The Truth About Running Everyday
Regular exercise is enormously important to train and maintain a healthy body, but how good are extreme habits such as running every day? Some people argue that it is best to leave one day between sets of running, others insist that daily exercise is healthy and necessary.
Research has shown that the body needs 24hrs to fully recover from a straining exercise session. Arguably, people hardly ever exceed their fitness level and personal limits when they are running because they simply can’t. This of course usually applies to already fit people who know their body and control the energy input. They can maintain their fitness level through daily exercise such as running, and they can also consciously raise the level if they wish to become fitter.
This is where the issue of running every day may become problematic. Many untrained and overweight people work out beyond their limits in the hopes if losing weight quickly and becoming fit as soon as possible. This is the wrong approach because an untrained person will experience muscle aches or even problems with joints if they go from “zero-exercise” to extreme workouts. For those people, it is strongly recommended to leave a day between workouts as their body needs to recover and build up the often weak muscles that simply cannot take a daily running yet, especially if they have to carry heavy body weights.
Extremely essential are also the shoes and the running style because wrong equipment and technique can be very harmful to the feet, knees and back. Those who feel that they can handle a daily running workout should have at least two different types of good running shoes to shift the pressure and weight and avoid straining one muscle or joint over and over again.
If you are a beginner or eager to lose excessive weight, there are great and healthy alternatives to running. Every day exercise is certainly recommended, and there is no argument against this fact – but why not alternate and try out different things? If you run one day, your body needs to relax the next, so you could try yoga which is not only good for your body, but also for your soul and fitness level. With yoga you will be able to relax and stretch your muscles, and you are good to go for a run on the following day. Instead of running, you could also switch to softer types such as Nordic walking or special regeneration training methods. Also very popular are aerobic workouts or Pilates which also increase well-being and fitness.
People who have not worked out for a long time need to get to know their body first because it will get harmed otherwise. Instead of setting the goal to a particular time (at least 20 minutes) or particular distance (at least 3km), try to do as much as you are physically able to without exceeding your own personal limits. If you can only do 10 minutes – that’s fine! Have a different type of exercise the following day, and run again after that. Maybe this time you will be able to run 12 minutes? And next week, maybe you can even do a full 15 minute running workout!
The important thing is to understand your own limits and acknowledge that as a beginner, you cannot run like people who are used to running every day. It is not healthy to do it, and you won’t improve your body by aiming at a standard that is not your own. Apart from your muscles that need to be trained, it is also your lungs and your overall body condition that has to get used to exercise bit by bit. If you find it difficult to determine how much is good for you, speak to a doctor, physiotherapist or trainer who may be able to run a few tests and show you how to do it right.
Part of that is a healthy diet, which means taking in the energy you need to run and exercise, but avoiding things that may be in your way, such as bad fat or artificial sugars. Note that sugars found in fruits and fat found in vegetables (e.g. avocado, olives) are essential parts of a complete nutrition program, and certain amounts are needed for a healthy diet. Don’t starve yourself but also don’t munch on a burger right before running!
Once you have continuously exercised for a longer period of time and have prepared your body for a new lifestyle and healthier habits, running on a daily basis becomes increasingly less dangerous and may certainly improve your health.