Jogging and Running: What's the Difference?

Running has many health benefits. But are jogging and running the same thing? Let's take a look at what each of these disciplines consists of and how they differ.
Jogging and Running: What's the Difference?
Eva María Rodríguez

Written and verified by Fitness and yoga instructor Eva María Rodríguez.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Running is a physical activity that offers many health benefits, as long as it’s done properly and in an ideal state of health. Also, it’s a current trend.

But is everyone who runs a runner? And what about the practice of jogging? Are running and jogging the same thing?

The truth is that jogging and running aren’t the same thing. Both activities are similar, though; there’s no doubt about it! Of course, in the end, running is running. But the difference between these two disciplines matters a lot, especially from the point of view of technique, especially for amateur athletes.

It’s basic to know what we’re doing to look for the right information. To clarify it, we’re going to see what jogging is, what running is, and what the differences between jogging and running are.

What is jogging?

In a literal way, jogging means ‘to trot’. That’s to say, running at a slow or paused pace. Therefore, it’s a high-impact exercise. Although it does produce stress on the joints, especially on the knees, it’s much less than other sports.

Practicing jogging favors the training of aerobic resistance and the increase of physical aptitude without the inconveniences that more intense exercises can cause. This makes it perfect for the recovery processes.

Also, jogging is highly recommended for people who want to do medium to moderately intense aerobic exercise and can’t or don’t want to exercise intensely.

The benefits of jogging

Jogging offers many health benefits at any age, as long as your health status allows it.

At this point, it’s necessary to stop for a moment to remember that it’s important to consult with your doctor before doing any high impact physical activity or one that could pose a risk. In this case, lower limb injuries or cardiovascular diseases.

Having said this, the main benefits of jogging, according to different scientific studies, are the following

  • Prevents obesity and excess weight
  • Improves heart function and cardiovascular health, through improved oxygen absorption, the elevation of good cholesterol or HDL, reduction of triglycerides, and lowering of blood pressure
  • Increases insulin sensitivity
  • Reduces platelet aggregation and increases fibrinolytic activity, preventing pathological clotting
  • Reduces markers of systemic inflammation
  • Improves psychological function
A group of runners running along the beach.
Jogging has less impact on the joints, although it’s still important to consider the possibility of injury.

You’ll also be interested in: The Impact of Exercise on the Brain

What is running?

When we talk about running, we mean running as part of organized training, that’s subject to a plan with specific objectives, following concrete techniques. In other words, the practice sounds very professional.

Running involves a high-impact, quite intense aerobic exercise in which you run at a speed of up to about 10 minutes per mile. This means that it takes, at most, 10 minutes to run a mile.

Benefits of running

The benefits of running are associated with the intensity of the exercise. Taking this into account, different studies have found that this physical activity

  • Helps bone, joint, and cardiovascular health, while increasing cardiorespiratory endurance.
  • Strengthens muscles and increases fiber tone in the center of the body (core).
  • Helps maintain weight and promotes weight loss.
  • Relieves stress.

To these benefits, we must add all those that pertain to jogging, which we already mentioned above.

Jogging and running: What are the main differences

The main difference between jogging and running is speed or the intensity of the exercise. As we have already mentioned, a person who runs is considered to be running when it takes, at most, 10 minutes to cover the distance of one mile.

Another one of the main differences between jogging and running has to do with the approach to exercise. People who practice jogging go out to run because they enjoy a period of aerobic exercise. However, runners follow a training plan with fixed objectives and very clear guidelines.

This implies a marked difference in technology, equipment, food, and motivation. For example, runners usually choose their shoes and clothes with great care. Also, what they eat and drink before, during, and after training is very important.

A woman running up an outdoor staircase.
The practice of running has a more professional aspect since it involves technique and equipment.

You can do jogging or running, depending on your health

Although running is a popular sport right now, it’s not for everyone. Whether or not your physical condition allows this type of training, it requires good shape and adequate cardio-respiratory capacity. You can train in all of these areas, of course.

Those who’ve never run before and wish to enjoy the benefits of this exercise can start by jogging, complementing this activity with other exercises. With time, perhaps, you can take a step further and become a runner.

At the same time, we mustn’t forget the issue of injuries. The more intense an exercise is, the greater the risk of injury. The same is true about the unevenness in the terrain, potholes, or unexpected slippery areas.

Now, a final recommendation: If you decide to run, don’t do it without good shoes adapted to your foot and the way you move. Part of the initial investment is a good pair of running shoes.

Article Featured Image credit: The Watch Judge 

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.