Maybe you’re the sort of person who likes a routine: you get up every day at the same time, eat the same breakfast… and go for a run. You’re reaping everyday running benefits. But is it okay to run every day?
If you never run, the idea of running every day probably sounds like torture. You’ll be happy to learn that most running coaches recommend rest days and sufficient time off between runs for recovery.
Yet many people thrive on continuous running streaks. Running every day helps them keep a running habit going. Skip a day and they feel guilty – with fear of losing fitness or gaining weight. Plus that wonderful feel-good boost from just a few minutes of exercise is addictive.
From better mental health to the physical benefits of consistent running, some runners find the positive effects of running every day far outweigh the negative.
This guide explores what happens to your body when you run every day from weight loss to injury risks.
Physical And Mental Health Benefits Of Running Daily
Running is simply one of the best ways to exercise. It’s accessible, terrific for burning calories, and great for your cardiovascular health.
Running every day will easily hit recommendations for aerobic physical activity of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.
Here are some of the main benefits of running and how they relate to running every day:
#1 Improves Cardiovascular Health
Running increases your heart rate, pumping more blood, oxygen, and nutrients around your body to the muscles where it’s needed. With frequent exercise, your heart becomes stronger and more efficient.
Your resting heart rate reduces and overall your heart doesn’t need to work as hard. This benefits your cardiovascular health.
A 2014 study of more than 55,000 adults published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that running reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease by 45%. That’s a reduced risk of heart attack or stroke.
You don’t need to run far to benefit – running just 5 to 10 minutes a day at a slow pace of less than 6 miles per hour made a big difference.
#2 Runners Live Longer
If you want to live longer – take up running. It’s not the secret to eternal life but this same 2014 study found that runners had a 30% lower risk of early death compared with non-runners.
The authors extended their study in 2017 to cite over 70 different reference articles and still reached the same conclusion. Run regularly and there’s a good chance you’ll live longer.
#3 Improved Aerobic Capacity
If you’re frequently out of breath walking upstairs and just short runs leave you struggling to breathe, running will help.
Running is an aerobic exercise that trains your cardiovascular system. Run frequently and your VO2 max will improve – you’ll no longer get out of breath so easily.
#4 Running Reduces Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) left unchecked is a major concern for your physical health. It’s a silent killer damaging arteries and blocking your blood circulation.
This recent study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found exercise such as running can reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Exercise proved to be as effective as commonly used antihypertensive medications!
#5 Everyday Running Improves Joint Health
It’s a myth that running is bad for your knees! Regular running can reduce the risk of arthritis.
High-impact weight-bearing exercises are essential for stronger joints, stronger bones, maintaining bone density, and protecting against osteoporosis.
#6 Running Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes
Running not only reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes but regular exercise is recommended to reduce insulin resistance regardless of diabetes type.
The American Diabetes Association recommends daily exercise or at least not allowing more than 2 days to elapse between training sessions.
#7 Daily Runs Can Help You Lose Weight
There are many health benefits associated with maintaining a normal weight. If you’re overweight or obese, your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease increases significantly.
Running is one of the best ways of burning calories and combined with eating a healthy diet can have a significant impact on your waistline.
Admittedly you don’t have to run every day to get these benefits, but your exercise does need to be regular.
#8 Running Every Day Is Good For Your Mental Health
Exercise helps your mental health and running is no exception.
Studies have shown that regular running is an effective way of reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even stress. Exercise creates endorphins which increase the feel-good factor.
The feeling of accomplishment from setting a goal – such as running every day – can also reduce self-esteem issues. Getting out in the fresh air every day makes you feel more alive and reduces petty concerns.
These are just some of the health benefits of running. Find out more about is running good for you?
The Risks Of Running Every Day
The benefits are clear: running has so many health advantages. But what about the injury risk of running every day?
#1 Injury Risk Increases With Too Much Running
If you have never run before, it’s better to start running just a few times a week and gradually increase the frequency and mileage. Try our Couch to 5K Plan or if you want to start with running every day, follow our Running A Mile A Day 30-Day Challenge.
Too much running too soon can cause an overuse injury. These are injuries caused by repetitive motion and include shin splints, achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, IT Band Syndrome, runner’s knee (Patellofemoral pain syndrome), stress fractures, and more.
It’s not clear that running every day is the cause but too much running at a high intensity without enough rest will certainly put you at increased risk of injury.
#2 Risk Of Overtraining
You can have too much of a good thing. Run too far every day and the demands on your body can be too high. By the time you’re running 8 miles a day or as much as running 10 miles a day, the injury risk is high.
Overtraining can leave you feeling exhausted and lead to a weakened immune system.
You may find that weight maintenance becomes difficult, you feel tired all the time, struggle to sleep, and start to suffer from general aches and pains.
It’s important to listen to your body. If you feel exhausted, sore, or disinterested – take a rest day.
#3 Maintaining A Running Streak Can Be Stressful
Some people get so locked into maintaining a running streak that it takes over their lives. From running on your wedding day to immediately after surgery, there are plenty of examples of when a running streak gets out of hand.
If running every day is adding to your daily stress level – it’s time to reevaluate your goals. Don’t let running become a chore – make sure it’s something you enjoy.
#4 Everyday Running Can Hold You Back As A Runner
Daily running can help you evolve into a stronger better runner just because you’re running more. But as you become a more experienced runner, your improvement will start to plateau if you’re running the same session every day.
Of course, just because you’re running daily doesn’t mean you can’t mix things up – add intervals, fartlek running, tempo runs, and long runs to your daily running schedule.
However, your daily running will limit the time and energy you have for cross-training and strength training. Plus it’s also important to recover fully to get the most out of your speed sessions.
Being chained to a fixed daily running schedule can limit your progress. A more varied training plan with cross-training days, strength training, and planned recovery can often deliver better results. Try these must-do bodyweight exercises for runners.
Will Running Every Day Get You In Shape
There may be better ways to train but building a habit of everyday running can help reluctant exercisers commit to a fitness routine.
If you do something daily, you’re going to get better at it. If brisk walking is the most you can manage right now, doing it every day will help you get in shape.
As you get stronger, start alternating between running and walking. Keep pushing so that the running sections get longer and you’re spending less time walking.
Regular physical activity will help you feel better about yourself and you’ll start to see your runner’s body take shape. Expect strong legs, good core muscles, and the mental benefits of sleeping better, feeling sharper, and full of energy.
Running Everyday Weight Loss
Running is one of the best ways to burn calories and lose weight. Just one mile of running burns approximately 100 calories. Find out how many calories you burn for your body weight and running speed with our calories burned running calculator.
If you want to lose weight and reduce body fat, it’s important to burn more calories than you consume each day. That means eating a better diet as well as increasing your activity level through exercise such as running.
Runners are a mixed bunch of people from those who watch what they eat to those who have chips with everything washed down by a few pints of beer.
But even runners with terrible diets are still better at weight management than the average non-runner. So if you want to be in better shape – get running. Learn more about running for weight loss.
Just note that when it comes to weight loss, your diet is just as important as exercise.
Why You Need Rest Days
Exercising creates microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. With rest and time off your body builds back stronger.
Without rest, you compromise your athletic performance. Your muscles don’t get the chance to be at their best.
You’re also risking overuse injuries and mental and physical burnout. Often it’s better to take a break from training at least once a week and give your body a chance to fully recover.
How To Avoid Injury Running Every Day
So you’ve read about the pros and cons of running every day and you’re still determined to give it a go. Here are some tips to make sure you benefit from everyday running without self-destructing through injury or burnout.
#1 Keep Your Running Easy
Most running injuries come from pushing too hard. Consciously run at an easy pace.
As you become a stronger runner, you can introduce some faster-paced running but the majority of your runs should still be slow and easy. Aim for a Rating Of Perceived Effort (RPE) of between 3 to 4.
At least one day a week, keep your running very gentle – a recovery run that eases off your muscles without straining your body.
#2 Prioritize Self Care
If you’re running every day, think about yourself as an athlete. Fill up on the healthy nutritious food your body needs.
Warm up before your runs, introduce gentle stretching, and treat yourself to the occasional massage.
Tune into how your body feels and seek advice for any persistent niggles.
#3 Running Shoes
Your shoes need to be comfortable and it’s a good idea to rotate shoes, especially when you’re running every day. This gives more time for the EVA foam in the midsole to rebound.
Rotating shoes helps to highlight when your running shoes need replacing. You’ll notice when an older pair is no longer providing enough cushioning and support.
Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit
Everyday running has a lot of health benefits and it’s definitely worth trying if you’re the type of person who struggles to make time for regular physical activity.
It can be life-changing. For many people, running every day is essential for their brain health providing a welcome break from the stresses of daily life.
But don’t get carried away with your running streak. If it becomes an obsession and you start to dread your daily runs, it’s time to take a break. Find out is it bad to run every day?