How Many Miles a Week Should You Run to Get Healthy?
Good news for the people who don’t like running but still want to get healthy. A recent study says that you actually need shockingly low number of miles under your belt a week to reach that goal. Less than a mile a day – for a total of six in seven days – will do. And don’t overdo it because it can have a reverse effect, the study says.
The researchers concluded that people who ran even a few miles a week were generally lighter, had lower blood pressure or cholesterol problems. These not so active runners were also not at high risk of developing diabetes, arthritis or cancer.
Good news, right? It seems like you don’t have to do much and stay in shape. You can do six miles in one or two runs a week. They won’t even be too long – no more than an hour.
Any additional miles are optional if your goal is to lose more extra ponds. Running more means better weight control and possibly eating more calories (but not from junk food!). Another reason to run more is if you want to get better at running as in to do it faster.
Whatever the ultimate goal is, don’t run hard for more than an hour a day in order to lower your risk of injuries, disabilities and even heart issues. This seems to follow what the American Heart Association recommends to do every day – job for about 30 minutes every day.
The best number of weekly miles depends on your fitness level, injuries, goal, and current health. More miles will improve your aerobic strength but you risk injuries as a result of overtraining. So it’s best of you find the right number of weekly miles for you.
If you have been running a little bit for weeks and have had no injuries, add an extra mile or two to your training. See how your body reacts. If you feel exhausted and your usual workouts are not on the same level, bring the weekly mileage a little down. If everything is OK, try to increase the miles again in a few months.
You should also keep in mind that tempo runs are different than easy miles; the distance your run for each is not the same. Running every day will help you spread out the total mileage so you don’t push yourself too hard on any particular day. It will also help you when you eventually decide to increase the number of miles. Fewer miles every day as opposed to more a few times a week will also help you prevent injuries because your muscles don’t get too tired at once.
You can simply run the miles you already do faster. That way you can improve quickly in a short period of time. But you will improve the most if you progressively increase your mileage and then start a faster running workout.