In fact, it has actually been proven that that type of running can produce negative results, not only to our external bodies, but internal too. Whenever we run, our bodies produce this stress hormone called cortisol because our bodies think we are in danger. Now in HG times it would only be released for a short amount of time before things got back down to normal and a little cortisol is actually healthy! But now we take someone like me who was running maybe for an hour at a time and our cortisol gets jacked up. Plus, if we are doing this every single day and have other stressors in our life (work, school, parents, etc.) it piles on to cause major health issues.*
It is funny when I look at the majority of marathon runners compared to sprinters, the body composition is completely different. Marathon runners may not have fat on them, but they also don't have much muscle either, while sprinters depend on their large legs to propel them forward.** Long-distance running may shed fat, but it also sheds muscle, which in turn slows down your metabolism and can keep on that stubborn belly fat (many runners have skinny arms and legs, but a 'soft' midsection). By the time we reach a distance that will keep us losing fat (and muscle...) it could really take a toll on our schedules. I mean what normal person with a day job can be running for up to an hour and a half just to get good results? And our bodies really suffer too (or at least mine did).
Sprinting is the optimum running exercise in my opinion (more on that later), but for a stress-free fat-burning exercise, why not just walk? And to get even more of the benefits, I walk barefoot. It has taught my foot to land toe-to-heel instead of just heel slamming as most people do in gym shoes because of all the cushioning (and that shock goes straight up to our backs). It is super easy and provides a nice break in our day. And it doesn't have to be long. I go for walks with my Dad after our dinners for about forty minutes. It is a nice close to the evening and it eases the digestion process so that I am not just sitting around on the couch after I ate a large meal. There are so many ways to get a walking exercise in too, whether you live in a city or town. Walk to the grocery store or the library to do your work (plus carrying a heavy bag makes it more work!).
Walking is enjoyable and easily doable. We can grab a partner or do it on our own. My favorite benefit, though, isn't the physical leanness that comes from a lot of walking, but the mental calmness I exhibit after walking. It is a great way to clear our minds and relax, especially after a stressful day. I would much rather walk it off versus running it off in pain for over an hour. Walking is a physical practice we can carry with us our whole lives and never have to desert (and golf too...) because it is too hurtful to our bodies.
So go find a nature preserve, a friend, or just walk outside your neighborhood for 20 minutes. Getting some fresh air and light activity is invigorating to our minds and bodies.