When it comes to staying fit and healthy, running can help you reach your wellness goals quickly and enjoyably. In fact, running even 10 minutes a day can add to your life expectancy and reduce your risk of illness! However, if you’re just getting started with a healthy lifestyle and are new to running, it can be hard to know exactly how far you should push yourself. From a lap around the block to an ultra-marathon, you may be asking yourself “how long should I run?”
We’ve done a deep dive to help you find the best answer for you. Whatever your reason to start running or level of fitness, here’s some helpful info to figure out how long you should be running for optimum health.
What Are Your Running Goals?
Before asking “How long should I run?” start by asking “What are my goals?”
A helpful way to figure out how far you should be running is to first examine your goals. There are many different and varied reasons to start running in the first place, and each will come with a different optimum level of activity. From general health to professional athletic pursuits, here are some reasons you may be running:
Whether you’ve signed up for a local charity 5km or an ultra-triathlon through the wilderness, or are getting into long-distance running, any running event requires preparation and training. When it comes to training for a race, a targeted training block will have you progressively increasing your distance.
For example, marathon training starts with regular 3 mile runs, and slowly starts to introduce longer distances as the race approaches. As your endurance improves, you will feel prepared and excited for the big day.
One of the basic principles of weight loss is to work in a caloric deficit each day. This can be achieved by controlling your nutrition, as well as increasing your physical activity. As running can burn up to double the calories than walking, it is a popular exercise for those on a weight loss journey.
If you’re running to lose weight, try to keep track of how many calories you’re burning. The time spent running is more important than the distance, but as you get to know your own pace and fitness you will be able to set yourself time and distance goals.
Mental Health Benefits
Despite the many physical benefits of running, many get hooked simply for how it makes them feel. Running can reduce stress, help fight anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality and boost mood. Running for 30 minutes at your moderate pace, 3-5 times a week can help support your mental health. You may even feel inspired to sign up to a race, as this is a great way to invite the positive consistency of training into your routine.
Improving General Health
Running is one of the most beneficial exercises we can do for our overall health. From reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer to strengthening our bones, runners tend to live longer overall.
That said, how long should I run, if it’s not for specific training? Even 5-10 mins a day of running can help maximize longevity, up to the sweet spot of about 2.5 hours a week.
Running for General Health Takes Less Time Than You Think
While you may see elite runners out pounding the pavement on grueling runs, the reality is much more palatable for the average runner. For many, logging a daily or even weekly jog is a great way to support their overall health. The benefits of regular, moderate runs include:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Improved bone density
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improves cholesterol levels
- Blood sugar management
And the best part? It doesn’t take a lot of mileage to achieve these health benefits. In fact, running 5 to 6 miles a week is enough… yes, really!
Aiming for 1.5-2 miles a few times a week is an achievable goal for most, no matter your starting fitness level or workout goals. So, the answer to “how long should I run” is: 1.5 miles a day!
Grab A Fresh Pair of Socks and Hit the Pavement
Whether you’re a lifelong runner or are just starting to dabble, the health benefits of running are undisputable. Even a few quick jogs a week will have a positive effect on your physical and mental health, and may soon become your go-to workout.
And the key to a successful run is having the right gear. Fitsok knows that running can change your life for the better, so is committed to creating socks that help you achieve your health goals. Fitsok engineers socks specifically for runners like you, making sure that your feet stay dry, supported, and comfortable. Fitsok is there to help runners run, and will be your go-to gear as you take control of your own health.