General Question

Ownage's avatar

Is running a mile a day worth it?

Asked by Ownage (296 points ) May 11th, 2009

Not trying to lose weight or anything. Just want to promote general fitness and tone up overall. Is a mile a day worth it, or need I run more? Also what is the biking equivalent?

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20 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

The general idea is that you should get about 45–60 minutes of sustained physical exercise to get the most out of it. If you can work your way up to 5 miles a day, 4–5 days a week you’ll be doing very well.

However running a mile a day is great. Start with that. After a while, you’ll likely want to run more because a mile won’t make you feel like you ran much after about 2 weeks.

DarkScribe's avatar

Not really worth it. They seem to agree that to be effective cardio needs to last at least twenty minutes or so, and running for one mile won’t go close to that. Maybe running for three or four miles?

aprilsimnel's avatar

If you can run it, do it, just to get started. I’m doing a couch to 5K plan at the moment (Week 3!), and by the end of it I’ll be running 3 miles at a time. Once I’m finished with this schedule, I’m sure I’ll find a way to increase my distance and will do it more than 3x a week.

Biking would depend on the terrain, no? And how your gears are set up and so on. I wouldn’t know the biking equivalent, sorry.

3or4monsters's avatar

Oh my effin’ god, I had a small novel written for you and it got deleted on accident.

I’ll be brief. If you want to “tone up”, unless you’re doing some other activity that maintains your musculature, runing a mile at a time won’t do it. The best you can hope for is that it will give your legs and butt definition and lean you out slightly all over (after you’ve adjusted and increased your mileage per session), but all in all unless you’re running uphill, it won’t “tone” you from the waist up very much at all except for your heart.

If you want to give your muscles into better shape, you can go the mild route with pilates/yoga/ and light bodyweight circuits, or you can lift heavy weights, whichever is more to your liking.

I love running for developing endurance and the adrenaline/endorphin high, though.

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

I’m sure anything helps, I’ve started walking with a friend now 2 or 3 times a week, about 2 miles (an hour) and I definitely feel a lot better.

chyna's avatar

@3or4monsters Lurve for your first sentence. I can’t get past that to read your post!

Jude's avatar

I’m sure that it is. Just going out for a 20 minute run used to make me feel great. Now, if only I could just get my ass up and moving to actually do it…

Darwin's avatar

When I first started trying to get back in shape, it took me about 45 to 60 minutes to run a mile. Now it takes considerably less time. However, it is also really boring so I try to do different activities on different days. I also mix in some weight-lifting with my cardio, to keep from becoming all tottery and senile before I have to be.

YARNLADY's avatar

For you, it depends on your shape right now, and your goal. Yes, it’s better than not running at all.

My doctor would cheer out loud if I could do that. It’s my best effort to walk a mile a day in less than 45 minutes.

RedPowerLady's avatar

This is craziness. Of course running a mile a day is “worth it”. I don’t understand some of the answers here.

Running helps maintain your overall health. Running a mile a day is MUCH better than not running a mile a day.

Of course it is true that running longer or farther is better in most circumstances but that is not the question. Yes it is worth it.

If you ran a mile a day you would be living a better lifestyle than many people.

DarkScribe's avatar

@RedPowerLady I disagree. Most people who suffer heart attacks etc, have it happen while doing exactly that sort of thing. Walking – no problem you can walk even powerwalk as far as you like, but running is something that you need to develop fitness for. One mile a day won’t do that. You run hard when not fully fit and you are at risk. Ask Jim Fixx.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@DarkScribe One mile a day is not running hard, i think that is the point of this question. It is a small run. I’m all for building your fitness up to a mile if you can’t physically achieve a mile yet. What is being said is that running a mile a day isn’t worth it because it’s only a mile, that is craziness.

runner's avatar

Any activity is a step in the right direction. I let myself go for years, and after having a baby, was very unhappy with the way I looked. So I started exercising a few times a week. Then I started running every night. I am barely up to 2 miles, but it took me 2 months to get there because I was soooo out of shape. YES. Any activity is worth it. And once it becomes part of your schedule and a habit, you can go further.

Darwin's avatar

@Dark Scribe – Jim Fixx was fully fit, and he lived 10 years longer than his dad, probably because he ran. He started running at age 35 (the same age at which his dad had his first heart attack), lost 60 pounds and managed to quit smoking.

From Wikipedia:

“Fixx died at the age of 52 of a fulminant heart attack, after his daily run, on Vermont Route 15 in Hardwick. The autopsy revealed that atherosclerosis had blocked one coronary artery 95%, a second 85%, and a third 50%... Some who opposed his beliefs said this was evidence running was harmful…. However, Fixx came from a family where the men had poor health histories. His father suffered a heart attack at age 35, dying of a second at 42.”

The point is to start off slowly and build up your strength and endurance.

vicky123's avatar

I run a mile mon- tues-play 5aside wed-train for football thurs-nothing friday/saturday*aaaaahhhhhhhh*-then a hard match sunday. i think running that mile monday and tuesday has a GREAT effect. Not only does it wake me after a loong day of work but its refreshing, makes me feel good, breaks my day up, and clears my head! running a mile a day has MANY positives, not only for the body, but for th emind.

rocketusa's avatar

The times in my life when I lost the most weight, I did less distance, not more. A few years ago, I started doing just that, a mile or two a day, and got down to a decent weight relatively quickly. This distance was great in that I could do it in a reasonable amount of time. I also tossed in some basic calisthenics. Where I started to plateau, I kept increasing distance up to five miles. I think my body went into some kind of panic mode. My body type is different than most runners—I’m built like a square and played all the contacts sports as a kid. I really get nothing out of doing 45 minutes on an elliptical or such, even if I am going max speed. But I do feel a lot better with the mile or two per day route. What I look to do is improve my time each time, even if it’s just a second or two. You have to admit that the short distance runners look better than the marathoners!

jimcor32's avatar

It also depends on your calorie intake, I did one mile a day 5 days a week and lost weight fast but only because I kept my calorie intake to approximately 1400 a day.

Barney's avatar

I’m at 2 miles a day after nearly 2 weeks of 1 mile/mile and a half, and it’s right, just a mile doesn’t seem like much after a bit.

And I do it so slowly that I get my 30 minutes a day exercise that way as well..

Barney's avatar

And ‘just a mile’ isn’t just a mile, it’s forming a habit. After 21 days or so you’ll find you’re just doing it without thinking about it. And you’ll find you run further & further as you start to really enjoy it & get fitter. Then you have a choice whether to keep increasing the distance for endurance or go for strength & speed by doing a short one as fast as you can, or interval train.

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