Whether you are taking your running seriously or you’re a casual, you can improve your health, fitness, and mental strength by mixing up your usual running routines with some trail running.
Trail running is fast growing in popularity as both a hobby and a sport, and for good reason.
Think about it, the vast outdoors on a sunny day, taking in the sweeping scenery as your run dirt trails, swapping the sounds of traffic for birds and the sound of your shoes hitting the dirt – sounds appealing doesn’t it?
On top of just enjoying the outdoors more than the road or pavements where you run, here are some added benefits to enjoy and reasons why trail running can improve your overall health and running times.
We all get stuck in a rut as runners from time-to-time. If you’re looking for some added motivation then swapping the roads for the trails is what you’re looking for.
As you read on you’ll see several reasons why choosing to trail run can help your health, fitness, and make running more exciting.
Engaging Your Brain
Trail running certainly makes you engage your brain more than hitting the pavements. You need to anticipate what’s around the next corner, keep an eye where every footstep is landing, and navigate obstacles.
The mentally challenging part of trail running takes an extra toll on you, but it’s all part of the fun and experience.
Scenery to Enjoy
Some trail runners will tell you they are in it for the scenery. If you live in the city you’re missing out on what mother nature has to offer.
Choose a trail with some views you can enjoy. Flowing water, mountains and hills in the distance, plenty of fresh greenery, mix it up as much as you can.
You’ll find yourself with a lot more talking points than when you run your usual route.
If you’re used to road running you’re going to get a shock when you hit some of the different terrains trials have to offer.
You’ll find yourself needing to use shorter, quicker footsteps to avoid rocks, and the different angles will hit new muscles.
It’s a lot more interactive and a will keep you on your toes – somewhat literally.
Reduced Risk of Injury
Did you know that there is less chance of injury trail running than just running on flat roads?
There are a couple of reasons for this. One reason being that running on flat surfaces all the time puts stress on the same muscles and joints all the time, will varied terrains are softer and mix it up.
The other reason is that trail running works a wider group of muscles. This spreads all the impact and strengthens your joints and muscles more than basic flat surface running.
You’ll Burn More Calories
Along with the other benefits of running on different terrains is burning more calories. If you’re looking to shed some extra weight than trail running is perfect.
You should lose anywhere between 60-90 calories per hour trail running depending on how hard you push yourself.
You Can Be Social
Unless you’re taking trail running seriously it’s the perfect opportunity to be social and run with friends.
There are plenty of groups and meetups if you search online. It’s much more fun enjoying the outdoors with others, you’ll find more talking points and things to point out than when you’re hitting the streets or parks near your home.
What to Do Next
If you know of any trails near you, great. If not, check out Meetup to find trail running groups all over the world.
If you want to test the trails on your own first just use the groups to find out where to run. Otherwise, why not make some new friends and socialize at the same time!