Why running too much can make you look older

This headline goes against what many of us believe to be true. Doesn’t going for a run help us to look more youthful and healthy? Apparently the answer is a bit more complicated than that. We want to make it clear that running does have an array of health benefits: it improves your heart health, produces mood-boosting endorphins and burns some serious calories (via Shape). However, you can definitely have too much of a good thing. 

Mindy Solkin, a personal trainer in New York City, said running too much can cause strained muscles, joints and ligaments. “Unless you’re highly competitive, no one should be running more than three or four days a week,” she told WebMD. “Work up to a higher mileage and frequency.” Another problem is that while running is great for cardio purposes, it doesn’t always help to add muscle. Women’s Health recommends doing two-strength training days at least two times per week.

Other issues with running and how to keep your youthful glow

Nico Algieri, cofounder of Equilibrium gym, told Insider that it’s important to mix up your training to ensure overall body strength. “You are what you do,” he said. “If you just run long distances your body adapts to that stimulus and resistance. You’ll have low muscle mass, fantastic cardiovascular capacity, stereotypically terrible mobility and flexibility, low strength, and little muscular endurance when lifting stuff.” He said it’s best to alternate days, with one day dedicated to long runs and the other to just strength training. 

Unfortunately, running outdoors can also cause our skin to age prematurely because of harsh sun rays. Adele Green, who was a lead researcher on a study looking at how sunscreen protects the skin, said it’s important to wear it to keep youthful looking skin. “We now know that protecting yourself from skin cancer by using sunscreen has the added bonus of keeping you looking young,” Green told USA Today. So don’t forget to spritz some on before your next jogging session.

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