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Is Running Every Day Bad For My Body?

Is It Harmful to Run Every Day?

Whether you're trying to lose those last 10 stubborn pounds for bathing suit season or for your BFF's wedding, when your regular 30-minute running workouts three days a week aren't doing the trick, you may decide to kick it up a notch and run every day. The scale may finally start to budge, but is it bad for your body to run every single day with no days of rest?

Working out regularly provides tremendous benefits to your body and your weight-loss efforts, especially since experts suggest exercising for 60 minutes, five days a week, if you're trying to lose weight. While running is an excellent form of exercise, you want to be careful not to overuse the same muscles and joints, which can lead to an injury and derail all your hard work.

Instead of hitting the pavement seven days a week, mix up your cardio workouts as well as the duration, and you'll continue to see results without taxing the same muscle groups. Go hiking, join a gym and take cardio classes like Zumba or indoor cycling, go for a bike ride, jump rope, do a fitness DVD, or swim. You'll end up burning calories each day to help you lose weight, but you'll also strengthen other parts of your body, which will prevent injury and make your muscles more defined. To push past your plateau, consider adding some strength training to your regimen, and when you do run, don't forget to vary your routine with intervals and hills.

Keep in mind that it's also important to listen to your body. Scheduling rest days every few days will help your muscles recover and grow stronger. You can either take off completely from sweating it out or do lower-impact workouts such as walking or gentle yoga.

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Join The Conversation
Bridgitt14936523 Bridgitt14936523 3 years

Maybe get up early and go swimming, do a zumba class, go biking or do something at a gym or at home or do it after school for an hour or two? You can do lots of different activities, outdoor ones, indoor ones, winter ones, the list goes on, do some research.

Bridgitt14936523 Bridgitt14936523 3 years

I like the idea of running 3 times a week, and then doing something else like swimming, cycling, spinning, kickboxing, rowing, sports etc.the other days or a combo of a couple of different things to not be bored and not get injured. For instance doing 30 and 30 or 20-20-20 or 45 and 30, it depends.

Melanie2657837 Melanie2657837 5 years
I exercise 7 days a week, the weekdays I go for 1 hour because I have school and homework to finish and the weekends and Friday night I \u00a0go for 1 and a half hours. I run everyday for 35 minutes, and then walk for 30. Then when I do the extra 30 mins I use the cross trainer. I feel amazing and have lost a lot of weight compared to what I used to weigh three years ago (75kg) but now I am a lot more healthy (55kg). I am 17 years old, almost 18, should I be doing this much exercise all the time??? I don't often give myself a day off unless my muscles are really sore, which they have been over the past few days!!!
Jerad2544123 Jerad2544123 5 years
I run every day as an augment to my normal workout, but I have worked my body up to that. Also, to minimize risk of injury and increase benefits from running I would recommend doing different types of running exercises. I usually do sprints intervals 3 times a week, then 2 endurance runs, a timed run,  and a distance run. My legs don't get sore when I stretch appropriately before and after, and it's kind of just habit. By now, what makes it better is finding running buddies. I've been helping two people lose weight and get in shape by running with them now and then. They don't run as much as me. And I'm a firm believer in doing what your body is designed for. I am a good runner and weight carrier, so I use running and weighted clothing a good amount. While the same exercises take severe tolls on other peoples bodies. It's about what is good for you.
bjeanne18 bjeanne18 5 years
Great advice!! the best thing to do is cross train -- it will strengthen other muscles and actually improve your running!
Dbaby Dbaby 7 years
I am a personal trainer and have had 4 menisectomies myself (left with little to no meniscus in each knee). Every single doctor told me I would never run again, I was even told I would need two new knees before I am 30. I will be 30 next month and I run four days a week. My point? Everyone is different and your body will tell you what it needs. If you are hurting after increasing your running to more than 3 days a week, it's time to stop. If you feel fantastic and want to run more, then do it. But take good care to listen to your body, it's the one and only indicator which will tell you what YOU need. Cardio exercises, whether on a machine or outdoor, can be done every day. It's the anaerobic training (strength training) that gives you the need to rest (24 to 48 hours). If you have any questions or concerns, close your laptop and go see a doctor and/or a training professional. Like I said, everyone is different and she/he will be the best one to monitor your progress and your needs. Good luck and have fun!
uve uve 7 years
i run 6to7 day 60 minuts my speed 8.5 _9_9.3 and i also do cardio and strength in semi day i workout 3 hour every day
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Spectra -- you were running 80+ mpw? Were you training for something ? that's REALLY high (elite runner level) running.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I sometimes work out 7 days a week, but like others have said, I try to change up my workouts a bit. I'll either bike, do the elliptical machine, jump rope, or run. I used to run 12-14 miles a day 6 or 7 days a week and that wasn't really a great idea. I ended up getting tendonitis in my ankle and I was starting to have some IT band issues, so I cut back on that. Also, good shoes are critical if you want to be running 5-6 days a week...crappy shoes can do more harm than good.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
I would up the mileage slowly -- the rule of thumb is that you shouldn't increase your mileage by more than 10% per week. I would increase your time + distance - slowly - and add cross training actitivies like swimming and biking :)
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 8 years
I workout 7 days a week but I alternate daily what I do. Every other day I do 30-60 min of circuit and strength training, followed by 30 min of vinyasa yoga. On alternate days I do 30-60 min of cardio followed by 30-60 min of vinyasa yoga. Then every evening, I do another 30-60 minutes of a less intense hatha yoga routine. I've found that I can work out every day without burning out as long as I follow the workout with a lot of good stretching. That's not to say that I don't occasionally take a day off, especially if I don't think I got enough sleep or am not feeling well. Overall, for me adequate stretching was the key to being able to work out every day.
JulieJean JulieJean 8 years
I've been wondering the same thing. Next month I'm gonna have more free time on my hands and wanted to up my running sessions from 3-4 times a week to every morning. I think I'll start strength training instead and maybe spinning.
cmd0610 cmd0610 8 years
I don't think my ways to prevent injury are very novel but im happy to share: - I am very good about replacing my running shoes, 3-4 months or 300/400 miles depending on if it's training season or racing season, super important to get new cushioning - Stretching is what saved my itb, basically i was running everyday on a slanted sidewalk, but with stretching and i havent had problems since like 4yrs ago - Changing up the running surface, i try to do some trails or softer surfaces and mixed with hard surfaces since most races where i live are on the road One last thing, I was getting injured a lot like 4 yrs ago, and at that same time is switched to running in the Nike Free- the super super light shoe. Their idea is that it's like more natural to take away all the technology- and honestly it worked for me! For 2 yrs I ran in Nike Free's and in those 2yrs and since I havent had any injuries. For 2yrs i've been back in a neutral running shoe, it might not work for everyone but it did work for me.
a-million-suns a-million-suns 8 years
I strongly suggest taking a day or two off. Your muscles have no time to strengthen from all that good exercise if they don't have any resting time. Plus, you don't want to get burned out running every single day.
kclulu kclulu 8 years
Great comments thus far and I would agree with most of them, cross training is the biggest key in my opinion and for so many reasons. If you do the same exercise your body gets used to it and you will burn less calories. If you keep finding ways to challenge your body though, this won't be an issue and you aren't as likely to get injured. There are so many other things to do besides running it shouldnt be hard to find something that you enjoy. I don't fully agree with Glowing Moons comment though that you shouldn't do the same exercise 2 days in a row. I feel thats directed more towards weight lifting and doesnt apply as strictly to activities like running and biking. Anyone who has trained for a race knows that you have to run consecutive days in order to get the mileage you need to be ready for the race. However, you definitely need a rest day or two during the week.
laellavita laellavita 8 years
I run five to six days a week but also always, always, always cross-train, too. Yoga is fantastic for it, but I also strength train. And if my body feels like it's going to give out during my run, I walk for a minute and then pick it right back up.
michlny michlny 8 years
cmd0610 - maybe you can share some of your tricks to prevent injury? I run maybe once/twice a week, but workout with cardio classes and some yoga on the other days. I love running, but I feel like my body takes a beating when I run (I can only run outdoors...)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
In my opinion, yes. Per my trainer (and my own experience), it's a bad idea to do the same exercise two days in a row. Your muscles need time to recover and re-build themselves. ALWAYS do a different exercise the next day. Have the muscles work differently, or work different muscles. Believe it or not, in the long run, a person is stronger and have better muscle conditioning when he or she does this. Also, the person is less prone to injury because his/her muscles were given enough time to recover and re-build themselves. I've practiced this idea for over 10 years. Athletically, I'm quite strong. Also, I perform many different exercises (jog, bike, dance, weight-train, swim, etc.). I'm pretty good in all those activities, and I never suffered an injury. Oh. I'm a curvy size 4 (I'm petite).
Beaner Beaner 8 years
Running a few days a week is harder than running more often, imo. It not only becomes a habit, so you can't talk yourself out of it, but your body becomes stronger too, so running doesn't seem so difficult. So I def prefer running more than 3 days a week.
Renee3327 Renee3327 8 years
Another option is to take your usual 3 runs a week and up the intensity, while still cross training on other days during the week. Running farther, faster or uphill will help you see results faster because your still challenging your body in different ways during your runs. On days that you aren't running, engage in activities that will help ward off overuse injuries. I find yoga to be the best thing to happen to my running in a long time and if you take a very active class like vinyasa, you will be burning lots of calories in the process.
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