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Is It OK To Run Everyday?

Updated on August 23, 2017

Yes, Run Everyday For Your Mind and Body

Lots of runners are asking if its OK for them to run everyday, and the answer is that yes, you can run as often as you like as long as you're taking care your running gear (feet, ankles, knees...) and that you're listening to your body. Pain (not the kind you get from muscle fatigue) is your body's signal that something isn't right.

Not too long ago conventional wisdom held that running too often, running everyday, could lead to degenerative diseases such as Osteoarthritis. Now, however, that notion has been tossed out by modern research which shows that not only is it alright to run frequently (or even have rigorous workouts) and that it doesn't cause age-related damage, but that it in fact can reduce those same diseases and even increase strength and growth of the affected muscles, bones and tissue.

This doesn't mean, of course, than any running is good running. There is a need to consider the quality of footwear that one wears (does it properly support your foot and ankle), and for those with any type of foot motion condition (flat feet, over or under pronation) then a runner should seek out a doctor to have orthotics prescribed. Relatively cheap, orthotics can be the difference between a long and healthy running lifestyle, or one filled with pain and discomfort, and ultimately could lead to some of the degenerative conditions mentioned earlier.

If you have any discomfort in your feet, knees or ankles during or after your run (other than typical fatigue), you should start to evaluate your stride to determine if there are any mechanical issues that could be corrected, especially if you're a frequent runner or run everyday. The key to running for life, and getting the most benefit possible, is to make sure the most important equipment you have (your feet) are well protected. There are many mechanical issues which could cause a runner to suffer injury, or in mild cases, just discomfort. But in the end it is OK to run as often as you like for anyone committed to running right and taking care of their feet. Here are some details about running and your feet.

Overpronation: What is it? - A Very Common Cause Of Discomfort For Runners

Pronation is the natural movement of your foot during stride. During normal walking or running your heel is the first to strike the ground. As you move forward through the step the arch flattens out and your ankle flexes inward, slightly, giving your body natural shock absorption. Some people, though, have an excessive amount of inward roll of their ankles and they are called overpronators. This is a separate condition from being flat footed, although flat footed people tend to be overpronators. Flat footed runners have relatively low (or no) arch and therefore their body can't efficiently absorb the shock of each step. This added stress causes the ankle to roll inward more than it naturally would (or should) leading to overpronation. As you can see, overpronators aren't necessarily going to be flat footed, since the excessive rolling of their ankle won't cause their arches to fall. But flat footed runners almost always overpronate.

Here is a great article at Wikipedia about the different foot types and typical feet problems.

If You Run Everyday, Learn About Your Body - Understanding the signs of trouble and sources of pain can help you prevent them.

Here is a good video showing what overpronation looks like.

Orthotics Properly Align Your Feet

To Help Prevent And Treat Injuries

If you run everyday, or multiple times per week, you must have proper foot support or run a greater risk of injury. According to Runner's World:

About 25 percent of people have a normal running pattern; their foot pronates just enough to absorb shock. The rest of the running population overpronates or underpronates, meaning their foot turns too much or not enough at heel-strike. Orthotics can correct these imbalances by adjusting the angles at which the foot strikes the ground. And that's just the beginning. Orthotics are often considered the cure-all for just about any kind of lower-body, running-related injury, says sports podiatrist Richard Braver, D.P.M. They are used to treat plantar fasciitis (heel pain), chronic blisters, shinsplints, and leg-length discrepancies. "Orthotics can prevent and cure a problem by reducing and eliminating the stress that caused it," Braver says.

What that means is that you can do a lot to improve the quality of your running by simply getting proper inserts for your shoes. Many runners have chosen the Powerstep Pinnacle Orthotic Insert as their go to orthotic because of it's quality design. In fact it's one of the most popular orthotics at Amazon, receiving almost 4 1/2 Starts (out of 5).

The Powerstep is encapsulated with two new foams- A Hypurcel foam that maintains its density and provides cushioning support covers the upper surface, while a soft EVA foam coats the under-surface.

- Heel cradle and platform guards heel on impact

- Strong springy supports calibrated for comfort

- EVA casing for long life from heel to toe

- Heat and slip reducing fabric for dryness

One reviewer wrote:

"Having tried all the drugstore arch supports and other online varieties, the Powerstep and the Powerstep Pinnacle are excellent products and clearly the best I have encountered. Not only are they effective, but they are also comfortable."

If you're an active runner (and for sure if you run everyday), you simply cannot afford to not have proper insoles and footwear.

How Do You Feel About Frequent Running?

Do you think that running everyday is ok?

National Center for Biotechnology Information Says....

"Orthotic devices are useful in selected runners with demonstrated biomechanical abnormalities that contribute to the injury. Soft orthotics made of a commercial insole laminated with EVA are comfortable, easily adjusted, inexpensive, and more for-giving than the semirigid orthotics which are useful in cases where the soft orthotic does not provide adequate foot control."

Don't Settle With Sore Feet

If you run a lot and have sore feet, listen to your body.

Now that you have an idea of common conditions which may prevent you from successfully running everyday for life, you can begin to address them if you believe that you're in one of these categories. I would suggest that anyone who is serious about running, that is, that running is a part of their lives (specific to this lens, if you run everyday), that they invest a relatively small amount and see their doctor who can help identify the specific problem areas and come up with a solution. Typically it involves an orthotic insert, but don't be fooled into thinking that you can buy one off of the internet or at Wal-Mart and solve the problem. Overpronation and flatfootedness are a matter of degrees, and other factors come into play such as stride type, body size and weight, type of running (cross country, marathon, sprinting), etc....

One other area I would like to talk about, specific to active runners, is Plantar Fasciitis. I've had this painful condition myself and knowing how you feel I want to share my insight. Again, it's always best to consult with your physician if any condition persists or the pain worsens, but for most people they can identify Plantar Fasciitis and at least attempt to treat for it at home to rule it out. Yes, there are other conditions which can cause similar symptoms, like Heel Spurs, but after applying a week or so of this remedy the pain from Plantar Fasciitis should begin to dissipate, while pain from Heel Spurs would not. Plantar Fasciitis presents itself as a very strong pain in the arch to heel area of your foot, especially first thing in the morning or after you've been on your feet all day; the pain can be quite severe. I noticed mine especially when I would climb stairs.

What I did was keep a baseball at my office, in a desk drawer, and another one at home near where I typically sit. Then when I had time, 3 times or more a day, I would take off my shoes and place the baseball under my arch. Then just gently roll the ball with your foot, massaging the entire arch and heel area and applying slight downward pressure. Not only does it feel really good, it helps to stretch out the ligament that stretches from your heel to the ball of your foot. The pain associated with this condition is caused by inflammation of this ligament, and so whenever you take a step and stretch it there is pain associated with that movement. The idea behind this therapy (using a ball to stretch the ligament) is that you can, as with most tissues, stretch them out with regular conditioning. By stretching this ligament you alleviate the inflammation and ultimately give your foot normal, pain free motion. I had complete recovery within a couple of weeks of doing this, and haven't had any issue with Plantar Fasciitis at all since.

How Often Do You Run?

It would be interesting to get an idea from random people how often they run.

How often do YOU run?

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Keep Running For Life

Keep Running For Life
Keep Running For Life

Share your comments and your stories about any running conditions you've had, and how you've dealt with it. About your running routine....

I would appreciate your comments... do you think its OK to run everyday?

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    • Old Navy Guy profile image

      Old Navy Guy 4 years ago

      Nice lens. I started run as part of physical therapy for an injury. That was 20 years ago and continues to this day. Two miles minimum. I find that proper footwear is a must and I don't run on streets, with the uneven surfaces and carbon monoxide air to breathe, but on the local high school track. (cushioned) makes all of the difference in the world and is good for the cardio vascular system as well. Cheers.

    • safereview profile image

      Bob 5 years ago from Kansas City

      @moralblogger lm: Shin splints are a real problem, and I've dealt with them, too, off and on for years. In my efforts to address the overpopulation problem I have, I've also managed to minimize the occurrences of the splints. From my research I've found that most experts attribute shin splints to some kind of foot disorder (OP in my case), or a natural deficiency in particular muscle groups, for which specialized conditioning of those muscle groups can make a significant impact on splint pain. But some people actually have minuscule stress fractures in their leg (tibia usually) that may never go away completely. Thanks for stopping by.

    • moralblogger lm profile image

      moralblogger lm 5 years ago

      Great lens! I had to stop running everyday because of a shin splints problem. I tried better, more shock absorbing footwear, but the problem was still there...quite painful. I also suffered with the problem when I played Rugby, but not nearly as bad as when running. I've now stopped running (and playing Rugby) and prefer hill walking and a game of golf...I still get a little pain, but to continue running everyday may have brought on a stress fracture.

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 6 years ago

      I walk quickly rather than run but I hope to do more activity this year because it's more important as you get older. Great lens.

    • safereview profile image

      Bob 6 years ago from Kansas City

      Yhanks for the visit and the blessing, much appreciated! Happy New Year~

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice Lens. With your question above how often do I run? Now in my 70's I do not run because of knee problems, but I used too, I walk. Walk everyday, I love walking. Thanks for the information, enjoyed the read. Blessed.