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Is Running a Sport? (Explained In-Depth)

Have you started running recently as a form of exercise and wondered whether running is a sport? Or maybe you are a firm believer that running can only be a hobby and nothing else, and want to see if you were really, correct?

Although running is a built-in function that every human, as well as animal, possesses, it is easy to be confused over the most basic ability. Since it is something that is done daily and is never really questioned. Which is why I am here to answer the most important questions.

Key Takeaways


  • Running is a sport and also a hobby.
  • Jogging and running are not the same, jogging means running slower for a shorter time, and running means to run faster and for a longer time.
  • Running sports are not easy.
  • Competitiveness, rules, and expertise make running a sport.
  • Running as a hobby as well as running sports have great health benefits important for the well-being of a person.

Is running a sport?

The short answer is yes and no. Depends on your viewpoint because it is a sport when it is done professionally, and a hobby when it is done only for personal entertainment.

Running has been seen as a form of sport for thousands of years, in fact, since the creation of the first-ever Olympics in Olympia, Greece.

It was not until the 1960s that people started to acknowledge running as not only a function that people have or something that is used only on the track field, but also as a hobby and form of exercise, something that anybody can do for fun and not just because they have to. This prompted the creation of jogging.

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Running vs Jogging

Jogging is a form of running. And now I know what you might be thinking, somebody created running? Well, it would be funny to imagine a scenario where somebody thought of creating running by simply walking faster, but no, that is not the case.

Running has existed since the beginning of time, but jogging is a newer term and newer form of running that was popularized in Australia in the 60s and 70s.

It was described as the ability to run at a slower pace for a shorter time, while regular running was described as the ability to run faster at a longer distance. And just like that, distinctions between types of runs were created.

What makes running a sport?

Running can be defined as a sport when:

It becomes competitive

Competitions are a great way to determine whether running is a sport. They are created in order for people to show off their talent, represent their country or city, and win a prize, and in order to do that, they need to compete with other runners.

Rules are created

Competitions are strict because they need to be held fairly in order to determine who the real winner is. So, a great way to remove the people who attempt to cheat at a competition is by implementing rules.

Expertise is needed

Many great runners have trained to run faster and be stronger in order to withheld tiredness. Running sports are not easy, in fact, in order to even enter the sports world, you need to have a piece of great knowledge, talent, and expertise in your field.

Unlike running as a hobby where you can run at your own pace and not worry if you are first or last place, running sports are stricter, so constant training is needed in order to succeed in the field.

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Is running easy?

If you wish to run as a hobby without actually competing in competitions, then running can be quite easy and the more you do it the easier it will get.

Running is a fun activity to do in your free time not just alone but with a partner as well. Simply running or jogging for 20 to 30 minutes is a great way to exercise your body and be guaranteed that you will be left satisfied afterward.

The great thing about running as a hobby is that if you run long enough and let your body get used to the constant movement, you will easily be able to transition to running as a sport.

The health benefits of running

Whether you choose to run professionally or just as a hobby, the benefits that running will offer you are the same and are both great for the health of the body and mind.

How running benefits, the mind:

When it comes to the mind, running acts as an amazing stress reliever. It creates a calmness in the mind almost like the person is in deep meditation, leaving all of the negative thoughts to slowly dwindle and drift away.

The great thing about running is that it also boosts up the serotonin levels in the brain, so you are left feeling extra happy at the end.

How running benefits, the body:

And when it comes to the body it is more obvious. Running gives so many benefits to the body with the biggest benefit being muscle gain and calorie loss.

Everyone at some point or another has wanted to either gain muscle or lose extra calories, and with running you can do that exact thing. Running is always the beginner exercise that people are introduced to because it is not only easier to do than other exercises.

It is also very beneficial for muscle growth, building stronger bones, calorie burn resulting in a healthier weight, as well a better immune system, which will make other exercises also easier to do.

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Final thoughts

It is safe to say that running has been a sport for a very long time and it will not stop being one any time soon, and it is clear why.

With so many benefits to offer like empowerment, confidence, strength, and better health, running sports can only go far up from here. And if running sports are not for you, then simply going for a jog in the morning will make you feel as if you entered a competition and won.