Daily Archives: November 17, 2012

Is joggler’s high better than runner’s high?

Runner’s high is a well-known phenomenon among both runners and other fitness enthusiasts. A lot more research on it needs to be done, but it does appear to be for real and is largely due to the effects of intense exercise on the brain. Intense exercise causes the release of endorphins(the body’s own morphine), which are the body’s own “feel good” chemicals. This may explain why aerobic exercise can help relieve mild depression.

Not all runners experience runner’s high. Since we are all biochemically and neurologically unique, running doesn’t affect everyone the same way. Some runners experience the high so intensely that they become addicted to running – they have become addicted to their own endorphins.

This addiction greatly increases the risk of injury, since a day or two of rest per week is essential for the recovery of the runner.

Which brings me to the question: How much better is “joggler’s high” compared to runner’s high? Juggling alone seems to produce a mild high all by itself(even without an audience), so when combined with running, in the form of joggling, is the high even more intense?

No studies have been done on “joggler’s high”, but in my subjective opinion, the high really is significantly more powerful than runner’s high. It really feels amazing to run several miles while juggling 3 balls at the same time, especially if I don’t drop the balls.

However, an important confounding factor when it comes to joggling is all the compliments a joggler receives while joggling in the park or around town. I regularly hear “that’s amazing!”, “that is so cool!” from a lot of people while joggling(there are also those who scoff or insult, but they are rare). So is “joggler’s high” better because of the praises or is it due more to the intensity of the exercise?

As far as I can tell, it is a little of both, and the best way to test this would be to somehow do brain-scans of jogglers joggling along a path where there are no other people. I’m not even sure if we have the technology to do this now, not to mention how expensive it would be even if we did.

We already know that juggling can help grow grey matter in the brain. It may also help relieve stress. As for “joggler’s high”, it is hard to tell at this point how much more powerful it is than runner’s high or if it even deserves a separate label. Cycling and other intense aerobic activities also produce “runner’s high”, but it would probably be more accurate to simply call it “intense cardio high”, or something similar.

Since I have been running almost forever, it’s been a very long time since I’ve experienced runner’s high. But I believe I experience “joggler’s high” on a regular basis, to the point that I almost never run without juggling.

Whatever the case may be, joggling is a ton of fun, even if it isn’t the ultimate exercise.

Yes, running can make you high.