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10 Benefits of Running Every Day: See For Yourself
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10 Benefits of Running Every Day: See For Yourself

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on November 30, 2022
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14 min

Better weight control, improved mental health, and many more are among the health benefits you experience from running every day.

benefits of running everyday

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Running is a great way to stay in shape and elevate your health after just a few weeks of a regular running routine. More people are looking into running for longer weekly and dedicate their time to running daily. 

Although running every day might seem interesting, is that something you should try? In this article, you’ll find out what it takes to run every day and the benefits and disadvantages you could experience on your journey.

Why Should You Run Every Day?

Running streaks have gotten more popular, increasing the rate at which people run. Running every day boosts your self-esteem and builds exercise and lifestyle consistency.

In the long run, you shouldn’t aim to run every day, continuously, forever. If your fitness level would allow it, you can try it for a few days and see how it goes. Make a weekly running plan and include some running variety.

Run longer distance one day, shorter length the next, interval training on another day. Running shorter distances can give you the same benefits as longer distances.

For a more beneficial everyday run, you need a running plan and supplies and ensure running safety and stretching.

You also need more than one good pair of running shoes. Without good running shoes, you’d quickly cause more harm than good and can’t switch when there’s an emergency.

10 Health Benefits of Running Every Day

As with other exercise forms, running daily can help you achieve immense health benefits. Below is a list of 10 benefits of running every day:

#1 Improved sleep

Humans need sleep to function daily and recover from exercise. But running every day as exercise improves your quality of sleep and how fast you’re able to fall asleep. It’s when the most internal bodily repair is done.

Runners should be mindful of the time of day they decide to run, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Running increases your core body temperature, and a rise in body temperature serves as a biological signal to the brain that it’s time to wake up. But when the temperature begins to fall 30 to 90 minutes later, it makes the runner tired and ready for sleep.

As an aerobic exercise, running releases endorphins into your bloodstream, increasing brain activity. If you’re the type to go running at night, you need between 1 to 2 hours before bedtime so you don’t struggle with a brain that’s awake.

While physical benefits might take time to surface, neurological benefits like better sleep do not need time to appear when you’re running every day. A moderate 30-minute run may see improvements in sleep quality that same night.

If you want to sleep better and wake up well-rested, you better take your shoes and start running. Whatever time you choose to run depends on your schedule and biological preference – be it a morning run to reap the benefits or the evening miles.

#2 Increased weight loss

Want to lose weight and keep it off? Then you need to start running. Running utilizes more muscles than most other forms of exercise as well as burns more calories and helps with weight loss.

As intense interval running workouts like hill repeats and interval running, running helps you burn calories 48 hours after your workout due to the after-burn effect.

However, losing weight by running is more complex than simply running consistently for seven days a week. You need to maintain a healthy caloric deficit to lose more weight.

You might not find it easy to create a good diet that’ll help you lose weight while running. The Joggo app can help you with a personalized meal plan and a running plan geared toward losing weight.

Aside from running to shed some extra pounds, you should remember that cross-training would help you lose more calories down the line. Include other forms of exercise that would strengthen your upper body and build more leg strength.

#3 Works to maintain healthy blood pressure

A study by Global Burden of Diseases investigated 388 health risks and how each affected our health. It found that high systolic blood pressure (BP) was the number one disease risk for Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), way above smoking, high BMI, high cholesterol, and household air pollution.

The status of your BP tells a story about your overall health. If your BP is low, it can lead to fainting and dizziness and deprive your body of oxygen needed to perform daily functions. If it’s high, it can lead to a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. And as you age, your risk of high blood pressure increases.

Thankfully, running regularly at a moderate intensity pace offers a drug-free pathway to lower blood pressure and lesser possibility of a heart attack. Several scientific and academic papers evidence the BP-reducing effect of running.

In a scientific article, the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension concluded that strength training and aerobic exercise caused a significant reduction in diastolic and systolic blood pressure.

A British Journal of Sports Medicine study concluded that moderate exercises like running had effects similar to commonly used antihypertensive medication. They also found that running combined with medication could help the hypertensive population record a modest but consistent reduction in BP.

#4 Reduces your risk of developing neurological diseases

Neurological diseases are diseases of the peripheral and central nervous system, according to WHO. These diseases can affect the muscles, autonomic nervous system, peripheral nerves, cranial nerves, spinal cord, the brain, and others.

People with multiple sclerosis, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease often experience episodes of depression at rates of 10% to over 40%. When some of these diseases start, there’s a reduction in physical activity for the sufferers, leading to reduced mobility and secondary conditioning.

Consistent and moderate running reduces your risk of developing and helps alleviate symptoms of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke, etc.

A study has shown that in people with Alzheimer’s disease, doctors noted that those who exercised were less depressed, wandered away less, suffered fewer falls, and were placed in care homes much later than those who didn’t exercise.

#5 Reduces your risk of developing several types of cancer

Observational studies have shown a significantly lower risk of cancer for those involved in moderate exercise. This includes colon, breast, bladder, endometrial, esophagus, renal and kidney, and stomach or gastric cancer.

Physical exercise such as running reduces blood pressure, works on weight management, improves digestion, reduces exposure to carcinogens, and many more. The CDC recommends weekly 150 to 300 moderate aerobic exercises or 75 to 100 minutes of vigorous exercise.

Beyond prevention, exercise like running is also good for cancer survivors. The 2018 American College of Sports Medicine International Multidisciplinary Roundtable on Physical Activity and Cancer Prevention and Control advised that cancer survivors should remain physically active with activities such as running.

Running also improves health surrounding depression, anxiety, and stress for cancer survivors and those undergoing treatment.

#6 Improves your mental health

Running improves your mental health and helps you feel better by releasing serotonin and endorphins, both chemicals that make you feel good, into your body.

Running also reduces the feeling of stress. After your run, your body releases endocannabinoids, a biochemical substance similar to cannabis, into the brain. It makes you feel calm and stress-free for a short time.

Continuous exercise can also help with treating depression by speeding up the recovery process for depression and anxiety disorder and sometimes has the same effect as medication. Therapists often encourage some moderate exercise to alleviate symptoms.

In addition, runners who started because they wanted to keep fit often find that they’ve kept running because the activity made them feel good. Scientific research in 2016 claims that exercise is an effective treatment for depression, can be compared to psychotherapy, and can serve as augmentation for antidepressants.

However, you shouldn’t depend solely on running to treat depression and anxiety. Instead, visit your health professional for a more personalized care regimen.

#7 Increases your lifespan

The lower your fitness level, the higher your risk of death from any disease, and vice versa. In addition to literally reducing your life span, inactivity relates to and accounts for approximately 9% of global deaths after smoking and high blood pressure.

A group of multi-academia researchers studied running as a key factor in the longevity of life and found that any amount of running at all, even 5 minutes a day, adds years to your life span. The conclusion of their result says that higher doses of running bring about benefits for longevity and adds years to the estimated life expectancy for runners.

A sports medicine systematic review investigated running and its connection to the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. The results showed that regular runners indeed had a lower risk of dying due to those causes.

In the case of veteran runners, running keeps death at bay by improving overall health. For them, running provides better hormone regulation, stronger bones and muscles, less fat, lower cholesterol levels, and much more.

Researchers at Ball State University found that people who exercise regularly year after year up to their 70s maintain cardiovascular health similar to those in their 40s. Indeed, exercising and running are the key to better and longer health.

#8 Fewer chances of experiencing arthritis

Arthritis refers to the inflammation of joints (the points where bones meet), causing stiffness and pain that worsens as the sufferer ages. Causes vary between infections, wear and tear, and underlying diseases.

Although it more commonly affects people aged 65 and older, anyone of any age, including children, can develop arthritis. To prevent arthritis, you need to control your weight, control your blood sugar levels, and exercise, amongst other things. Running does all three for you.

When you first start running as a novice without prior exercise activity, your bones and muscles would not be as developed and strong as a person who has run regularly for months or years. Now, compare that with an inactive senior citizen who just started running.

As you run every day and exercise your muscles, and push your limbs and locomotive system with correct posture, you’re strengthening your waist, knees, and back. In the long run, running would help push back occurrences of arthritis for young adults and seniors.

At first, it would seem like a burden on your legs, knees, and waist when you start running. Over time, as you train those parts of your body, you’ll see significant progress with how long and challenging distances affect those parts of your body.

A scientific study on the low prevalence of hip and knee arthritis in active marathon runners found that running does have significant positive effects on hip and knee health.

They studied 675 marathoners between 18 to 79 years and how long and often they’ve run. In the end, they discovered that the arthritis rate for marathoners was significantly lower than that of the general American population.

#9 Strengthens your body’s defense systems

Consistent, moderate, long-term running prepares your body to fight future diseases, improving your resistance to infections and diseases. A study by long-time marathon runners David Nieman and Laurel Wentz, showed that moderate exercise reduces a runner’s risk for illnesses.

All good things have an adverse effect when consumed too much. In this case, that’s too much physical activity like running.

When you start running, adrenaline increases your heart rate, which means more blood flow through your system. During that time, your body assembles the white blood cells responsible for immunity to race around the body, looking for pathogens and terminating them.

Within that short time of running, the white blood cells in your bloodstream multiply at a fast rate. About 10 to 15 minutes after your run, your cell count returns to normal or below normal levels for hours before returning to baseline.

The missing cells do not die off. Rather, they’re out of the bloodstream in search of infections to take care of for you.

#10 Improves glucose regulation

It’s well known that your body’s ability to regulate glucose affects your risk for whether you develop diabetes or not. Exercise reduces the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices, while type 1 is caused by genetic formation.

When your body fails to regulate your glucose levels properly, you’re either left with too much glucose content in your bloodstream or not enough glucose. Either way, your body not being able to regulate glucose levels properly is extremely dangerous for you.

A recent report on diabetes risk and runners stated that out of the 19,000 adult runners and non-runners they studied for over 6 years, they found that the runners had a 72% reduction in type 2 diabetes risk.

Whether it’s a leisurely run or a professional marathon run, you’re working to reduce the occurrence of diabetes with your healthy lifestyle choices.

What Are the Drawbacks of Running Every Day?

Running every day might feel good sometimes, but if you’re not giving yourself some days or time to rest, you run the risk of experiencing the following drawbacks:

#1 Increased injury risk

Running every day with no rest days or recovery days in between your mileages will increase your risk of developing muscle and knee injuries like runner’s knee. Running is a high-impact sport on its own, even with recovery days. With each heel strike, you’re producing a force that’s more than twice your body weight.

Doing this consistently and every day, you’re sure to experience overuse injuries caused by repetitive trauma. These overuse injuries and stress fractures can occur in your ligaments, tendons, and muscles. You may also experience shin splints with inflammation and pain in the shin muscles.

#2 Drop in running performance

When you exercise and then work for some time for recovery, you give your body time to adapt to the new stress and fitness level. However, if you’re running every day without rest, your body doesn’t adapt as smoothly and quickly as it normally should.

This reduction in adaptive abilities and occurrence of overuse injuries result in reduced running performance. You wouldn’t be able to fully extend yourself as your body may lock up from all the stress without rest. You could also experience atrophy.

#3 Decline in mental health and rising stress levels

While running at regular intervals gives your body some stress relief, it temporarily raises your stress hormone level but comes down hours after.

On the other hand, if you’re running every day without rest, you’re constantly flooding your bloodstream with cortisone and causing yourself biologically induced stress.

Beyond biological stress, you’ll also begin to feel inadequate when you’re running hard every day, and yet your performance is declining. Some runners might feel it’s because they’re not running enough and then train some more.

#4 Chafing that gets worse

Nobody likes to get chafed and sustain it for days, but if you’re running every day, there’s no way you can escape chafing. Chafing is the irritation of the skin when repeatedly rubbed against the skin or another surface.

If you notice some chafing, the best thing to do is apply vaseline and rest on your recovery days. However, running every day doesn’t afford you this luxury and won’t let you heal. It’ll keep worsening the condition.

#5 Incorrect weekly mileage spread

Some runners succumb to running the same mileage at the same pace every day when they start running non-stop. This is in direct contrast to the running rule that says you must mix up your distance and type of run to meet your running goals.

Your workout and intense long runs all work together to give you the optimum running performance. When these aren’t done correctly, you’ll have fatigue, poor performance, and injuries.

FAQs

Is it bad to run every day?

It is not recommended for anyone to run every day. Running seven days a week, even as a pro runner, puts you at risk of muscle injury.

How much should you run a day?

Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of running per day 2–4 times per week. Anything beyond 60 minutes, you’ll begin to suffer negative effects on your cardiovascular health.

How long should I run to see the benefits of running?

If you’re a beginner starting a new routine, it could take between 4–6 weeks before you start seeing physical benefits. For those who have run longer, it could take months before obvious feedback. If you’re aiming for more psychological benefits, you could see benefits almost immediately.

Is running good for toning your muscles?

Running regularly helps to tone muscles in your legs like the hamstrings, calves, and glutes. Longer strides and heel strikes focus more on your hamstrings and shin, strengthening your leg muscles in the long run.

A Word From Our Coach

Running every day of the week is taxing and takes its toll on the human body, particularly for non-runners. But if you want to enjoy it and build self-esteem, there are a few things you need to do beyond the basics of running slowly.

The first is to eat healthily. You cannot have a healthier run without you needing to eat healthier food. Take up carbohydrates, proteins, omega-3s, and more. Avoid eating vegetables before a race because this might cause gastrointestinal problems.

Remember that having warmed muscles makes for an enjoyable race. Runners can jog through the first 5 minutes and warm up the muscles before the full run.

Also, I cannot overemphasize the importance of strength training exercises. Weak muscles and an everyday run with no rest day make an easy recipe for disaster. Running places great demands on your muscles; if those demands aren’t met, you’ll have lots to worry about.

Overall, you shouldn’t run every day over a long period. Instead, engage in cross-training by including strength-training exercises in your training plan to build muscles. You’ll feel better by incorporating recovery days into your plan and visiting your physician or personal trainer when necessary.

Conclusion

Running helps you meet your exercise quota every week while you experience mental health benefits and keep your weight under control. Other benefits of running every day include increased longevity, reduced risk of cancer and heart diseases, and neurological conditions.

On the other hand, get too much running, and you’ll experience reduced running performance, chafing, shin splints and worsened mental health. If you’d like to run every day, you need to ensure your body is ready to face those consequences with recovery time and supplements.

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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