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35 Health And Fitness Benefits Of Running A Mile A Day (2021)
Last Updated: July 4th, 2022
1-mile run or smile run…You are not running too long, not dropping dead at the end of the run, and you have the stamina to smile. And it is not that you are not benefitting from it. Now isn’t that a reason to smile!
Even a mile run can make a huge difference…
Well for that read on to know the benefits of running a mile a day…
35 Benefits of running a mile a day
1. Friendly for beginner
Oh! how much do you want to run but don’t know how to start?
This is exactly what you need to try.
The 1-mile run is not a very long run.
And it is perfect to start for a beginner.
The goal is achievable and even if you run at a low to moderate intensity, you should be able to do it.
This is also the best for those who have their favorite excuse always ready “I do not have time”.
Running at a low pace of less than 4 mph, you should be able to complete it within 15 min.
Come on, you can do this.. so no excuses next time.
It doesn’t take much time and trust me it is going to do wonders if you run for just 4-5 days a week.
2. You Can Focus Running Form
Running form plays a vital role in building up running endurance and injury-free running.
When you run for longer distances, and if you do not concentrate, your running form can go for a toss.
1 mile is a small distance run.
Here you are not running to add on the mileage.
You can focus on the quality of the run.
Try to run the 1 mile with the aim to improve on your form, overcome the shortcomings.
3.Minimize the chances of Running Injury
Frequently running long distances, over a period of time makes you more prone to running overuse injury.
The prime cause of these injuries is too much stress and inadequate recovery.
A 1-mile run will relatively put less stress on your feet than a 5k or 10k run.
And if you are just running a mile, you get enough time to recover.
4. Weight loss
Running is the simplest, easiest, and inexpensive way to burn calories.
In fact, 50% of the people chose running for weight loss.
When you run your heart rate goes up, burns more calories which act as fuel.
When you are running at a moderate pace, you are working in the aerobic zone.
In the aerobic zone, the fat is burnt to supply energy for running.
So if weight-loss is your goal, next time chose low-medium intensity running. In fact, research shows that if you workout for 45 mins every day, it will give your metabolism a boost for more than 14 hours.
You can read more about how to lose weight by running in this resource.
5. Improves mood
Have you tried out the morning walk or going for a sport or just a Zumba class?
Doesn’t it feel great after that – fresh and happy?
The same is for running as research suggests.
When you do any physical exercise, the endorphin is released in the brain.
Endorphin is a natural drug that makes you happy, energetic, and relieves stress.
It is also referred to as “Runner’s high”.
6. Improves Heart Health
Your heart is the most important muscle of your body.
The faster you run, the heart rate climbs up, and the faster it works.
This makes the walls of the heart stronger. In a study, it was found that running even 5 to 10 mins a day and at a slow speed of <6miles/hour reduces death risk from all causes of cardiovascular diseases remarkably.
Secondly, running reduces the LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases the HDL (good cholesterol) level.
Better heart health can minimize the chance of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and blood pressure.
7. Improves the Lung Capacity
The lungs’ capacity can be defined as the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use.
When you are running, your muscles demand more oxygen.
Now with a proper breathing technique, you should be able to inhale more oxygen.
This improves the lung’s capacity overtime as a study shows.
9. Better Bone Density
A recent study has proven that running regularly improves bone strength.
The bone density is directly related to bone strength.
An improvement in your bone strength leads to higher bone density.
The decrease in bone density is the primary cause of fractures.
With age, there is an onset of poor bone strength.
It is best to start running as early as possible.
10.Leads to better sleep
Are you suffering from a sleep disorder – insomnia, lack of quality sleep, or duration of sleep?
Then, running a mile is the best remedy for it.
Running relieves stress and anxiety, which is a common cause of sleep-related problems.
It also helps in getting a sound sleep and for a longer duration.
11. Improves Metabolism
Metabolism is a natural process that breaks the food and drinks you consume into energy.
This energy is utilized by the body in doing a natural activity as well as any physical activity.
And this is what you refer to as the famous “calorie burn”.
Now running( and any other form of exercise) boosts up your natural metabolism, so the calorie burns faster.
Improved metabolism has several advantages:
- More energy to work
- Faster weight loss
- Improves blood circulation
- Reduce aging effect
12. Improves Stamina
Constant running even for a small distance adds to your stamina and you can build-up over time.
Let’s say when you initially started running, you may be running at a lesser pace may take around 15 -20 min to run a mile.
Now with time, your body builds up the stamina to run faster.
Maybe after a couple of months, you could improve the time by 4 min.
With practice, you may still improve.
Now, what is making you faster?
Of course your endurance!
There is no over-night change in your stamina.
But, definitely with consistency, your stamina will boost. A study finds that with regular training there will be a significant difference in your endurance.
13. Excellent Abs workout
Who doesn’t want the perfect sculpted Abs?
Now, isn’t it a piece of good news that when you run, you are working on your abs too??
The right form of running requires you to stand tall and pull in your belly button.
This way you keep your core engaged.
This imparts more stamina to run as well as a great workout for your abs.
Doesn’t that give you all the more motivation to run?
14. Light on the pocket
As compared to other sports, running is relatively light on the pocket.
Let’s say you want to lose weight.
There are options for hitting the gym to get the equipment.
And if you compare running with the cost of going to the gym, it is definitely a cheaper option.
Or just in case you plan to start with a new sport.
Be it any sport, it will cost you more than running.
All you need for running a mile is a pair of running shoes and a set of cheap and durable resistance bands for strength training.
15. Boosts confidence
When you run, there is an amazing feel-good factor post-run.
If your goal is a 1-mile run, you can easily accomplish it.
There is a complete change in your attitude.
You are happy, positive, and brimming up with confidence.
According to research, any type of exercise like running creates new brain cells and calmer areas in the brain. This leads to a confidence boost.
16. Improves Life Expectancy
A recent study shows that running reduces premature death risk by almost 40%.
Now, it is hard to predict life and death.
However, you can try your best to increase your life expectancy.
Some study also says that an hour of running adds 7 hours to your life.
Running makes your heart strong and protects you from
- Heart diseases
- Blood pressure
- Lower the risk of cancer
All the more reasons to enjoy running.
17. Maintains Blood Pressure
According to American Heart Association (ADA), if you get moderate exercises like running a mile or equivalent exercise minutes of up to 150 mins per week, your blood pressure will be maintained at all ages.
It doesn’t matter whether you run longer than a mile or shorter. If you can get the mins in, you will be in good shape.
If you get bored with running, you can also go for brisk walking, hiking, stair climbing, or rowing.
18. Controls Diabetes
If you are diabetic or is prediabetic, running can be a great form of exercise for you according to American Diabetes Association (ADA) as it increases your insulin sensitivity.
This is great as your body will function properly and get your blood sugar level to a normal as running a mile takes a lot of energy.
You can switch it up with brisk walking, or something similar. However, your energy expenditure should be similar, a study says. If you can do that, your diabetes will remain in control.
19. Improves Productivity
Moderate exercises like running a mile help in the proper functioning of the hippocampus region of the brain as per a study.
Aerobic exercises such as running have shown to change the size of the area of the brain and this area is related to memory and learning.
This way you will bring your best to your work and will show improved productivity.
20. Improved Immunity
Researchers have found that people who run for 15-20 min (equivalent to a mile) or exercise for a similar duration of time, three to five times a week are less susceptible to cold or other common ailments.
The study was conducted on a group of healthy volunteers. They were asked to keep a record of their coughs and sniffles over a period of 3 months.
Also, they were asked to record the physical activities that they were doing on a weekly basis. It was found that, if they engaged in exercises like running, their susceptibility to such diseases reduced by almost 50%.
21. Improves ability to deal with stress
A study published in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory found that running can help you to deal with chronic stress and mitigate its negative effects on the hippocampus.
You will be able to experience the positive effects of running on your stress if you run 20 min or around 1 mile in a day.
22. Helps You To Retain Your Learning Abilities
Your memory formation and recall abilities strengthen when your synapses or connections between neurons are strengthened over time. This process is called long-term potentiation or LTP. If you deal with chronic stress over a period of time, these connections weaken. This will gradually impact your memory and learning abilities.
A study found that, if you run or exercise regularly for around 20 mins, these LTP connections are retained. So, you will not have to deal with the loss of learning abilities gradually.
23. Make You Creative
Can running a mile make you creative? It certainly can as a study shows. If you run regularly, there will be a significant creative boost according to the study.
They tested this on 63 individuals who run or perform any other aerobic exercises. The test was measured by the three measures of the Torrance Test and shows significant improvement of creativity level after you have exercised.
24. Improved decision-making capabilities
In an interview with RedBull, neuroscientist Ben Martynoga revealed that “There’s very clear evidence that running boosts your executive function – your ability to direct your attention to what you want to do, and to shut out distractions, and solve problems.”
If you need to make some hard decisions and are toiling with it, just go for a mile run, come back and tackle it.
25. Improved Adaptability To Difficult Situations
Running pushing you to get out of your comfort zone. When you run, your heart pounds, you are out of breath and feel like you might be dying. But then your body adapts, your mind adapts.
Running helps you to develop the mental toughness required to cope with difficult situations.
Also, if you stick to your running a mile plan for around 90 days, you will have to deal with almost all the regular life problems that are there, like waking up your kids on time, making breakfast for them. And you will do that while committing to your running plan. This way also, your overall adaptibility improves.
26. You Will Eat Better
Exercises and running attenuate unhealthy-eating habits in individuals as a study found. Also, it was also found that running will help you to tackle stress-induced eating disorders and will also reduce your chocolate and sugar consumption.
This way, you will naturally be more inclined towards, eating healthier. I’ve observed it in myself. When I take a break from running or exercise for that matter, my unhealthy food consumption increases. However, when I’m exercising regularly, I don’t feel the urge to consume them even if I see them in front of me.
27. Fight Daily Fatigue
If you engage in a low-intensity aerobic exercise like 1 mile running, you will be able to increase your energy levels by 20 percent and will decrease your fatigue level by 65 percent, a study says.
For this study, 36 individuals were selected who regularly complained about fatigue and did not run or exercise regularly.
They were divided into 3 groups…the first group did moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for 20 mins, three times a week for six weeks, the second group engaged in a low-intensity aerobic exercise like running for the same period of time, and the third group maintained a sedentary lifestyle.
The first group and the second group showed an overall energy level improvement of 20 percent. However, the first group showed a fatigue level improvement by 49 percent whereas the second group showed an improvement in fatigue level by a whopping 65 percent.
28. Improves Male Fertility
In a recent study, it was found that running improves sperm count and improves the overall reproductive health of male runners which makes you a more attractive partner.
Running also improves your free testosterone levels which guarantees more time between the sheets.
29. Develop Healthy Attitude In Kids
Running can be a very effective tool to boost a kid’s self-esteem. In fact, there is a study on this that shows that running significantly increases self-esteem in children and young adults.
In addition, it can also help in correcting attitude issues in kids.
30. Keeps Cholesterol In Check
You can keep cholesterol in check if you run or other forms of exercise for 20 min every day as mentioned in WebMD. This will help you to increase your HDL or high-density cholesterol levels and decrease the low-density cholesterol levels.
If you have a completely sedentary lifestyle and have bad workout habits, then it will be the most beneficial to include a mile run in your routine.
You may be able to cut LDL by 15% and increase HDL by 20%.
31. Keeps Bad-Habits In Check
If you run for a couple of weeks, you will find that your cravings for addictive things like recreational drugs, smoking, or excessive drinking have gone down. You will be more inclined to eat healthy after running.
32. Protects And Boosts Cognitive Functions
When you run, it induces a lot of change to the structure of the brain increasing the gray matter as evidence suggests.
This will help you to retain and even boost your cognitive functions.
33. Reduces Depression
Running can be a very good tool for fighting chronic depression and anxiety. Another study found that running can be as good as an antidepressant.
Not only chronic depression, but running can also help you to beat short-term depressing feelings like Monday blues as another evidence suggests.
34. Lowers Risk Of Certain Types Of Cancer
Running will considerably reduce the risk of certain types of cancer like colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, or breast cancer.
It may also help with brain cancer as one study found.
35. You Will Become Inspiration For Other Couch Potatoes
You will inspire others to start running if you start sharing your daily routines and milestones. Since we as human beings are inherently competitive, you will be amazed to see that your friends have started to get out of their comfort zone.
However, they will have only one goal, to beat your starts. This will in turn keep you also motivated to stick to your routine and keep pushing your limits.
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.