will say they can’t do that because of their busy life style. Yet often that’s not the case.

    Picture for a moment what it would be like if you didn’t have to dedicate a set block of time for your walking workouts. The good news is that dreaming about getting the health benefits of a 45 minute walk isn’t just a fantasy—it CAN happen; all you have to do is work in a little more activity here and there throughout your day  and track it with the help of a pedometer.

    The pedometer will track how many steps you take on any given day. It will also track how many minutes you’ve spent being active and how many miles you’ve walked. In other words, it keeps track of how much exercise you get during your day. Here’s the sweet deal. It doesn’t matter if you head out after work for a 45 minute walk, or if you work out in little spurts here and there throughout the day. So for example, you start your day by parking a little further away from the office and walking a couple of hundred extra steps. Then you take a quick stroll during your lunch break. You wrap up your day by walking around the park while your kids play. And just like that you’ve gotten your exercise in without having to block out any additional time. That’s one way of doing it.


    • Hello Thabo,

      Thank you so much for joining the discussion. It is absolutely correct what you say, most people feel too busy to be able to do exercises regularly. One possibility to break that feeling is to make an agreement with ourselves to do the exercise at a certain time of the day and for how long we want to do the exercise. Planning the time and preparing the clothes in advance makes it easier to take the step and really do the exercise. Another possibility is to build in the exercise in your daily life like you explained perfectly. Every extra little step you take counts. Having a pedometer to track the number of steps is an excellent idea, it’s certainly a great way to get motivated to see how many steps I have done one day and try to overbeat that the next day.

      Always enjoy reading your comments. Already looking forward to hearing from you again.


  • I always loved to exercise when I was young some people have a hard time to stay motivated. I would do push-ups sit-ups or lift weights every chance I could. Just about none of my friends ever did that, but it made me feel great to do that. The first thing that has to be done is want to that’s where most people lose it and that is their want to. The best thing you can do to stay motivated for most is just what you said to do write it down and then mark it off as you do them.

    • Hello Fred,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts about exercising. The most difficult is to start doing exercises, when it has become a routine, many people don’t want to miss it. It is sad that people don’t find the time to do any physical activities, because it is so necessary in order to stay healthy and prevent the development of chronical diseases. As long as we feel healthy and don’t suffer from any pain, especially at very young ages, we are not aware of the damages slowly developing inside the body.
      We all want to stay healthy and don’t want to suffer from painful diseases. Knowing about the immediate and future health benefits of physical activity helps to motivate yourself. There are many more ways to get motivated and if you need more tips, please contact me. I’m always glad to be of help.

      Wish you a happy & healthy life!

  • Hi, Pernilla,

    My problem is with motivation, so I’ve found your tips very helpful. Both actions – writing down a schedule and rewarding myself after training are excellent suggestions, which I will try! Any advice, related to motivation, is highly appreciated:)

    Do you use some of these modern apps/wrist devices that measure the physical activity, or at this stage pen and paper is enough to record your results?

    Thank you

    • Hi Tony,

      Motivation to change a habit is very individual. I believe the best thing is to choose an exercise that you like to do. Another advice is to do something that is practical for you, that helps you to overcome the barrier of “taking action”. For example, for me, it is very practical to exercise on the home trainer (I’m very lucky to have one). I don’t have to go somewhere else and can save time. I can read at the same time while doing the exercise – I can learn a new language or read a business paper if I should need/want to. It is also very easy for me to go outside jogging as there is a very nice and safe surrounding.

      Find out what you like to do and as I have mentioned in the blog, prepare the clothes and the shoes the day before and tell yourself, you’ll feel much better after having done the exercise. Think of your family, that you want to stay fit and live a long healthy life together.

      No, I don’t use any wrist devices or apps, but it seems to be really interesting and I’m definitively going to try it out. I love statistics so it is a big motivating factor. When you are a beginner you don’t necessarily have to buy any devices (except your physician recommends it due to health issues) but I believe it can be very interesting to measure the progress at any stage of performance.

      Thank you once again for a most interesting comment!

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