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Why Running 2 Miles a Day Is Life-Changing and How to Start

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If you’re wondering if running 2 miles a day will change your life, you’ve landed on the right page. Committing to running regularly is great for your health. But it can be overwhelming.

In January this year, I decided to run 2 miles a day for the entire month. The results had me amazed – and I’m a marathoner.

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be a marathoner to run every day. But if you’re determined, your life will change when you run 2 miles daily.

Running 2 Miles a Day Benefits

Although running might not answer all your health and fitness questions, it’s a great place to start.

Running is a great sport that’s accessible to many people. It doesn’t require a membership or a particular field or building, and although the gear can be a bit pricey, some of the essential clothing items can be enough for starting your run journey.

So what are the top health benefits you’ll see from running 2 miles daily?

1. Get in Shape

Although you might not make a complete transformation from running 2 miles a day, you will improve the overall quality of your life. For one, your cardiovascular health will improve, leading to additional benefits.

2. Improve Health

Running 2 miles regularly will help to improve your overall health.

This means strengthening your heart and lungs and helping control your blood sugar. Your new running routine will benefit many body systems, and you’ll have a lower risk of chronic diseases.

3. Experience Weight Loss / Weight Management

If you’re looking to shed a few pounds or stabilize your weight, running 2 miles a day can help you do this. A regular running routine along with a balanced diet will be beneficial.

4. Builds Confidence

You might feel overwhelmed or down on yourself if you’re not running or working out much. Don’t be!

When you begin running 2 miles a day, you might experience self-doubt. This is entirely normal.

When you push through those challenging moments, you’ll find that your confidence in yourself grows strong. This can carry you throughout your everyday life.

5. Create a Healthy Habit

We’ve determined that running 2 miles daily is a healthy exercise time. So you’re also forming a healthy habit if you run every day.

When we include one healthy habit in our lives, we’re more likely to be able to get started on other healthy habits too.

If you find it difficult to go to sleep at a decent hour, eat without overindulging, or head to the gym regularly, starting a 2-mile-a-day running routine could be the habit to get you to create other healthy patterns.

You might find that your new running hobby significantly changes your life.

How Long Does it Take to Run 2 Miles?

Before I started my journey to run two miles each day this past January, I was excited about the time committment.

As someone who’s trained for 12 marathons and 16 half marathons, I’ve spent a lot of time running. I enjoy it, but it definitely limits my availability.

The good news with committing to running just 2 miles each day meant a low time commitment. Most people can run 2 miles in less than 30 minutes.

In fact, if you walk two miles you’ll likely finish in about 30-40 minutes. With the average person running a mile in 8 to 12 minutes, you’re looking at a low time commitment for great benefits.

Is Running 2 Miles a Day Enough Exercise?

If you’re new to running, you might not understand the impact of running for 5 minutes, let alone 2 miles. So, is running 2 miles a day enough exercise to get you in shape?

It absolutely can be.

As a baseline for adults, it’s recommended to get at least 150 minutes each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Because running is a more vigorous aerobic activity, completing at least 75 minutes per week is recommended.

Based on this information, running two miles daily might equate to around 20 minutes of daily exercise for an average runner. After five days, a person would exceed the recommendation by completing 100 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity.

Note that it’s also recommended that adults perform some form of strength training at least two days each week.

While running 2 miles a day is a significant amount of exercise, you might only see the results you want once you add a few days of strength training.

How Many Calories Does Running 2 Miles a Day Burn?

There’s no one-size-fits-all to answer the question of how many calories running 2 miles a day burns.

How many calories a person burns during exercise has many variables, including current weight. For example, an exercise calculator can help determine how many calories your 2-mile run will burn.

Example:
💡 A person who weighs 160 pounds will burn about 195 calories with a 20-minute run.
💡 A person who weighs 190 pounds will burn about 229 with a 20-minute run.

Because calories are energy measurements, a person with more body weight will need more energy to complete the same task as someone with lighter body weight.

A common question – does running burn more calories than walking when covering the same distance? Sort of.

Note that the number of calories burned for a set distance depends more on your weight than your speed.

However, walking tends to burn about 30% fewer calories than running the same distance.

Based on that knowledge, if it takes a 160-pound person 20 minutes to run 2 miles, they’ll burn about 195 calories. A walk of the same distance would burn around 136 calories.

The walk’s pace will also determine whether the person will burn 30% fewer or 10% fewer calories. So take this information with a grain of salt.

Will Running 2 Miles a Day Get Me in Shape?

If you want to get in shape, running 2 miles daily can help you accomplish that goal.

Remember, running 2 miles daily exceeds the recommended weekly exercise recommendations for adults.

However, adding a strength training session or two into your week would be best.

While running will help improve your cardiovascular health with aerobic exercise, adding anaerobic exercise is necessary to build muscle strength.

Can Running 2 Miles a Day Help to Lose Weight?

Have you already been running 2 miles a day and not losing weight?

This is common for regular runners, but why does it happen?

Running is an excellent form of exercise, but it’s not the answer to fixing every health and fitness problem. Having a well-rounded wellness routine is essential to meet your weight loss goals.

A woman is sleeping and wearing an eye mask. Sleep is very important to a wellness routine and will benefit your journey of running 2 miles a day.

A person can lose weight running by including other essential elements of a wellness routine. These include the following:

👉🏼 Get adequate sleep

👉🏼 Eat a balanced diet

👉🏼 Stay well-hydrated

👉🏼 Add strength training weekly

👉🏼 Manage stress levels

This can be overwhelming if you’re starting, but know that a healthier version of you is on the other side of managing your wellness routine.

Will Running 2 Miles a Day Help to Lose Belly Fat?

Runners come in all shapes and sizes.

Some tiny runners run 11-minute average mile times, and larger runners can run 7-minute average mile times.

So what should your expectation be for trying to lose belly fat by running 2 miles a day?

Know that running will help you to lose weight and belly fat to a point. To see these changes take effect, you’ll need to aim to complete your 2 miles at a moderate to high intensity. You’ll also likely notice you hit a plateau after continuing this routine.

Once you’re no longer reducing belly fat, it’s time to focus on other essential factors such as diet, strength training, and quality sleep.

A woman is measuring her waist. Those looking to lose weight and belly fat may see these changes when running 2 miles a day.

Will Running 2 Miles a Day Help to Tone My Body?

Running 2 miles a day can help tone your body if you’re entirely out of shape.

But it would be best if you put more effort into your new running routine to maximize the benefits.

Running can help you lose weight and tone areas that work hard, such as your legs. But running is aerobic, meaning it requires oxygen to complete the task. Aerobic exercise is known to improve health, like cardiovascular and lung strength.

You can add two days of strength training to your routine to take full advantage of running two miles a day. This can include weight lifting, yoga, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These are anaerobic exercise options and will help you to tone your body.

It’s always a brilliant idea to include cross-training for all runners. You’ll tone your body and feel great by running 2 miles a day and strength training.

Will Running 2 Miles a Day Cause Me to Lose Muscle?

You might be concerned about running leading to muscle loss if you’re already muscular. This concern is genuine, as long-distance running can cause muscle damage and loss.

Although running long distances has been shown to damage muscle and impede muscle growth, running shorter distances at a sprint can help to build muscle.

Although some bodies may respond differently to a 2-mile run, this is not considered “long-distance running.”

To ensure you see muscle growth benefits, you should use a run-walk-run method to complete your 2 miles.

This means you can work on sprinting for 30 seconds and walking for 1 minute 30 seconds. Continue this cycle until you complete your 2-mile run, and you should see muscle growth rather than muscle loss.

How Long to See Results from Running 2 Miles a Day?

You’ll likely want to see results instantly with any new fitness routine. (I know I do!)

Unfortunately, starting a new healthy habit usually takes more than just a week or two to see significant changes.

If you want your routine of running 2 miles a day to lead to a total body transformation, you need to stay consistent and patient.

When running two miles daily, you may see a few minor improvements within the first few weeks, but give yourself 4-6 weeks to see the changes happen.

At this point, your body will start to respond, and you’ll notice improvements in your physique and ability to complete your runs.

Running 2 Miles a Day for a Month

If you want to run regularly, setting the goal to run two miles a day for 30 days is a great way to form a habit that will stick.

This is also a good idea if you want to see a transformation in your physical and mental health. Staying consistent with your routine will maximize the benefits.

But if you’re not already a runner, how can you reach the point of running 2 miles a day for a month?

How to Start Running 2 Miles a Day

Starting any new fitness routine takes courage and knowledge.

If you want to begin, learning how to start is easy. You can do a few things to begin your journey of running 2 miles a day. You may start by sifting through some training plans.

Although you don’t need a running coach, this might be an excellent investment to take your running to the next level. For example, a running coach can help you improve by focusing on proper running form and tailored workouts.

Always remember to start slow and build. If you haven’t done much physical activity recently, remember that beginning with walking is helpful.

You can begin by running every other day, then try running two days in a row to see how your body responds.

Once you have a good fitness base, bump up to running one mile daily, then build up to running 1.5 miles daily.

📣 It’s also a good idea to get an annual physical with a doctor to confirm that a running routine is appropriate for you.

Get the Gear

To have success, you need to start with a strong foundation.

Getting the right running gear will help you stick to your plan significantly. Invest in the proper equipment, and it’ll last you many miles.

If you’re not sure what to wear for running, take note of these most important items:

👍🏻 Running Shoes

👍🏻 Running Socks

👍🏻 Moisture-wicking shirt/bra

👍🏻 Moisture-wicking shorts

You may need other items along the way, but these four things are essential.

Start Running

The very first step to running is to get out and do it.

Run for 5 minutes or until you feel the need to stop. Please check in with yourself regularly during the time you spend running. Hold no judgments, as you’re just getting started.

When you wake up the next day, check in with yourself again and make sure you feel good. You might be sore, but this is to be expected of any new fitness routine. Be sure you’re not experiencing pain. This is important.

You don’t want to end up with a stress fracture or pulled muscle because you didn’t listen to your body.

Running 2 Miles Every Other Day

After you start and see that you can run, you can begin your journey of running 2 miles.

If you’re a new runner, take it slow and easy.

Instead of aiming to run 2 miles every day, consider running 2 miles every other day. This can help you recover between days of running, helping your body repair muscle and ensuring you don’t burn out on your new routine.

If you find that running 2 miles every other day helps you to see the results you’re looking for, you can continue this routine. If you aren’t getting the desired results, consider increasing your running frequency to daily runs.

Running 2 Miles 3 Days a Week

If running 2 miles every other day isn’t working out for you, that’s okay!

Try to run two miles 3 days a week instead. This means you could run on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and give yourself rest days between and on the weekend.

Although this routine may equate to around 60 minutes of vigorous exercise a week, missing the mark of 75 minutes, keep in mind you’re just getting started.

Once you can run two miles 3 days a week, add another day or increase the distance.

Walking 2 Miles a Day vs. Running

If running isn’t possible, you may consider walking 2 miles a day instead.

What are the differences between walking 2 miles a day and running the distance?

✔️ Walking burns fewer calories

✔️ Walking takes longer to complete the distance

✔️ Walking lowers the impact on the body and decreases injury risk

Two women are power walking in the park. Running or walking 2 miles a day each have their benefits.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each activity. For example, when deciding if running or walking 2 miles a day is good for you, consider which will keep you motivated the most.

If getting out the door for a run will prevent you from getting started, walking is more than acceptable. Walking is a healthy alternative to running and can help avoid injury that will sideline your new fitness routine.

Walking 2 Miles a Day

Remember to keep it manageable if you’re starting your journey to run two miles daily. A great way to do this is to begin with walking.

Although running equates to a more rapid transformation, walking two miles daily is a great alternative.

Benefits of Walking 2 Miles a Day

The benefits of running two miles every day are fantastic. But the benefits of walking 2 miles a day are also helpful for maintaining a healthy body.

The benefits of walking include:

⭐️ Managing body weight and helping with body fat loss.

⭐️ Improve heart health, including better cardiovascular fitness.

⭐️ Strengthen the body, including the bones, muscles, and ligaments.

⭐️ Improve your energy levels.

⭐️ Enhance your mood.

⭐️ Improve sleep quality.

⭐️ Relieve and reduce stress levels.

How Long Does it Take to Walk 2 Miles?

If you prefer to walk your two daily miles, you need to know how long to allow this activity.

Although not every person walks at the same speed, we can find a typical time range.

On average, a person can walk one mile in 15 to 22 minutes. When we know this information, some basic math lets us know how to allot our walking time.

How Long Does it Take to Walk 2 Miles? This infographic shows that based on the average time required for a person to walk a mile, 15 to 22 minutes, a person could walk two miles in a time of 30 minutes to 44 minutes.

As the above graphic shows, on average, a person could walk two miles anywhere from 30 to 44 minutes.

Remember, this timeframe is the average. If you want to see more significant benefits in your walking routine, try walking briskly to elevate your heart rate. This will lead to reaping the most benefits from walking two miles a day.

Then, possibly one day, you’ll try to run two miles a day!

My Experience Running 2 Miles a Day

At the end of 2022, I decided to try my hand at running 2 miles a day in the new year.

On January 1, 2023, I laced up my running shoes for day one; my only goal was to cover the 2-mile distance for January.

I learned so much about daily running and myself along the way.

My 31-Day Transformation from Running 2 Miles a Day

I didn’t set out with any specific goals beyond covering the distance. However, I tracked my weight and body measurements to see if a daily running habit would change anything.

During January, I ran every day. I also attended a HIIT sculpt class, two hot vinyasa classes, and two yin classes and hiked one day every week. These classes and hikes were a part of my routine before January.

I also didn’t focus on my diet at all. It was the post-holiday season, and I indulged in more sweets than I probably should have. I have no regrets.

Here are my stats:

January 1st

Weight – 162.4 lbs

Calves – 14 ⅛ inches

Thighs – 24 ⅞ inches

Hips – 38 ¼ inches

Waist – 32 ½ inches

Arms – 11 ¾ inches

February 1st

Weight – 162.4 lbs

Calves – 14 ½ inches

Thighs – 24 ¾ inches

Hips – 38 inches

Waist – 32 inches

Arms – 11 ⅜ inches

As you can see, I made some minor moves on numbers. But this was all while eating whatever and whenever I wanted.

My running 2 miles a day transformation. A front view comparison of my body before and after running 2 miles a day for a month. My abs became a little more defined.
Left: January 1st, 2023. Right: February 1st, 2023.

My weight fluctuated weekly; I gained a pound in the first week of running daily. Four days before the month was up, I was at my lowest weight of January at 159.9 pounds.

A back-view comparison of my body. I made improvements on areas of fat on my back and sides. My transformation from running 2 miles a day helped me slim down a bit.
Left: January 1st, 2023. Right: February 1st, 2023.

You can see some differences in my body composition, most noticeably on my back. My posture was also significantly impacted, as seen in my side profile. This was from adding daily runs to my yoga, HIIT, and hiking routine.

A side profile comparison of my body before and after running 2 miles a day for a month. My posture improved significantly, and my back and stomach toned up a bit.
Left: January 1st, 2023. Right: February 1st, 2023.

How I Felt During the Month

At first, it felt overwhelming. Even as a marathoner, I couldn’t help but feel concerned at the start of the month, knowing I had to run every day.

I took it slow and easy and used the run/walk method as much as needed. After all, I needed to do whatever it took to be able to run for 31 days.

By the second week, I started feeling pretty good. My breathing was more synced up with my movement, I was taking fewer walk breaks, and my legs were feeling stronger.

I started to get a bit worn out by the last week, but I don’t believe this was due solely to the daily runs.

💡 I found I ran best on days I wasn’t completing other intense workouts.

Rather than having to shower twice daily for most days of the month, I would complete my yoga or HIIT classes and run immediately afterward.

This isn’t recommended, and whenever you complete twice-a-day workouts, you should always try to put some space between them. The optimal amount of time is eight hours between workouts.

What Happened After the Month Ended

I took a week off running but continued my regular yoga, HIIT, and hiking routine.

When I finally ran again on February 7th, I felt great! I chose to run three miles, and I felt strong and refreshed.

I started my spring half marathon training and running two miles for 31 days helped me build a strong foundation.

I ran my course PR for the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon at the end of April. This is a race that I ran consistently in 2 hours and 19 minutes for three different years. This year I finished in 2 hours and nine minutes.

Yep – I shaved ten minutes off my course time!

After a week off from running, my skin started to act up quite a bit. I had more acne than I’ve had in a long time. Studies show running can help acne and prevent breakouts, and I experienced this firsthand.

I slept better while running daily and felt more confident. So a significant transformation goes on mentally with running every day.

FAQ

Will Running 2 Miles a Day Tone My Body?

While results can differ from person to person, you’ll likely see a positive change. When you run 2 miles daily, your legs will likely become toned from carrying your body weight. Be sure to eat nutrient-dense foods to improve your body’s response to the activity, leading to the best results.

Will Running 2 Miles a Day Do Anything?

Absolutely! Several transformations will occur when you run 2 miles a day. You’ll likely see improvements in your cardiovascular health and your mental health. It will become easier to fall asleep and sleep better each night. Additionally, running every day can lead to weight loss.

Is Running 2 Miles a Day Good?

Running 2 miles a day is good if you are physically healthy enough. Some may need to start slowly and gradually build up to two miles. Once you can run 2 miles daily, you’ll notice positive changes in your body and mind. Additionally, running 2 miles a day shows that you are physically capable of doing something that requires a lot of effort. This is something you should be proud of!

Final Thoughts: Running 2 Miles a Day

I’m glad I tried a 30-day run streak and ran two miles daily. It was an eye-opening experience, and I learned more about running than I already knew.

With so many benefits of running 2 miles a day, like losing weight and belly fat and helping to tone your body, it’s a great fitness routine to start today. Soon you’ll be able to run three miles daily. Future you will be so thankful you did!

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