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?

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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.