What are the Risks and Benefits of Running on a Daily Basis Long Term?
(Louisville, KY & Las Vegas, NV)
I would like to know what the risks and benefits are of running daily, particularly over the longer term. I would like to start running for my health long term, but I am concerned about whether that is the right thing to do. Thank you.
Answer by Dominique:
Thanks for your questions about the risks and benefits of running on a daily basis.
There are many long-term benefits to daily exercise. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of developing a number of chronic conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. It can also help improve mental health, cognitive function, and sleep quality. In addition, regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of obesity, and improve overall quality of life. So, as you see Mike, there are plenty and plenty of benefits!
When you are starting to run or starting any other type of physical activity, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to reduce the risk of injury. It is also important to learn to listen to your body and when niggles come up, you take it easy for a few days. When this happens, it is usually wise to stop your running for a couple of days, to avoid bigger problems.
Should you be running every day? Well, maybe not. When you want to improve your performance then more running is definitely beneficial. Elite runners run 6-7 days per week and do multiple workouts per day. And although I am clearly a big fan and advocate of regular running, I think there is much to be said to be a little bit more varied with your exercise program to avoid the risks discussed before.
As an example, my current exercise program generally includes at its core four runs per week and a weightlifting session with my personal trainer. I usually add in one or two sessions on the exercise bike and one or two gym visits. In case you are wondering how I fit it all in, there are some days that I do a run in the morning and weights in the late afternoon!
Why the strength training?
Well, strength training can be very beneficial for runners, as it can help improve running performance and reduce the risk of injury. Some of the specific benefits of strength training for runners include:
Why the cross-training?
Well, for me personally there are a couple of reasons.
Clearly, you need to make up your own mind about what you want to do and what your overall exercise schedule looks like. Rest assured, the benefits of a daily running / exercise routine are massive.
I wish you all the best with working out what to do from here. Check out some of the following links for more information:
Beginner Running Tips
Increasing Mileage Safely
Cross Training for Runners
Hope this helps.
Best of luck.
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