Born to Run-Walk?

"Wogging" Can Be a Step Toward Running, or a Workout All Its Own

By Barbara Russi Sarnataro
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

We crawl before we learn to walk.

We wog before we learn to run.

Wog? That's right, W-O-G.

Wogging is a word used in some circles to describe a combination of walking and jogging, or walking and running. You may not have heard the term, but this way of exercising is far from new, fitness experts say.

"It's a catchword for what we all do," says Michael Hewitt, exercise physiologist and research director for exercise science at the Canyon Ranch spa in Tucson, Ariz. "We like to attach labels to things but if you look at any 8-year-old kid, they're wogging. They'll run for a while and then walk when they get tired, and then run again. Kids are smart, and kids wog."

So do adults who are trying to make a transition from walking to running.

Woggers, Hewitt tells WebMD, are people who want to be runners, but don't yet have the muscular endurance to run.

"It's what we've been teaching people for years and years," says Julie Isphording, former Olympic marathon runner and host of "FIT: Fitness Information Talk" and "On Your Feet," two popular health and fitness radio shows aired on National Public Radio in and around Cincinnati.

Isphording trains people to become runners by interspersing short bouts of running into their walking routines.

"Whenever you embark on a fitness program and you want to become a runner, you start by walking," says Isphording. "Then you set a goal, like from this stop sign to the next corner, I'm going to run. You keep building that until you're jogging."