Outdoor running season is already well under way at area schools and more and more people are hitting the pavement for some jogging and exercise. For people who may have taken the winter off from such activities, a slow return to running is recommended. Amy Stevens, an Athletic Trainer at Pella Regional Health Center says running and jogging offer many health benefits, but the body must be in proper shape to really take advantage. She says preparing the muscles, bones and joints of the legs and core muscle groups with short, easy jogs will help prepare for longer, more beneficial runs later. In addition to being good for weight loss and heart health, the impact of jogging can also promote good bone and joint health by forcing them to react to the activity and become stronger. Stevens says a short warm up before stretching and a short cool down and stretch after a run will all help to prevent injuries.