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Achieving a ‘Jogger’s Elation’ While Strolling? Professionals Confirm Affirmatively

Enthusiasts of running often mention the various benefits they gain from their jogs: Enhanced muscle strength, a fitter heart, decreased tension. However, one of the most renowned rewards of running is the mystical “jogger’s elation.” Defined by a sensation of euphoria or delight and diminished discomfort, it can manifest during or after any vigorous physical activity that raises your heart rate for an extended duration.

“It is frequently described as a state of being ‘elevated’ and may be paired with a rush of positive emotions and a feeling of wellness,” remarks Karissa Bollinger, a certified exercise specialist, ultra-marathoner, and the proprietor of Golden Teacher Wellness. Different levels of this euphoria exist, depending on the method and duration of exercise, your underlying emotional condition, and your unique body functions.

Nevertheless, in the present times, leisurely ambles seem to be more popular than high-intensity activities like running for many individuals. Hence, the query arises: Can one attain a jogger’s elation through walking workouts?

Let’s Address the Core Issue: What Triggers a Jogger’s Elation?

Bollinger explains that the exact cause of a jogger’s elation from a physiological perspective remains somewhat uncertain. “However, it is believed to be linked to the discharge of endorphins,” she states. “During physical activity, the body releases endorphins to alleviate discomfort and pain, and to foster a positive mood. Endorphins can also induce a sense of wellness and an intensified state of relaxation.”

Nonetheless, endorphins might not be the sole factor at play. According to Bollinger, “studies have indicated that other substances and hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and anandamide might also contribute to the sensations of jogger’s elation.”

Does walking have the capability to elicit the same response?

While a jogger’s elation is commonly associated only with running—hence the name—it is feasible to attain a “jogger’s elation” from any aerobic exercise that escalates your heart rate and breathing, such as cycling, swimming, and yes, even walking.

Yet, to experience a jogger’s elation through walking (or any form of activity), Bollinger states that the intensity must be significant and the walk must be sufficiently lengthy.

“Typically, the heart rate should be raised to approximately 60 to 85 percent of the maximum heart rate for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes,” advises Bollinger. (To compute your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220, she suggests. “For instance, if you are 30 years old, your maximum heart rate would be roughly 190 beats per minute.”)

Pointers for experiencing a jogger’s elation from walking

Given that walking is typically of lower intensity, you need to be innovative in elevating that heart rate. Consider: increasing pace, enhancing resistance (e.g., walking uphill or adding weights), or combining both. Here are Bollinger’s recommendations.

Utilize a heart rate monitor

Bollinger suggests using a heart rate monitor to gauge the intensity of your walking routines. (Various types are available, including chest straps, smartwatches, and earbuds.) “By monitoring your heart rate, you can ensure that you’re maintaining the desired intensity level and optimizing your workout to reach that endorphin-inducing state,” she recommends.

Philips ActionFit SN503 Wireless Bluetooth Earphones with Heart Rate Monitoring — $39.00

These sweat-proof earbuds have an embedded sensor that tracks your heart rate. They’re compatible with fitness-tracking apps like Strava and Runkeeper.

Include hills in your route

Engage in incline treadmill walks or seek paths with prolonged uphill segments to enhance the intensity of your walks.

Escalate your pace

Walking at a quicker speed can elevate your heart rate and boost cardiovascular fitness. Bollinger suggests interspersing intervals of 30-second to 1-minute bursts of brisk walking within your walking session.

“Alternating between rapid and moderate walking intervals can heighten calorie expenditure, involve more muscle groups, improve cardiovascular fitness, and elevate heart rate,” states Bollinger. “Experiment with intervals of brisk walking or light jogging for a heightened challenge.”

Add some additional weight

One way to increase resistance is by donning a weighted vest or ankle/wrist weights like Bala bangles, or by carrying dumbbells or a backpack.

Bala Bangles — $55.00

Infuse some style to your workouts with ankle or wrist weights from Bala. These bangles are available in 1, 2, and 1/2 pound options.

Integrate bodyweight movements

Incorporating lunges, squats, or calf raises within walking intervals can fortify your leg muscles. Moreover, engaging more of the major leg muscles will necessitate additional physical effort, leading to an augmented heart rate.

Vary your terrain

Bollinger suggests walking on sandy shores, rocky paths, or other challenging surfaces to intensify the cardiovascular workout while also testing your equilibrium and working more extensively on your leg and core muscles.

Exercise patience

By being consistent in your exercise routine, your fitness level will progress, making it easier to sustain the intensity and duration of your walking sessions to encounter a “walker’s elation.”

However, attaining this effect can be tricky even for numerous runners. Bollinger mentions that it’s essential to bear in mind that whether or not you experience that sense of euphoria from your walking workouts, boosting your heart rate through cardiovascular exercises like walking offers numerous physical and mental health merits: “Our bodies harbor an abundance of naturally occurring substances that foster a positive mood, and leveraging these advantages through exercise can lead to a truly empowering and gratifying experience.”

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