Health Benefits and Side Effects of Running Every Day

Running is a popular form of physical activity. Running is one of the best ways to keep fit, or even enjoy the outdoors.

Running is a popular form of exercise for a reason. It doesn’t need much equipment, and you can do it just about anywhere or anytime it is convenient for you.

Regular running offers many health benefits. Running for an hour can burn at least 400 calories or more. Apart from burning calories, there are numerous other benefits.

Health Benefits of Running Every Day

Here are 15 health benefits of running every day.

1. Reduced Heart Attack or Stroke

Running every day may have some health benefits. Studies show that running just 5 to 10 minutes each day at a moderate pace may help reduce your risk of death from heart attacks, strokes, and other common diseases.

But the same research also shows that these benefits top off at 4.5 hours a week, meaning there’s no need to run for hours each day.

2. Running Helps You Sleep Better

According to experts that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality.

The more you exercise, the more you need quality sleep. Also, the worse your sleep habits, the less likely you are to exercise regularly.

Quality sleep is essential for your health. Your body repairs itself when you’re asleep, which is why you wake up feeling refreshed.

Researchers in one study observed a group of healthy adolescents who ran for 30 minutes at a moderate-intensity pace every morning for three weeks. Their sleep, mood, and concentration ability during the day tested better than a control group of non-runners.

3. Improve Your Knees and Back Health

A study of 675 marathon runners found that they had a lower arthritis rate than other people.

The runners’ knees and backs were both positively affected. The more you run, the lower your odds of back problems as you age.

4. Running Improves Your Immunity

Fewer colds. If you start to feel a little off, running for 30 minutes can trigger your immune system to help you feel better.

When you do aerobic exercises like running at least 5 days a week, you lower your odds of upper tract respiratory infections by 43%.

Running can improve the body’s surveillance against disease, lower inflammation, enhance gut microbiota composition, reduce risk of upper respiratory infections and influenza, and improve antibody response.

5. Better Mood and Energy Everyday

Many people run because they want to feel better. The exercise helps boost your mood, concentration, and overall quality of life.

A 2012 study out of Switzerland found that running for just 30 minutes every morning for three weeks significantly improved subject’s sleep quality as well as mood and concentration levels throughout the day.

6. Helps You Lose Weight

If you are looking to lose a few pounds, you should take up running.

Because it involves continuously moving your entire body weight, running burns more calories than most other activities.

Actually, running is the second best exercise for burning calories, only second to cross country hiking.

A 2019 editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The authors note: “It is incontrovertible that exercise can and does result in weight loss.” Moreover, it leads to a “multitude of other positive effects on health.”

Running burns roughly 100 calories per mile. (For more accuracy, multiply .75 x your body weight in pounds to get your personal calorie burn per mile.)

7. Running Builds Your Self-esteem and Confidence

When you take up running as an exercise, you will notice positive changes in how you look physically with time.

This boosts your self-esteem and confidence, which makes you happier and more determined to push yourself further.

8. Can Prevent Depression

Depression is a serious, widespread disease, and should be confronted with a full array of medical approaches.

If you feel that you are falling into depression, one easy way you can prevent it from worsening is by taking up running.

With running, allows the brain to secrete hormones that work to improve your moods. This ultimately helps to eliminate the feelings of depression.

9. Running Strengthens Your Bones and Muscle

Muscle and bone wasting can occur if you do not exercise. Running is one of the best ways to keep your bones and muscles in tip-top shape.

Running works on most bones and all the muscles in the body at the same time. This strengthens your joints and keeps mobility complications at bay.

“Swimming, cycling, and working on the elliptical don’t train your bones,” says Jason Fitzgerald, a USA Track & Field-certified coach and the founder of Strength Running. “If those are the only things you do, you’re at risk for weak bones and osteoporosis.”

10. Running Lowers Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension can be controlled by simply taking up running.

When you run, you help the body to control various factors that can cause blood pressure rise.

Running and other moderate exercise is a proven, non-drug-related way to lower blood pressure.

A review article in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension concluded that both aerobic and running “elicited significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic BP.”

11. Improve Brain Performance

Good blood circulation while running will help oxygen enter the body’s tissues, including the brain.

Abundant oxygen will nourish the brain and help increase concentration.

Running raises heart rate and blood flow. That includes oxygen-rich blood being pushed to the brain.

It’s possible, as one meta-analysis revealed, that running improves brain health by stimulating the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

Another study showed that running improves total brain volume, including gray matter. Even if you don’t begin running until mid-life or later, you gain protection from the kinds of brain plaques linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimers.

12. Increase Human Growth Hormones Levels

Doctors emphasize on the importance of jogging or running for adults. This is mainly because you create a good environment in your body for growth hormones to develop.

Human growth hormones help with cell regeneration and with growth and maintenance of healthy human tissue.

13. Stronger and better Looking Legs

One of the benefits of running is that you will have stronger and better looking legs. Your legs carry your body’s strongest muscles.

When you run, you benefit all these important muscles. You get to work on your inner thigh as well as your outer thigh, quads, calves and your hamstrings. With time, you will see the changes in your leg physique.

14. Refresh Your Mind

Running is a perfect time to spend time alone and get to reflect on your life. When you take a run, you get to refresh your mind. This helps you to focus better on projects and problems.

It is recommended to take a running break if you are working on a stressful project. This alone time gives you space to strategize while at the same time work out.

15. Meet Amazing People

When you start running, you will develop a relationship with other runners. The runners’ community mostly has very supportive individuals.

You can join a runners group in your area. These can be great for moral support.

Side Effects of Running Every Day

Running every day may increase your risk for an overuse injury.

Overuse injuries result from taking on too much physical activity, too fast, and not allowing the body to adjust. Or they can result from technique errors, such as running with poor form and overloading certain muscles.

If you experience a running injury, stop training and see your doctor for a recovery plan.

How many days it’s safe for you to run each week depends on your goals and physical fitness levels. Scheduling days for cross training, strength training, and rest should be part of your training plan.

To avoid an overuse injury:

  • Make sure you have appropriate running shoes and change out your shoes often.
  • Gradually increase the number of miles you run each week.
  • Mix up running days with cross training, such as cycling or swimming.
  • Warm up before you run and stretch after.
  • Run with proper form.

If you aren’t sure how often to exercise or whether it’s safe for you to start running, talk to your doctor. They can recommend a physical fitness program that’s appropriate for your age and fitness level.