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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 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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