Committing to a mile a day challenge is a great way to stay motivated and improve your fitness. However, while running one mile a day might not seem like anything momentous, it actually requires more willpower and effort than most might think.
What is the mile a day challenge?
The mile a day challenge is exactly what it sounds: running one mile a day for a certain amount of time. Many of these challenges take place over 30 days, where runners commit to completing at least 1 mile every single day for 30 days.
However, there are plenty of variations that involve streaking for an entire season, a full year and even more.
Can running one mile a day help you lose weight?
A popular reason for committing to a mile a day challenge is to lose weight. Many new runners settle on running one mile a day to challenge themselves to stay consistent, develop the habit and hopefully lose weight in the process.
In most cases, running one mile a day can certainly help you lose weight. However, if you suddenly increase your calories to compensate, it will decrease your weight loss. In addition, if you are already used to running significant mileage, one mile a day might actually add up to less than you typically complete.
8 Reasons to Try Running One Mile a Day
If you’re contemplating a mile a day challenge, it’s likely that there’s something you’re hoping to gain from it. Committing to one mile every day does so much more than simply improving your health or fitness. Here are some of the best reasons to try running a mile a day.
Minimal daily time commitment
One of the best reasons to try a mile a day challenge is that it requires very little time commitment each day. Even at a very slow run or walk, completing a mile takes less than half an hour.
While it might be difficult to find time to complete a 60 minute workout class, these 15 or so minutes each day can easily be added to even the busiest of schedules.
Improves health and fitness
There’s no doubt about it – adding daily exercise is a great way to improve your overall health and fitness. A mile a day challenge will help both new and seasoned runners stay motivated to get moving every single day.
Creates a habit
Another benefit of running a mile a day is that the simple act of doing something daily helps create a habit. The challenge helps stay accountable in the beginning, and by the end, most runners find themselves enjoying the daily activity and wanting to keep it up.
Helps deal with stress and anxiety
Running is one of the healthiest ways to deal with stress and anxiety. The combination of endorphins, physical activity and time spent alone with your thoughts provides great benefit when faced with a problem or difficult season of life.
Requires very little base fitness
One of the best parts about running a mile is that it requires very little experience or fitness. With the exception of those with specific health or physical limitations, most adults can safely complete a mile. Whether you finish is 6 minutes or 30, a mile is still a mile.
Can help lose weight and improve metabolism
Adding a mile to your daily routine will increase your activity level, and therefore burn more calories than staying sedentary for this time. This increased activity might not amount to much in the scheme of a day, but when completed day in and day out, those calories really start to add up.
Easy to complete in any location
A mile a day challenge requires no specific equipment or location. You don’t need to drive to a gym or track to complete the challenge – simply step outside wherever you are and begin. Run a mile from work, your hotel or in your own neighborhood.
Encourages other healthy habits
Nearly every runner can attest to the fact that staying consistent with their exercise encourages them to make other healthy choices as well. The endorphins and satisfaction from finishing a mile leaves most feeling motivated and encouraged to continue creating healthy habits.
Mile a Day Challenge: How to Get Started
Oftentimes, getting started is the hardest part. Making the decision to commit to the challenges feels like a milestone, until you find yourself wondering what in the world you got yourself into. Here are some tips to help set yourself up for success with a mile a day challenge – both before and after getting started.
What to do before the Mile a Day Challenge
- Get a rough estimate of the time commitment by running a few practice miles
- Designate a specific time in your day to complete the daily mile
- Download or create a tracking chart
- Write down your goals for the challenge
- Decide on a specific time frame for the challenge
What to do once you start running one mile a day
- Keep track of your progress on a daily basis
- Stay accountable by telling friends or family
- Include regular recovery – stretching, foam rolling, yoga
- Stick with it during the hard runs
- Come up with a plan for travel or unexpected circumstances
Download the Mile a Day Challenge!
Once you commit to running one mile a day, you’ll need to track your progress. This blank 30 day challenge provides a template to help log your mileage and more as you make your way through each mile. Print one or multiple copies to use as long as you decide to stick with your challenge.
Running a mile a day is is a challenging, yet attainable goal. Nearly every runner discovers that regardless of how their challenge went, they are better for it and learned some things along the way. Try it this month to stay accountable, motivated and conquer new goals.