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Is Running Every Day Healthy or Harmful?

This Streaker Needs a Break, Not an Outfit

When I say that Jennifer Aniston is somewhat of a streaker, it's not what you think. Although also used to describe a person who runs naked in public (I can't help but think of Will Ferrell in Old School), the word streaker is also used to describe a certain type of runner: one who runs seven days of the week, without missing a single day. Jennifer recently declared, "[I] run, work out every day. I do a lot of running — exercise is so important." It's unclear though if she runs every day, but if she does, Jen is a streaker.

As of today, Mark Covert of Lancaster, CA, holds the longest running streak, running at least one mile every day since July 23, 1968. He explained to the Washington Post,

"I've trained through illness and injury, run plenty of times when I shouldn't have. I ran on the days my parents passed away and I've run when every one of my four kids was born. I still look forward to running every day, although the trees go by more slowly now."

I'm by no means advocating that you become a streaker of either sort. While I agree that moderate physical activity every day is good for your body and your mind, doing the same type of activity, whether it be running, biking, swimming, or whatever, isn't a good idea for your muscles or joints. Constantly using the same parts of your body in the same way could be your first class ticket to a repetitive stress injury. Not only will that end your streak, but it could put exercise on hold completely. If working out every single day feels good to you, go for it. Just be sure to incorporate different types of exercise that work all the parts of your body. You'll not only prevent injury, but you'll also become stronger overall.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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RunningOnCoffee RunningOnCoffee 5 years
Breaks are necessary! I.e. for my half marathon last weekend, I did a 5 mi tempo run on Thursday, then took off until the Half Marathon on Sunday. I was a little sore Monday morning, and maybe even Tuesday. I just laid low for a couple days and did my first easy run post-halfmarathon this morning. Knock on wood, I've been injury free since I started a couple years ago! I understand needing to do something and not being sedentary, but on off days you can do an easy bike ride, swim, or go for a walk. For my rest leading up to and after the half marathon, the only exercise I did was walking/walking my dog. It killed me though! I really wanted to run more or bike, but it was important to save up energy prior to the half, and important to let my muscles recover after!
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I've gone 3 or 4 weeks straight with no breaks, but not with running...usually I do the elliptical or the exercise bike. There's no harm in doing cardio every day as long as you switch it up so you aren't always doing high-impact activities on your joints.
amber512 amber512 6 years
For my own mental well being I have to do SOMETHING that gets my heart pumping every single day, but I do try and do different things. I hate it though, because there are only a few things I don't dislike.
inlove23 inlove23 6 years
Last week I was a "streaker" lol. I have a race tomorrow so I was like okay, I need to run everyday to be really prepared. NOT a good idea!! I went from running 3-6 miles a week, to 16 miles a week!! I defiantly overtrained and started getting some complications. My calves were so tight I wanted to die. lol. But, I learned my lesson and luckily I had four days in between to rest my muscles. lol.
runningesq runningesq 6 years
My friend's boyfriend is 50 yo and has been running at least 2 miles every day for the past few decades. I think - while it's certainly not for everyone - it's pretty cool.
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