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How to Know if You’re a Jogger or a Runner

How to Know if You’re a Jogger or a Runner

In terms of physical mechanics, there is not much difference between running and jogging—putting one foot in front of another at a pace faster than walking but slower than sprinting. However, in psychological terms, the differences can be quite stark in the mind of a runner compared to that of a jogger, although imperceptible to a person who is neither.

A Jogger Runs…A Runner Jogs

For some, running is often associated with hard-labour. While these people gamely push aside such feelings and look to the physical benefits of running, the exercise gradually becomes a chore for them. These martyrs will still declare themselves publicly as “runners” but, deep inside, they would really rather “jog” it out intermittently than to “slog” it out monotonously.

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A runner, on the other hand, associates running with freedom and fun—so much so that he looks forward to hitting the pavement, not only before each outing, but as soon as he gets his breath back after it. It is this psychiatric mis-wiring which warps the mind of a runner into treating the exercise, not as an arduous, lung-busting run that it really is, but as a leisurely, mind-clearing jog that it certainly isn’t.

A Jogger Focuses on Speed…A Runner Focuses on Need

A jogger typically classifies himself as such, based primarily on speed. His minutes/km lags behind those of his friends, and often lands him among those in comic-book character costumes in the starting-line pecking order in any fun run. For such a person, the motivation to run invariably stems from his desire to improve the pace up to a level where he feels comfortable about shedding the “jogger” tag. Unfortunately, the single-minded determination to make this transition often takes the fun out of any run, especially as he hits the inevitable wall when his times no longer improve unless he begins doing speed-work—a form of torture designed to sap any traces of affinity the jogger may have had left towards the exercise.

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For a runner, speed is an outcome of a hobby that he undertakes out of need—be it need for “me” time, for thinking time or just “zen” time. The only time he is relatively ambivalent about is the minutes/km time. This is the reason why some who waddle more than run can, nevertheless, legitimately label themselves as “runners”. Of course, most runners also get motivated by the improving pace that they register on their watches after each run. However, putting aside the serious athletes who compete at a high level, the focus by runners on speed improvement rarely becomes so obsessive as to turn running into suffering.

A Jogger Grimaces…A Runner Relishes

You are in the middle of a long run on a beautifully sunny day, with cool gentle breeze regularly wicking away your sweat. You come across a fellow runner who is grimacing too hard to notice you and makes you wonder why he bothers to put himself through such a torture. The chances are, he is probably laboring away, chanting “no pain, no gain” in a perpetual bid to become a faster runner, and shed his self-imposed image as a jogger.

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On the other hand, say you are running on a dreadfully cold day with rain pouring down from the sky and mud flicking up your legs. You see another runner coming the other way through the mist. As you pass each other with squishing steps, you nod to the other runner. If he acknowledges you with a somewhat embarrassed expression that suggests he knows he is crazy but could not possibly think of a better thing to do at that moment, then that is a true runner, irrespective of his speed. How can he not be when the alternative is to recline in the dry comfort of his sofa, watching football with a warm cup of coffee?

Jog or Run…Just have Fun

The difference between a jogger and runner is very subtle. And the essence of the distinction lies, not in the speed at which one is able to undertake the exercise, but in the enjoyment with which one chooses to undertake it. “No pain, no gain”? So be it! We runners would rather chant, “no fun, no run”!

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(Photo credit: Feet on Road via Shutterstock)

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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