Can I Run and Lift Weights Every Day? What Are Your Options !!

Running is one of those things we can do many days in a row. It’s even possible to run every day if you want. There are websites like dedicated to running streaks – full of posts by people who try and see how many days in a row they can go without missing a run. Some of the participants have streaks that have lasted multiple decades! However, it’s important to keep in mind that most experts recommend taking a rest day at least once a week in order to let your body recuperate.

So it seems that it is ok to run daily, but lifting every day may not be the best idea.  When we lift weights, we actually break down the muscle tissue that can then take several days to repair. You don’t want to overtax your muscles by using them too hard too often. It’s better to take a break in between lifting sessions so that the muscles can recover.

If it is necessary or desired to lift weights day after day, then it is a good idea to focus on different muscle groups each day.

For example, day one could focus on arms, with upper body exercises like bench press, curls, and pushups. The next day could then be a leg centered day, with sets of squats, leg presses, and calf raises. Then after the upper body has rested and recovered, it would be possible to go back and exercise those muscles again.

Another option for daily lifting is to try it in the form of circuit training, also known as High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. This style of exercise has become very popular lately. Circuit training consists of moving through various exercises for very short periods of time, so your muscles aren’t stressed as much as they would be in a typical day of lifting. As a result, it is something that can be repeated daily without negatively impacting your progress. (Source)

Why Can We Run Every Day but Not Lift Weights Daily?

Lifting weights is much more stressful on the muscles than a typical run would be. Because of the lighter stress load from running, the body is able to recover quickly and can handle doing the same exercise day after day.

As mentioned above, it is a good idea to rest for at least a day after lifting weights so those muscles are able to recover. Repeating lifting sessions using the same muscle groups without resting can lead to injuries, form breakdown, and even loss of sleep. Instead of making you stronger, lifting too often can make you feel weaker than you were before. [source]

It is possible to run every day because we typically put a lot less stress on our bodies through those daily runs than we would by lifting weights. However, keep in mind that it is possible to overstress the running muscles as well.

That’s why it’s never a good idea to go out and run as fast as you can, day after day. Speed workouts are great, but should only take place once or twice a week. The rest of the runs should be slower, which will allow the muscles to recover from those tougher training sessions. For more on this, check out our post ” Running Vs Swimming Every Day! Is it Good or Bad For You?

On a side note, check out our post on ” Why Can’t You Run as Far Anymore ?! (5 Major Reasons)

Is It Ok to Run and Not Lift Weights?

It is certainly ok to run and not lift weights if you are just looking to do something active. Running on its own is a wonderful form of exercise. By running on its own, one would still get the benefits of burning calories, and reducing risks of heart disease, and weight loss.

However, if your desire is to become a stronger and more efficient runner, than it is a good idea to incorporate weight lifting into your workout routine. Lifting weights can help runners to develop a more economical running form, decrease their risk of injury, and increase their overall speed. (Article for tips on how to effectively include weight lifting into your running schedule)

This doesn’t mean you are going to have to become a full-time bodybuilder in order to get faster. It’s possible to realize these benefits by lifting weights as little as twice a week. These lifting sessions can easily be scheduled to be on days you are taking a break from running.

Is It Healthier to Lift Weights or Run?

While both forms of exercise are very good, there are more overall health benefits attributed to running than to lifting weights.

Strength training is great for building lean muscle mass, reducing total body fat and helping to give our bodies a toned and muscular look. Lifting weights can also help to increase your metabolism (the rate at which the body can process calories).

A higher metabolic rate means more calories are burned up rather than sticking around. Any time we can manage to expend more calories than we consume, the end result is weight loss. [source]

Running on the other hand, can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and more. In addition, endurance sports like running can help us to build stronger muscles and bones, reduce body fat, lower blood pressure, and prevent diabetes.

People who make a habit of running regularly are reported to have a longer life expectancy than those who are sedentary. Check out our dprevious article for more information on how endurance sports can help us to live longer.

Is Running Alone Enough Exercise?

Running alone can be more than enough exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The wide range of benefits mentioned above are all possible to achieve through running.

If the only reason you are exercising is to be healthier, then running is more than enough. Many people all around the world choose running as their sole source of exercise. Some run fast, some run slow, some run short distances and others run for hours on end.

On the other hand, if your goals go beyond simply being healthy, you might want to add additional sports to your exercise regimen.

Do you want to be a very fast runner? Then you should almost certainly lift weights as well as run. Would you like to complete a triathlon? If so, you should add cycling and swimming to your athletic schedule.

The more sports a person participates in, the more well-rounded they will become. Runners who also choose to swim can strengthen their upper body muscles. Playing soccer can help to increase foot speed and endurance. Each additional sport we choose can add something to our athletic toolkit.

Being a multi-sport athlete also helps people to keep from becoming bored with their workout routine.

While some folks are fine doing the same type of exercise day after day, others feel the need to mix things up from time to time. Having a workout schedule that is full of varied activities can help things stay interesting enough to keep us involved for the long term.

Also, check out “Does Triathlon Sports Give You Abs? Swim Vs Bike Vs Run!

The longer we are able to maintain an active lifestyle, the better off we are. So if you are the type of person who likes to mix things up, then by all means you should do so. Pack your workout regimen with lifting, running, cycling, swimming, soccer and more.

If you are someone who takes comfort in the routine of running, there is nothing wrong with keeping that as your main source of exercise. Just keep in mind that those other sports like lifting weights are great options if you want to become a stronger runner.

Brad Birky

Brad Birky is an endurance athlete and trained chef who has qualified for and completed the Boston Marathon as well as multiple Ironman distance triathlons

Recent Posts