When you first begin running, you can be keen to keep doing it daily. However, that raises the question of whether it is healthy, safe, or beneficial to run every day.
There are arguments that support BOTH sides of this question, but what is the truth? In this article, we will look at whether it is okay to run every day.
Should You Run Every Day?
The answer to this question is actually more COMPLEX than a simple yes or no.
- There is research that suggests that running at a moderate intensity for around 10 minutes every day has a significant effect on your health.
- It can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes.
- However, there is also research that suggests the benefits of running every day don’t extend beyond 4.5 hours a week.
Therefore, running as long as you can every day is no more beneficial than running for half an hour every day.
In fact, running more than half an hour each day can significantly increase your chances of picking up an injury.
Even if you can handle long daily runs from a cardiovascular standpoint, running is high impact and injuries can be common.
Ultimately, whether you should run every day depends on your fitness levels and your goals.
Scheduling days for rest and other types of training are also important to reach certain goals.
What Are The Benefits Of Running Every Day?
There are many proven benefits of running every day.
As mentioned above, regular running for short periods of time, at a MODERATE pace can be very beneficial.
One of the main benefits of running daily is the effect on cardiovascular health.
- People who run every day are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease or experience strokes.
- Perhaps surprisingly, running every day can also reduce your risk of developing cancer and neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
The research that supports these claims suggests that running for around 30 minutes up to five days a week is the best way to maximize the benefits.
However, extending that to 30 minutes a day 7 days a week will not deplete the benefits in any way.
Other benefits of regular running include improved sleep quality and mood.
For adolescents, not only can their sleep and mood improve, but also their ability to concentrate during the day.
These benefits can also be garnered from 30 minutes of other cardio activities such as swimming, dancing, or yoga.
Is It Safe To Run Every Day?
It is important to make it clear that running every day increases the risk of an overuse injury.
This is particularly true if you are a beginner or have lower levels of cardiovascular fitness.
Overuse injuries often develop as a result of increasing levels of physical activity too quickly. You are not allowing your body time to rest, recover, and adjust properly.
They are common in runners due to the high-impact nature of the activity and improper form.
However, that doesn’t mean that it is unsafe to run every day. There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of injury.
- One of the main ways to avoid injury is to make sure that you are wearing appropriate, high-quality running shoes.
- If your running shoes fit correctly and support your foot well, you are less likely to pick up an ankle, knee, or hip injury.
You can also stave off injury by increasing your distance or time gradually rather than rapidly.
This allows your body time to adjust to the extra exercise. It can also be sensible to switch out your runs for cross-training exercises a couple of times a week.
This will give your body time to recover from the impact of running.
How to avoid picking up an injury when running every day? A simple way is to ensure that you are properly stretching and warming up before your run and cooling down afterward.
Finally, maintaining proper form when you are running will help to protect you from injury on your runs.
How Long To Run Every Day?
As mentioned above, the benefits that you gain from running every day are capped at around 4.5 hours a week.
This means that you don’t have to run for a very long time in order to see or feel the benefits of running.
- If you run for more than half an hour every day, you will not see any more benefits.
- You will, however, increase your risk of developing an injury from the overuse of your joints.
If you want to be doing more exercise than simply a half hour of running daily, you can mix in different exercises.
Cross-training exercises such as swimming, cycling, or yoga can complement your runs perfectly.
Similarly, you can incorporate strength or resistance training to help increase your daily exercise and help to improve your runs.
Should You Do Other Exercises Too?
There are plenty of benefits that come from adding cross-training exercises into your routine.
- Swapping your run on one or two days a week for a lower impact exercise such as swimming and yoga can help your body rest and recover.
- The benefits of adding these exercises to your program support the benefits of running.
- Incorporating different exercises can help to reduce your risk of injury by giving your body a chance to recover from pounding the sidewalk.
- They can also work different muscle groups that may be neglected with exclusive running exercises.
You can also improve your core strength and flexibility with some exercises such as yoga which will also help to prevent future injuries.
One of the most important benefits of incorporating other exercises is variety. There is nothing worse than feeling bored with your workout routine.
The Bottom Line
There are many benefits to running on a daily basis that can be achieved in a short time.
However, there are also risks associated with running every day that you should take steps to avoid.