"Should I run every day?" or in other words, the frequency of running, is one of the three fundamental questions about running, alongside duration and intensity. People start running for a variety of reasons: to lose weight, to improve their health, to compete in races, or to try something new. Whatever the reason is, you will benefit physically, mentally and emotionally from this sport.
Should I Run Every Day?
Actually, running every day is not a very good choice. Most runners in general need one to two days off per week to give their body a better chance to recover from the exercise and repair themselves. Researchers have found that taking at least one day off per week will reduce the frequency of injury and duration of existing injuries. Most runners, as well, notice a difference when they take days off. Runners reported that after taking just one day off, they actually felt better during their runs.
The best days for rest depend on your schedule and the purpose you are training for. For example, if you log a number of miles over the weekend, then Monday may be your best rest day. If you are training for a marathon that happens on Saturday, then Friday may be best to hit the trails refreshed.
Benefits of Running
Improve your overall health
Running has been shown to improve your health in multiple ways.
It strengthens the heart, ensures the efficient flow of blood and oxygen through the body and helps decrease risk of heart attack.
Running is a natural way to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol as well.
It also has been proven to improve how your immune system functions by making your body more effective and efficient at fighting germs.
Running also wards off osteoporosis by increasing bone density.
Boost energy levels
Most people hate the sluggish tired feeling that happens to them and running can dramatically increase bodies' energy levels. Runners that have scheduled their daily runs in the morning report that they are more energetic during the day. When combined with a healthy diet, runner’s energy levels can be improved even higher.
Stay in shape
Running is a leading way to burn off extra calories and lose weight because it is one of the most vigorous exercises. Running is preceded only by cross-country skiing in terms of effectiveness in losing weight. If you are already at a healthy weight, running is a great way to keep your figure in shape.
Running provides a noticeable boost to confidence and self-esteem by setting and achieving goals. Achievements of goals give you sense of accomplishment and make you feeling much happier.
You can release your anger, depression, stress and all other negative feeling through running. Research has shown that after only a few minutes of running, the brain secretes a hormone that naturally improves your mood.
There are multiple other benefits that have been shown to come from running.
One of these benefits is better sleep, as studies have shown that runners have an easier time getting to sleep at night and stay asleep longer.
Running also increases mental functions and boosts blood flow to the brain, which helps the brain receive oxygen and nutrients.
Running also stimulates circulation and improves transportation of nutrients around your system, giving your skin a distinctive runner’s glow.
Things for New Runners to Remember
Find the right shoes
The key is comfortable and injury prevention;
Visit a specialty running store to get a pair of fitted shoes for your foot type;
Don’t run in worn-out shoes and replace sports shoes every 300-400 miles.
Warm up and cool down
A good warm-up gives a signal to your body that you will be working soon. Starting the run with a brisk walk and easy jogging about a few minutes help to slowly raise the heart rate and minimize stress on the heart;
End the running with a slow five minute jog or walk as a good cool down lets heart rate and blood pressure fall gradually.
Maintain proper running posture
Improper posture gives pain in upper body and can bring about more sports injuries, so when you are running:
Keep your hands at waist level;
Keep your arms at a 90-degree angle;
Keep your elbows at your sides;
Keep posture straight and erect;
Head needs to stay up with back straight.
Control your pace
As a beginner,
You should control you running pace to prevent overtraining and overuse injuries;
You should stay at an easy pace and don't worry about your pace per mile;
You should be able to carry on a conversation and breathe easily while running.
Take walk breaks
Mind that beginners do not have enough endurance or fitness to run for extended periods;
You should run for a short segment and take walk breaks;
As you continue, extend the amount of running time and reduce your walk time.
Increase your mileage gradually
Increase mileage too quickly can lead to frustration, pain and injury;
Follow a beginners training schedule;
Do not increase weekly mileage by more than 10% per week;
You can supplement with cross-training like swimming and biking.