Fitness Sports

Is It Okay to Run Every Day? (The Benefits and Risks)

Is It Okay to Run Every Day? (The Benefits and Risks)

For some of us, running every day may seem like a chore, but for others, it’s a much needed therapeutic escape. Running every day isn’t for everyone – it comes with its pros and cons, and can affect everyone differently.

But, if running makes you feel good, it’s pretty reasonable to want to find out how every day running can affect you.

In this article, the Fitness Sports team will go over some key benefits and risks associated with running every day.

Benefits of Running Every Day

Running is an excellent form of exercise that has numerous benefits for your body and mind. Here are some of the benefits of running every day:

1. Improved Cardiovascular Health

Running, in general, is known to strengthen your heart and lungs over time, which improves your overall cardiovascular health. Your heart is a muscle, just like your biceps or your calves. The more your heart has to work (within reason), the stronger the walls of the heart become. A stronger heart results in more efficient blood flow throughout the body.

Running also reduces your LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), which helps regulate and improve blood pressure, ultimately making your heart healthier.

2. Weight Loss and Management

Running every day will burn a whole lot of calories, which will help with managing or losing weight. As most know, being in a caloric deficit is key in order to lose fat. 

A sustained, faster heart rate burns more calories, and if your’re running every day, your heart will likely become stronger faster. This may allow you to lose more weight than if you were to run only 2 or 3 days a week.

One other factor that helps keep you lean is an increased metabolism, which results from increased muscle. Running every day will make your muscles stronger, especially in the legs, which contributes to a better metabolism and ultimately a healthier body composition.

3. Reduced Stress and Anxiety

You’ll often realize you feel better after a run, or after consistent running over an extended period of time. This isn’t by chance. There’s a lot going on with your body chemistry that results in a better mood.

Stress hormones include adrenaline and cortisol, and running reduces these hormones to help you feel better and relax. Running also produces more endorphins, which act as natural pain killers and mood-boosters. So, when you run every day, you will likely experience this more often.

Risks of Running Every Day

As mentioned above, running every day has a few great benefits. But it doesn’t come without risks. Here are some of the main risks of running every day:

1. Overuse Injuries

Just as lifting weights too often can cause injury, so can running too often. The more you run, the more trauma your body experiences. So, this increases the chances of developing issues like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, or even stress fractures.

You may be a person that can tolerate running every day better than others, but it’s still important to try and give your legs and feet time to rest and recover.

2. Burnout

We often associate burnout with work, but it can happen with running as well. If you run too often, you can start to lose the passion you once had for it. Burnout results in less motivation and interest in general.

If you love running and the way it makes you feel, make sure to check in with yourself regularly to make sure you aren’t over-doing it. In addition to paying attention to how you feel, try to create a consistent running plan that makes it easy to get into a routine.

3. Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion

Running every day can be unsafe if done in excessive heat. Running is great, but is never worth putting your health at risk. If you are going to run in very hot weather, stay hydrated at all times, and try to take cover under some shade periodically.

How to Safely Run Every Day

There are ways you can run every day and be safe during the process. It’s important to take the steps necessary to avoid things such as injury, burnout, or dehydration. Here are some tips to help you safely run every day:

1. Gradually Increase Your Mileage

If you’re new to running or haven’t run in a while, we recommend starting slowly and gradually increasing your mileage. This means you might not be able to run every day at the start, but you can eventually get there with enough conditioning.

You don’t have to rush into running. One method to consider is sticking with a certain milage you are comfortable with for a few weeks, getting used to it, then increasing your milage little by little. And with a little patience, your body will be ready to run every day, or almost every day.

2. Cross-Train

Cross training is essentially physical activity that will improve aerobic fitness. Incorporating more aerobic exercises can work wonders for your running routine. This can also give your muscles and joints a much needed break when they need it, helping you avoid overuse injuries.

Some great exercises that help condition your heart for more running include things like swimming, biking, or medium to intense yoga.

3. Listen to Your Body

Potentially the most important factor when it comes to running safely is to listen to your own body. No one knows your body like you do. When it’s telling you to stop, you should put your running on hold and get back at it when you’re ready.

Take your rest days when you need them. The running will always be there.

Wrap Up

We hope you find these tips beneficial, and can make running a regular part of your routine. Remember, not everyone needs to run every single day, but it’s very possible to get your body to a place where this can happen.