Are There Benefits of Running Every Day? Pros and Cons of a Daily Run

Updated:

Any amount of running is good, although to see consistent results, it helps to have a regular running routine. Running 3 to 5 times a week is ideal, but are there benefits of running every day?

Some runners can’t do without their daily run! Others follow a more traditional 3 to 5-run-per-week training program. But there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

That being said, there are benefits to running every day. But there are also some risks.

Let’s have a look so you can decide if running every day is for you or not!

Benefits of Running Every Day

Here are some benefits of running every day. Some of these occur just from running regularly. But running every day will ensure you get daily exercise.

1. Boosts Heart Health

If you want to strengthen your heart, you need to train it like any muscle.

Running is the ideal way to train the heart, and studies show that it improves heart health and lowers the chance of heart disease.

2. Aids Weight Loss

Most runners have weight loss goals at some point in their running careers. Luckily, running is one of the best tools to help lose weight and keep it off. Depending on your fitness level, age, weight, and pace, you can burn between 200 and 600 calories in a 30-minute run.

You will lose fat if you burn more calories (in total) than the calories you consume. Running daily means you’ll have plenty of opportunity to burn that fat and reach your weight loss goals.

3. Increases Aerobic Capacity

The more you run, the better your body uses oxygen to fuel your muscles while you work out. Running daily gives you many opportunities to improve the oxygen your body can take in.

The more oxygen you take in, the more efficiently you run. This means you won’t get tired as quickly, and you might even be able to run faster.

4. Builds and Tones Muscles

Running daily can help you build muscle in your legs. The more you run, the more your leg muscles and glutes will be strong and toned, leading to more power during your run and a more pleasing physique.

5. Strengthens Bones and Can Improve Joint Health

Running is a weight-bearing activity, and it’s been shown to positively affect the bones and joints. Weight-bearing exercises strengthen the bones and make you less likely to struggle with osteoporosis.

6. Enhances Immune System

Running daily can bolster your body’s immune system. Daily exercise keeps the blood flowing, circulating essential nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, which is beneficial for the immune system as it helps it respond quickly to potential threats.

as long as you’re healthy, you should find that a daily run at a moderate pace improves your body’s ability to fight off colds and flu.

7. Stabilizes Blood Sugar

Running can help you metabolize sugars faster, lowering your blood sugar levels.

This is particularly helpful for diabetics, but it can also help non-diabetics keep their blood sugar regulated before it becomes a potential problem.

8. Promotes Healthy Skin

Skin is the largest organ in the body! When you run daily, it receives a constant flow of oxygen-rich blood, clearing impurities and giving you a healthy glow.

9. Improves Mood

Running is well known to trigger a release of endorphins, which are happy hormones. These hormones relieve pain, promote relaxation, ease anxiety, and boost mood. They’re what contributes to that “runner’s high!”

This is why many runners list stress relief as one of their primary reasons for running. Endorphins play a significant role in improving mood, as well as lowering anxiety and depression symptoms.

If you’re running every day, you should be able to take advantage of the constant flow of endorphins to stay in a good mood.

10. Sharpens Your Mind

Running brings a consistent flow of blood to your brain which can positively impact your cognitive abilities! Existing brain fog will lift, allowing you to think more clearly and make better, smarter decisions.

But it’s not just a more straightforward thought process you can look forward to. You’ll be able to concentrate more easily and focus on what you’re doing, and your memory will also improve.

11. Improves Sleep

Daily exercise leads to better sleep. Regular physical exercise means your body needs more rest at night, so you’re more likely to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer.

12. Can Reduce the Risk of Certain Types of Cancer

Cancer is a chronic inflammatory disease, which means it thrives on inflammation. Oxygen is the enemy of inflammation, so any exercise that gets more oxygen into the body can be a huge help in reducing the chance of chronic inflammatory conditions.

Running daily can reduce your chances of developing cancer thanks to its intake of oxygen. It doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get it, but the studies show a clear lean towards reduced chances of cancer for those who exercise versus those who don’t.

13. Improves Balance and Coordination

Navigating trails and avoiding obstacles while you run can help to improve your physical coordination, making you more athletic! This translates into everyday life and other sports.

14. Can Increase Your Energy Levels

It might sound counterintuitive, but running every day can increase your energy levels. The more you run, the more stamina you develop, which can help you push through the day with more energy, making everyday tasks feel easier, quicker, and less draining.

15. Reduced Stress Levels

As mentioned earlier, endorphins don’t just boost your mood, they also reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

While running can spike our cortisol levels, the endorphins often counteract the negative effects of cortisol and keep you feeling good, physically and mentally.

You’ll most likely experience more relaxation, reduced pain, a calmer mind, and a clearer head, all of which go a long way towards less stress.

16. Boosts Confidence

Achieving your running and weight loss goals can have a big impact on self-confidence. Once you start hitting PRs and ticking goals off your list, you start to realize what you truly can do—and that boost of confidence is unlike anything else!

17. Fosters Creativity

Many runners find that getting the muscles moving, the blood pumping, and those endorphins flowing helps stimulate creative thinking.

Whether you rely on creativity for your job or you love doing creative stuff as a hobby, taking a daily run can help clear the mind of clutter and make way for creative ideas.

18. Builds and Improves Discipline

Building a daily running routine is an excellent foundation for boosting self-discipline in other areas of life. Get into the habit of running every day, and everything else will seem easier after that.

If you can stick to a daily run, even when you don’t feel like it, you’re training your body and mind to push themselves further even when they don’t think they can do it. This will serve you well not only when it comes to enhancing discipline throughout your life, but also when you need extra motivation.

19. Social Connections

Running every day also opens you up to the social side of running. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, learn from more experienced runners, and spend time with people who might be able to expand your horizons. Plus, you might be able to find an accountability buddy to help you stick to your goals!

20. Running Can Help You Live Longer

Multiple studies point to all the fantastic longevity benefits that running offers. Between improving the immune system, boosting your sleep quality, increasing your heart health, and everything else, it’s no wonder running is said to help you live longer!

Potential Risks of Running Every Day

Like everything, running every day comes with potential risks and dangers. Watch out for these signs that you are overtraining or burning out.

Decreased Performance

Without at least one day of rest every week, you might start running slower or fatiguing faster during your runs. When your body doesn’t have enough time to rest, it won’t be able to repair muscle fibers and replenish its energy stores fully.

When you run after too little rest, you start with only partially healed muscles and not as many energy stores as you would usually have.

This can make maintaining the same level of performance difficult, because you could fatigue faster than you would if you had fully-recovered muscles and adequate energy stores.

Overuse Injuries

Running every day can put a lot of stress on your joints and muscles. The same forces on the same parts of your body every day can lead to overuse injuries, especially if those muscles, tendons, and tissues don’t get a chance to rest and rejuvenate.

Repetitive strain on the ankles, knees, and hips can leave you vulnerable to things like plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, tendonitis, and more.

Mental Burnout

Running might relieve stress for you, but if there’s little or no variation in your running routine, it can become boring and mentally challenging.

This can lead to a lack of motivation, accelerating the chance of mental burnout and reducing your enjoyment of running.

Immune Suppression

Not allowing yourself to rest at least once a week can affect the immune system. You might find that you become more susceptible to colds and the flu, and you take longer to recover. This could be due to the lack of rest or recovery during your active periods.

Obsessive Tendencies or Exercise Addiction

Yes, exercise addiction is real! If you’re running every day because you’re worried or scared or skip a day, or if you’re afraid of losing weight or progress, you might want to look into this!

Exercise addiction and obsessive tendencies can have a negative impact on your mental health as well as physical, so we urge you to consider your reasons for wanting to run every day before committing to it.

How Often Should You Run?

3 to 5 times per week is a good range for most runners. This allows for at least one weekly rest day and one cross-training day.

Fewer than 3 times a week will be ineffective for losing weight and improving fitness, and more than 5 times a week may be too much for some runners.

That being said, if you’re fit enough to run every day, then go for it—just be careful and carefully monitor yourself, your body, and your performance.

How Many Miles Should You Run If You Run Every Day?

If you’re running daily, between 3 and 5 miles is a good distance. Anything more than that will not only cut your time every day, but it could also be pushing yourself too hard.

Beginners opt for 1 to 3 miles as they build up a running base and get used to running every day. You can also do a longer run once a week, but try to follow it up with a short one at an easy pace to “recover.”

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.