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What running distance is best for improving your health

A lot of people run to improve their overall health, but what is a good distance to run to be healthy? How long or how far should you run and when is it no longer healthy? Let’s talk about this and figure out what the right amount of running is for you.

I think we can agree that running is a good thing for your health. Getting some exercise to keep your body moving and the blood flowing is a healthy practice. But when is it enough and when is is too much? The first thing to take in to account is your fitness level. If you’re a beginning runner you can’t just go out and run 10K and when you’re an advanced runner you might not even feel like getting a good run in with a 10K.

Studies have shown that 30 minutes of cardio 5 times a week is best for good health. Other studies have also shown that for best health you shouldn’t do more than four and a half hours of cardio.

Of course at different levels you will run slower or faster, so in 30 minutes one person is going to run more than another person. Running at about 7-8kms per hour then running 30-40 minutes would be a good aim. When running a pace of 10kms per hour then 20-30 minutes would be enough.

Now I’m just talking about what would be sufficient for staying healthy. These numbers would be good measures for a healthy body, decrease the danger of death from respiratory failures, strokes and other sicknesses. So if your aim is just to stay healthy this is all you need to do.

A lot of us however want to train for races and run long distances. So then what?

I would recommend building up your distance and running longer periods of time, but not 5 times a week. And try and alternate your runs by doing a long run one day and a short distance at a faster pace or a fartlek run the next training day. Also keep in mind the four and a half hour limit per week. It’s not disastrous when you go over, but the health benefits from your cardio training do decrease after this point.

There are a lot of health benefits from running, here is a post that lists a lot of these benefits.


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