How many kilometres should you run in a day? Here’s what the experts have to say

While running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise, there is a lot of misinformation about it on the internet. To clear things up, we spoke to some of the country’s leading health experts. Here is their best advice on the subject of running.

How many kilometres should you run in a day?

For beginners:

“Between 1.6 and 4.8 kilometres is a reasonable beginning distance for a day’s running. This running distance is thought to be the most effective for lowering the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, the heart becomes stronger—it pumps more blood per beat, and the lungs become more powerful. As your cardiovascular efficiency improves, you will be able to eventually run faster with less effort,” says Dr Archana Batra, dietitian and diabetes educator.

Fitness coach Niranjan Deshpande suggests, “A good distance to run in a day is between 2.4 to 5 km. This distance keeps all your muscles active and improves your heart health as well.”

For Experienced Runners:

“A running session of 8 to11 kilometres is a reasonable distance for experienced runners to maintain fitness levels. However, it is crucial to not overwork yourself. You should run just enough to get your blood flowing, but not so much that you become exhausted,” adds Dr Archana Batra.

5 tips to keep in mind before hitting the pavement or treadmill:

1. Start Slowly

One should start with walking, brisk walking, jogging, and slowly move towards running to reduce the risk of injuries. “As running is a high-impact cardiovascular movement and puts a lot of pressure on your knees, ankles, and ligaments, your body should be prepared. Once you are capable of walking a distance of 5 km at a stretch, slowly start jogging for 5 km and thereafter gradually run for 5 km,” states Dr Siddhant Bhargava, fitness expert and nutritional scientist.

“Since the majority of individuals fall into the beginner category, instead of looking at ‘how much’ you should run, a better strategy would be to look at ‘how correct’ you are doing it. If your posture is wrong, there are chances you will do more bad than good to your body. Thus, if you are starting, you can look at walking, and transition into intermittent jogging. Then, with guidance, take up running. This should be done alongside strength training and stretching,” remarks Simrun Chopra, health coach and founder of Nourish With Sim.

2. Determine Your Goal

It is vital to evaluate yourself personally and see how you can train to accomplish your goals while keeping your own strengths and limitations in mind. “If you are preparing for a marathon, there is a routine to be followed—on certain days you will have to do high-volume training, on other days it is low-volume training, and on some days, you have to rest in order to recover. On the other hand, if you are running to keep yourself fit, the time period depends on the calorie count you want to burn,” adds Dr Siddhant Bhargava.

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