Pros and Cons of Running for Exercise

If you're a runner or if you're thinking of taking up running, you should look into how it can impact your health. In this article, we'll look at the pros and cons of running for exercise.
Pros and Cons of Running for Exercise

Last update: 17 May, 2019

Running is one of the best activities for your health. However, while it may provide many health benefits, that doesn’t mean that it’s the best option for everyone. For this reason, we’ll go over the pros and cons of running for exercise so you know what to expect.

Firstly, anyone who runs regularly can injure their joints that support the weight of the body, such as the knees and ankles. On the other hand, running can be a great way to lose weight and relieve tension.

Also, you’ll want to make sure you bring along a bottle of water and wear the right shoes. If you want to start running or if you’re already a seasoned runner, it’ll be useful to know about the pros and cons of running for exercise. We’ll share a few of them with you below.

Pros and cons of running for exercise

1. Weight loss

If your main goal is weight loss, running can help you burn calories quickly. One of the great advantages of running is its intensity.

What’s more, it helps to boost your fitness more quickly and burns more calories than any other types of exercise. Since running is a relatively high impact exercise, it’s more demanding of your body, which translates to a good calorie burn.

In fact, one solution to lose weight is to run at faster speeds. If you run on a treadmill, you can increase the incline for a more intense cardio workout and increase your muscle endurance. Also, it’s better if you run for longer periods.

In addition, make sure to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. These foods will help you to reach your goals.

Man and woman's legs on treadmill

2. Self-esteem: pros of running for exercise

Running is great for both body and mind. In fact, it can give your confidence and self-esteem a great boost.

By setting and reaching goals, you can enjoy a comforting feeling, which will motivate you to keep going. As such, you’ll feel more energetic, more focused, and eager to enjoy life.

3. Low-cost activity

The last item on our list of pros and cons of running for exercise is that you only need a pair of running shoes to make running part of your routine. By running outdoors, be it in your neighborhood, local park, or school track, you can meet up with friends and enjoy your outings.

In any case, the idea is to use quality running shoes that give you the support you need. Also, make sure you choose softer surfaces to avoid injury.

Cons of running for exercise

1. High impact exercise for your joints

Improving your fitness level is crucial to avoid any type of injury. Many people who run on a regular basis can damage the joints that support their body weight. As you can imagine, overweight individuals can also experience the same problem.

Moreover, using a treadmill reduces the impact on your joints. What’s more, adding other lower-impact exercises can help to reduce the risk of joint damage. Of course, make sure you always warm up well before training and cool down afterward.

2. Running can be boring

Another con of running is that many find it boring. However, a key element of any successful fitness plan is choosing an exercise that keeps you motivated.

Otherwise, you’ll more than likely find any excuse to put off or cancel your running sessions. We recommend you listen to music while you run to provide some entertainment and motivation.

Pros and cons of running for exercise

Finally, to start safely, consult your doctor and start slowly by adding short running intervals into a walking program.

In conclusion, the advantages of running can outweigh the disadvantages. Still, as with any exercise, make sure you err on the side of caution. Ideally, increase the length of your runs gradually and decrease how much you walk. Try combining running with other forms of exercise to maximize your overall fitness!

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

    • Lee, D. C., Pate, R. R., Lavie, C. J., Sui, X., Church, T. S., & Blair, S. N. (2014). Leisure-time running reduces all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 64(5), 472–481.
    • Stroth, S., Hille, K., Spitzer, M., & Reinhardt, R. (2009). Aerobic endurance exercise benefits memory and affect in young adults. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 19(2), 223–243.

The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.