Look outside your window right now. Unless you’re on an isolated research facility or in outer space, someone will probably go jogging by. Jogging is a big deal. I, myself, enjoy a good jog. While there are many health benefits to jogging you would be surprised how many of them are matched or even surpassed by the benefits of sprinting. Here are a few facts that might make you think about doing some sprints the next time you put on your Tony Perkis sweatsuit.
Weight Loss – Researchers at the University of South Wales found that sprinting burns more harmful fat in men than jogging does. It makes sense. Sprinting is a much more high intensity exercise than jogging. The more intense the workout, the more intense the results. Jogging, of course, is much better for cardiovascular endurance, but if significant weight loss in the gut and ass is your goal, you might want to incorporate sprinting into your exercise regimen.
Building Muscle – Typical aerobic exercise like jogging doesn’t usually result in muscle gain. Your best bet there is a little tone on the legs. Sprinting – which is considered a form of resistance training – has proven to increase muscle mass in men who engage in sprinting exercises twenty minutes a day, three times a week.
Heart Health – According to a study published in the American Journal of Human Biology, sprinting can be better for your heart health than jogging. Split between joggers and sprinters, the study found that while both groups showed improvements in aerobic fitness and weight loss, the sprinters showed marked improvement in systolic blood pressure. Over the course of the eighteen sessions, the jogging group exercised a total of 420 minutes while the sprinters only exercised for just 63 minutes in total. Which raises another point.
Convenient – Sprinting is much more convenient than jogging. Studies have shown that over a twenty-four hour period, the bodies’ total oxygen consumption was almost exactly the same in males that had jogged for thirty minutes and males that had sprinted for two minutes. Therefore, the increase in metabolism was almost the same. Sprinting just saves time.
Fun – Sprinting is just way more fun than jogging. Even on a scenic trail with an iPod, jogging can get boring as hell. Although it presents its own challenges and allows me to set certain goals – like a certain number of miles in a certain time period – i never really feel much accomplishment after a long jog. I think a lot of it has to do with the monotony of long jogs over many months. How much time have I spent running? Sprinting is a totally different animal, though. It’s fast and intense and it wears you out a lot faster, so the longer I can maintain top speed feels much more like an accomplishment then how many miles I can run. There is also the added practicality that in the event of some sort of disaster situation, sprinting would probably come in more handy than jogging.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t jog. But I say it would benefit you to save yourself some time and trade off a few of your jogging time-slots and devote them to sprints. It would also be a big help to incorporate both in your workout.