Running is one of the most popular physical activities and practiced sports around the globe. In the USA alone, around 60 million people participate in running, trail running, or jogging.
Running helps you lose weight, and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Scroll down to know the benefits of running 2 miles a day, what transformation to expect, and how to get started.
9 health benefits of running 2 miles a day
Running 2 miles a day brings about some significant physical and mental transformations in an individual. Some of the major health benefits you can expect include:
1. Weight loss
Running 2 miles a day offers an impressive calorie burn and consequent weight loss. If you are wondering how many calories are burned running a mile? The answer is – an average-sized runner will burn nearly 100 calories per mile. However, it also depends on your other factors, such as your weight, gender, diet, how fast you run, etc.
2. Improved knee health and stronger legs
Running is a physical activity that targets your leg muscles, including glutes, hamstrings, and quads. That means running 2 miles a day ensures stronger leg muscles. Running regularly also reduces the risk of knee pain or osteoarthritis due to improved leg muscle strength.
3. Better heart health
Running boosts heart health by improving blood flow to the heart. This ensures blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, eventually engendering optimal organ function. According to research American College of Cardiology: Running Reduces Risk of Death Regardless of Duration, Speed, runners have a 45% lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke. Running 2 miles a day also lowers blood pressure.
4. Prolonged life
Running lowers the risk of developing several chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Runners have a 30% lower risk of death National Library of Medicine: Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk from such causes. That means runners may have a better shot at living a longer life than those who don’t run.
5. Better sleep
Past research PubMed: Daily morning running for 3 weeks improved sleep and psychological functioning in healthy adolescents compared with controls has found that a 30-minute morning running session during weekdays for three consecutive days leads to improved sleep quality. Therefore, if you have sleep problems, take up running to positively impact your sleep patterns and enjoy a good night’s sleep every day.
6. Stress buster
Running produces endorphins JOHNS HOPKINS: The Truth Behind ‘Runner’s High’ and Other Mental Benefits of Running that help ease stress and lowers depression and anxiety. Moreover, this physical activity makes you feel good about your body as well as the environment and eventually helps your brain cope with stress.
This ultimately boosts your mood and has long-term effects on your overall well-being. Running 2 miles a day might thus entail a natural mood boost.
7. Great self-confidence
Setting a goal of running 2 miles a day and striving to accomplish it considerably boosts one’s self-confidence. At the end of the day, you will feel more confident and proud of your achievement. Completing a successful 2-mile streak will also allow you to aim for higher. The greater your achievements, the better will be your level of confidence.
8. Social skill building
Running regularly, especially in groups, gives you an opportunity to meet new people and make friends. This eventually boosts your social skills.
How to start running 2 miles a day?
If you are a beginner and want to start running as a habit, follow these tips to make it easier for you to start running 2 miles a day:
1. Set goals
Set short-term or long-term goals. It can be either running 2 miles a day or planning your first half marathon. Setting a goal will not only allow you to stay focused but will also keep you motivated through setbacks.
2. Start small
Initially, start with shorter, 1-mile a day challenge. Try this 2-3 times a week. Over time, you can increase it to 2-3 miles and 4-5 times a week. This way, you won’t experience burnout soon after you start running.
3. Plan ahead
To develop a long-term habit, you need to plan your fitness routine ahead of time. Plan in advance about the time and duration of your running, the balanced diet you will eat before and after runs, what developments and milestones you will track, and so on.
4. Be consistent
You need to practice and stay consistent to develop running as a habit. Chalk out a routine and stick to it. This will include going for a run at the same time of the day, keeping your gear and running shoes ready beforehand, and so on.
5. Run with a friend or join a club
Running with a friend or in a group will allow you to build your support system and social circle. Pairing up with someone will ensure accountability and offer active social time. You can join a running group, take a gym membership or simply run with a group of friends to achieve this.
6. Listen to your body
Always pay attention to the signals of your body. If you experience pain or discomfort while running, do not ignore it. Consult a healthcare provider and take a break before resuming.
7. Track your progress
Tracking your progress will help you stay motivated and to make changes to your current routine to achieve your fitness goals faster. Use a fitness tracker or a training logbook to record your time, distance, pace, and other stats.
8. Create a reward system
Treat yourself to something you enjoy once you accomplish your short-term goal. This could be giving yourself a piece of chocolate or going for a movie night.
9. Work with a fitness coach
Regardless of one’s fitness level, working with a coach will help you get support, stay motivated and follow the best fitness plan for your body. A fitness coach or personal trainer will consider your body composition, physical health, running goals, and running habits and create a running plan that is right for you.
How long should it take to run 2 miles?
The time it takes to run 2 miles can vary greatly depending on various factors such as individual fitness level, terrain, weather conditions, and running pace.
However, as a general guideline, the average time to run 2 miles for a moderately fit individual would be around 15-20 minutes. This would equate to an average pace of 7.5-10 minutes per mile.
Does running 2 miles a day help you lose weight?
Running is a great physical activity to rely on for weight loss. Daily running engenders an impressive calorie burn.
If you plan on running two miles a day to lose weight, the information below may be of interest to you. The data Harvard Health Publishing: Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights given below shows calories burnt by weight. Remember that these are approximate averages.
The exact numbers may vary depending on your body weight, gender, fitness level, pace, and so on.
|Running: Speed (Time/mile)||125-pound person||155-pound person||185-pound person|
|Running: 5 mph (12 min/mile)||240||288||336|
|Running: 6 mph (10 min/mile)||495||360||420|
|Running: 7.5 mph (8 min/mile)||375||450||525|
|Running: 10 mph (6 min/mile)||453||562||671|
Precautions to take before, during, and after running
Follow these precautions and tips if you plan to run 2 miles a day:
- Warm-up before running and cool down after finishing your everyday run. Gentle stretching before and after runs will help activate your muscles and relax them.
- Start slowly at your own pace and don’t push yourself too much.
- Keep yourself hydrated before, during, and after runs.
- Do not eat or drink close to your running session. Always eat an hour before your run. Count on good carbs, such as oatmeal or brown rice, to fuel your body.
- Grab a protein bar, protein shake, or peanut butter, 30-60 minutes after your running session.
- Do not consume foods high in sugar or fat before and after runs as they contain empty calories and can even hinder post-run recovery.
- Wear proper running clothing and gear. Always wear light and breathable clothes and comfortable shoes before your running session.
- Run during daylight hours. If you are running during the night, wear reflective clothing.
- Watch out for overtraining. If you are experiencing symptoms like nagging injuries, poor recovery, unusual fatigue, or poor performance, stop overdoing it.
A simple two-mile run every day is all you need to enjoy these health benefits, provided you do it with care and under careful guidance. Running every day is beneficial for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It will engender a better and healthier version of yourself.
If you still have questions about running two miles a day, here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
Is 2 miles a day good for running?
Running 2 miles a day can be a good form of cardiovascular exercise for many individuals, especially those who are new to running or looking for a moderate daily workout. It can help improve fitness, stamina, and overall health, but it’s important to listen to your body and progress gradually to avoid injury.
Will running 2 miles a day help to lose belly fat?
Moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercises like running can contribute to overall weight loss and body fat reduction, including belly fat. However, it’s important to remember that spot reduction is not possible.
How many calories does running 2 miles a day burn?
The number of calories burned while running 2 miles depends on various factors such as body weight, running speed, and terrain. On average, a 155-pound person may burn approximately 300-400 calories running 2 miles at a moderate pace (around 5 mph) However, it’s important to note that individual calorie burn can vary from person to person.
|↑1||American College of Cardiology: Running Reduces Risk of Death Regardless of Duration, Speed|
|↑2||National Library of Medicine: Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk|
|↑3||PubMed: Daily morning running for 3 weeks improved sleep and psychological functioning in healthy adolescents compared with controls|
|↑4||JOHNS HOPKINS: The Truth Behind ‘Runner’s High’ and Other Mental Benefits of Running|
|↑5||Harvard Health Publishing: Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights|