We sat in an Oakland restaurant overlooking the marina when she turned, looked at me, and said: “Vernon, believe it or not, I can run up to five miles without stopping.” Before she admitted this, I noticed the change in her physical appearance, but I was in somewhat disbelief as I listened to my 68- year old auntie tell me about her new running routine.
It took me by surprise because although my parents exercise on most days of the week, I have not known them to jog for five miles at their age. They are power walkers and bike riders, not joggers. My Aunt Mattie said that she exercises six days per week. Like any person who is committed to a physical fitness routine, she has days when she doesn't want to do it, but she forces herself to do it anyway because she feels and sees the benefits.
I knew the exact feeling that she referenced to as we continued to talk about exercise and healthy foods. According to one resource, jogging can alleviate stress, assist weight loss, prevent disease, build self-confidence, and eliminate depression. With these benefits, it makes perfect sense that we can find serenity through the consistent habit of making time to jog.
In addition to training capoeira, I lift weights and jog 3-4 times per week. Like my aunt, I find that jogging enables me to clear my head and feel better about myself. In Mazatlán, Sinaloa Mexico where I currently live, there is a beach boardwalk that I love to run alongside in the morning before the sun reaches its’ peak in the afternoon.
Frequently, before I begin working on capoeira movements, I use a brief run of 1-2 miles as a warm-up. On the weekends, I jog for longer distances anywhere between 5-7 miles, before beginning my capoeira training regiments. After I jog, I always make time to stretch on a yoga mat that remains on the floor in the front room of our house. My stretching sessions that often include yoga poses are critical to achieving the full benefits of a solid run.
Stretching helps to prevent injuries and assist muscle recovery following strenuous exercise. I found that if I take the time to stretch after exercise, I am often less sore the next morning. One site makes the claim that stretching can relax your muscles and increase blood flow with nutrients to your cartilages and arteries.
So, whether it is jogging, walking, riding a bike, or some other form of exercise, schedule a workout session that involves cardio exercises followed by time to stretch. It does not have to be five miles. Thirty minutes three - four times a week is enough for many people to achieve some benefits.
In the comments, let me know one exercise that you will do today. Check out my V FIT capoeira instructional and body-weight exercise videos.