Is Slow Jogging Good For Weight Loss? How Long You Need To Jog!

Many runners get their start in the sport by jogging. It’s basically the same thing except for the pace. Anything over 6 mph is considered running. 4 mph is what we like to call slow jogging.

For more on this, consider checking out our post on “What Speed Is Considered Running? Running Vs Jogging Vs Walking Vs Sprinting!

There are many reasons to go jogging. It loosens up your muscles, and you can commune with nature if you get outside. It’s also great for your mental health. 

But is slow jogging good for weight loss? Any cardio activity including jogging for more than 20 minutes is going to promote losing weight. It is about getting the heart rate to the level required to shed some weight. Jogging, as a lead-up to running, can assist.

I’ll get into how you can use jogging to lose weight a little later, but let’s look at why you could choose jogging over running.

Is Slow Jogging Better Than Running?

There are times when jogging is better for the body than running. The athlete could be new to the sport, recovering from an injury or an event, or may have experienced a spike in weight in a short period. If running is the goal, jogging is an ideal way to work the way up.

1. Brand new to running

The adage, you must learn to walk before you crawl, is never more true than when it comes to running. If it’s your first time, going out at full speed will exhaust you and possibly cause injury. 

Start with a slow jog for a couple of miles on your first time out. Over time, when you feel comfortable, you can increase your pace, and you’ll be running like a professional very soon.

2. Recovery runs

I don’t know many professional runners who haven’t been sidelined by an injury, usually in the legs. Jogging is the smart way to get used to using them properly again and getting back into it. 

The same goes for after an event. If you’ve gone all out, your legs are going to be stiff and sore. Instead of going out and doing it all again, a recovery run at a jogging pace is just the trick. You can loosen up the muscles again without too much impact.

3. Additional weight

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us were forced into lockdown, making exercise slightly more difficult than before. Some people used that time to eat more than usual. 

Returning to running with extra pounds can put unexpected pressure on your legs. Start by jogging, and you’ll be burning off those added calories in no time.

For a bit more challenging workout, we highly recommend that you check out our post “Running With a Weighted Backpack! Should You Do It?

If you are looking to burn a good deal of calories, then we recommend that you check out our post titled”Swim, Bike & Run Typical Calories Burned & Timings In Triathlon

How Long Should You Jog To Lose Weight?

Losing weight is all about burning fat in the appropriate heart rate zone. Run too fast, and you’re burning more carbs than fat. Jogging helps the heart rate get up to the right level. After some time, the body gets used to the speed, so it needs to be increased.

There are five heart rate zones. They’re slightly different for everyone and are calculated as a percentage of your maximum heart rate (HRMAX), beginning at 50%. Anything less than 50% heart rate means you’re resting. (Source)

Heart Rate ZoneIntensityPercentage of HRMAX
1Very light50–60%
Running Intensity vs Heart Rate Zone

How can you calculate your HRMAX? For extremely fit professional athletes, this is best done at a lab where they attach you to a treadmill. For those just starting out, use this simple formula:

220 – your age

So, for example, if you’re 40 years old, your HRMAX would be 220 – 40 = 180 beats per minute (bpm)!

Here’s how the table would look for this person

Heart Rate ZoneHeart Rate Range (bpm)Percentage of HRMAX
Sample of Calculating the HRMAX

To effectively burn fat, the heart rate needs to be zone 2 to 3, so, for this person it’d be between 108 and 144 bpm. Any higher, and they’re burning more carbs than fat.

So how long do you need to jog to lose weight?

Nothing will happen until you’ve been in zone 2 for at least 20 minutes. At that time, fat-burning begins!

On average, a person running in zone 2 burns between 6–10 calories per minute. Ideally, you want to jog for 45–60 minutes to get the most benefit.

For more on zone 2, we highly recommend that you check out our post “How to Run in Zone 2 ? Why Do It !

Running or Jogging for Weight loss | How much in a day | Technique, Posture, Calorie Burn, Routine 

Is Running 20 Minutes A Day Enough To Lose Weight?

Twenty minutes of cardio per day is the minimum requirement to begin to lose weight. Not only that, it needs to be 20 minutes of at least 60% of a person’s HRMAX (zone 2). Naturally, the longer the run, the more calories get burned. 

When you’re burning calories, it’s a combination of fat and carbs. Most believe that the faster they run, the more fat they burn. It’s correct, but is it the best way?

Yes, they burn more overall calories, but the percentage of fat being used up also drops. Here’s how it looks, based on a 130 lb woman jogging and then running: (Source)

Zone 2Zone 4
Per minute
Total calories burned4.866.86
Total fat burned2.432.7
Per 30 minutes
Total calories burned146206
Total fat burned7382
Fat/Carb ratio50:5040:60
130 Lb Woman Jogging Calories Burned Calculation

If your goal is to burn calories, irrespective of if it’s from fat or carbohydrate, feel free to increase your pace. If it’s all about the fat, stay in the low Zone 2 range as long as possible.

You may also be interested in checking out our post titled Does Running Outside Burn More Calories Than On a Treadmill ?!

Is It Safe To Jog Or Run Every Day? Why Not Do It!

Some runners, including professional athletes, believe running every day is okay. This thought process isn’t necessarily correct. For a small percentage of elite runners, it’s okay. For everyone else, it isn’t, for several reasons: higher risk of injury, poor recovery, reduced performance, and mental health issues. (Source)

You may have been running for a short period and starting to experience weight loss. Naturally, you’d be keen to add more exercise to your routine. My advice is to rest for two days every week, and here are the reasons why:

1. Higher Risk Of Injury

Did you know that when you’re running, every heel strike produces a force that’s 3–4 times your body weight? Think about the pressure that’s putting on your ankles, calves, and knees. 

If you’re subjecting your body to this daily, the risk of injury increases. Be kind to your legs; let them rest.

2. Reduced Recovery

Rest and recovery are paramount for any athlete. When you’re running, your muscles experience micro-tears, don’t worry, these are good. They repair and, as a result, get stronger.

The repair process involves blood pumping to the area to clear out lactic acid and supply nutrients and oxygen. However, this isn’t an instant action. The body does this during downtime. If you’re not resting at least two days a week, this process can’t happen.

3. Decreased Performance

There’s another benefit to letting your body rest. It’s not when you’re doing the activity, and it’s in the recovery phase that you build cardiovascular fitness. With the proper amount of rest, you actually get fitter and stronger.

If you don’t let your body recover, your fitness can suffer and, as a result, your performance. The worst-case scenario is that you could develop muscle atrophy. (Source)

4. Affected Mental Health

Running is so great for your mind. Your cortisol levels spike, and you can experience runner’s high. We’ve talked about it before; if you missed it, check out this article What Is the Runner Mindset ?! Runners Thought Process!

You’ve heard the phrase “too much of a good thing,” right? It applies to exercise too. A short spike in cortisol is excellent; high levels over a long period could lead to a hormone imbalance or chronic stress.

Tips on Walking, Jogging & Running to Lose Weight : Get Fit Workout 

Jogging and running are great activities for your general physical and mental well-being and can also help you lose weight. Remember to keep it in the lower heart rate zones to be the most effective, and try to take at least two days a week to recover.


An extreme triathlete who have competed in dozens of triathlons including IronMans and Extreme triathlons.

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