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Running vs. Jogging: Differences and Uses

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man jogging at the sunset

Running and jogging are both awesome aerobic exercises. They bring excellent benefits to your mind and body, and are activities absolutely free of cost that can be performed in any open space. Running and jogging have many things in common, but they also have a lot of differences. Besides the obvious difference in pace, each exercise targets muscles in a different way and intensity. Additionally, they have differentiated form and motion, as well technique.

Let’s take a look at these two activities to learn what they involve and the differences between them:


woman taking off in sprinting

The first (and obvious) feature of this activity is the pace. It’s considered running to perform any activity at 8mph or faster. While running, your feet don’t spend as much time on the floor when in motion. This might seem irrelevant, but it does make a huge difference when it comes to muscular engagement. Your pace plays an important role in your leg muscles (quadriceps, shins, calves and glutes); the faster you move, the more stress and activity you place in these muscles.

Take marathon runners and 100 meter sprinters as an example. Marathon runners will tend to have a slimmer body, as they run for longer periods of time. 100 meter sprinters on the other hand, are likely to have bulky legs. This is because sprinters place way more stress and pressure on their muscles when they run at high speeds.

tired woman runner taking a rest after running hard

Running is also dominant when it comes to intensity. Your heart rate raises considerably while running, getting your body more pumped and giving your body a heavier task.  The faster you run, the more calories you will burn.  This is why you might encounter running sessions on calorie reduction training plans. However, your body will drain out of energy according to your speed; running faster will burn more calories and provide more muscular activity, but at a high energetic cost.

An average runner weighting 160 pounds should burn approximately 225 calories when running for 10 minutes at a speed of 12mph. If you increase the intensity to 13mph, you can burn up to 25 more calories for every 10 minutes of running. High-intensity exercises such as sprinting are better when it comes to burning body fat as well.


jogging couple

Jogging generally sets a slower pace, but just like in running you can adjust your intensity to optimize the results. Anything that goes from 3mph to 7mph is considered jogging; it’s up to you to set your own speed within the range. This activity provides lesser muscular action, but joggers take the trophy home when it comes to endurance.

If you don’t want to go for a sprint, or an injury doesn’t allow you to run at high speeds, you can try alternate methods to pump up the intensity while jogging.

stairs climbing

My favorite option is hitting an inclined jog. Select a terrain that fits your preferences; some prefer a low incline while some others like to kick it up the strairs. This will help you get that extra force on your legs and get you going on a more intense session. If you’re looking to take it to the next level, feel free to add some weight on top of you to get the most out of your legs while jogging.

The same speed principle from running applies to jogging; the faster you go, the more calories you’ll burn. Jogging may not burn as many calories in 10 minutes as sprinting, but one thing is for sure: you can’t sprint at maximum speed for the same amount of time you can jog at average speed. In 10 minutes you’ll definitely burn fewer calories, but my fellow joggers out there know that jogging isn’t all about speed.

In jogging, it all comes down to endurance. You won’t burn that many calories in short sessions, but a long jog can burn as many (if not more) than an average sprinting session at full speed.

Jogging & Running: Additional Features

Each activity provides a list of additional features provided to the body and mind that its counterpart doesn’t share. To name two of them, we have:

Afterburn Effect (Running)

The after burn effect consists of an effect produced by placing your overall body under a considerable amount of physical stress and tension, like the one obtained after running at high speed. It burns calories even after the workout has been completed.

The human body needs additional energy consumption to repair the damaged muscular tissue, to replace the liquids lost through sweating, and stabilizing the levels of oxygen in the body. This extra energy consumption is somewhat additional exercise. Your body can only obtain this effect by being taken out of its comfort zone through intense exercising, and the effect can last up to 48 hours after each workout.

Reduced Anxiety (Jogging)

Jogging is a popular natural cure for psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression. People tend to run as a solution for such symptoms, but psychologists highly recommend jogging instead. Over the last years, science proved that the body and mind are connected; meaning they can affect each other. Being jogging a slow-paced activity, your body doesn’t suffer as much tension as you would from high-intensity training such as running. This leads to your mind being able to release some of its tension as well, while sprinting could add an extra load of stress and intensity to your mind, which I’m sure you’re trying to avoid if you suffer from anxiety.

In Conclusion

Zack Hamner Runs in the Spring Sprint Triathlon – 2015. Photo By: Chris Hunkeler – Flickr Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Running and jogging have many things in common, just like they have many differences. Each activity provides its own list of benefits (and they share some as well), but at the end of the day they are very healthy aerobic activities that should be part of any exercising routine. Whether you’re a runner or a jogger, one thing is for sure; you’re a winner.

Author: Sergio Bettiol

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