Have you been feeling cooped up indoors? Ready to take your workout to the great outdoors? We don’t blame you. Running is one of the best ways to get fit, and taking it outside can provide a whole host of benefits that indoor exercises can’t match.
We all know that running is good for us; it boosts our energy, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps us stay in shape. But many people don’t realise that running outside can add more value to your fitness routine. In this article, we’ll explore the unique benefits of outdoor running, from stress relief to improved performance and beyond. So lace up your shoes, and let’s hit the trails!
Mental and Physical Benefits of Running Outdoors
It is no secret that running has many mental and physical benefits for your health. But have you ever taken a second to consider what would happen if you brought the sport one step further? By running outdoors, you can access more than just short-term rewards.
Running in nature has been proven to yield significant long-term benefits. Studies have found that exercising outdoors can reduce stress, improve the clarity of thought and increase energy levels, which are desperately needed in our strained and chaotic lives. On top of this, many people report “being in the moment” when running outdoors as they become completely engulfed in their natural surroundings and can truly relax.
In addition to these mental benefits, outdoor running provides physical advantages such as decreasing the risk of chronic illness, improving heart health and increasing strength and stamina. Furthermore, going off the beaten path allows you to explore new places while getting good exercise! All-in-all, it is hard to argue against taking your run out into the wild more often!
What Is Trail Running and Why Is It Important
Have you ever found yourself in awe after a run where you traverse through nature, interacting with your environment and the elements? If so, then trail running might be for you.
Trail running is simply running on a trail; some trails are more rugged than others and can feature rocks, dirt, sand, hills, roots and other obstacles. It requires a mix of agility and strength to navigate these trails, which is why it’s an excellent workout. You exercise your mind as you find ways to manage the trail.
Moreover, being out in nature provides a unique experience that can boost your mental well-being. You get to enjoy the smell of fresh air and the sound of rustling trees or animal calls in the background as you push yourself on varying terrain. Research also suggests that exercise outdoors could be especially beneficial for our mental health by helping reduce stress levels and improve concentration1.
So next time you head for that 5K run or 10K race, why not try something different and experience nature’s playground?
Tips for Running Safely in Nature
Running outdoors has several benefits, but it also presents its own set of safety concerns. If you’re ready to hit the trails, here are a few tips to keep in mind so you can safely enjoy your run:
Mind the Weather
Weather can affect your running in a lot of ways. Be sure to check the forecasts and plan accordingly. Any rain or snow can make trails slippery and dangerous, and extreme heat can cause dehydration and fatigue more quickly than usual. If the weather is terrible for your run, consider rescheduling for another day or doing a treadmill indoors instead.
Running outside requires additional gear you might not need when running on a treadmill or indoors. Bring along any clothing, shoes or other equipment that may be necessary to make sure you have a safe and comfortable run. For longer runs, a phone or other device with GPS can help keep track of your location if something goes wrong along the way.
Don’t Run Alone
When running outdoors, it’s always best to do so with at least one other person, preferably someone familiar with the area where you’ll be running. This can help ensure that if anything happens while you’re out on the trails, you have someone who can help in an emergency.
By being aware of potential hazards and taking necessary precautions when running outside, you can enjoy all the unique benefits nature offers while staying safe simultaneously!
Gear You'll Need for a Successful Run
Running outdoors is a great way to stay active and have fun, but you need some gear. Don’t worry! It is still much more straightforward than getting all the stuff you need for a workout in a gym.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Trainers or Running Shoes
An essential piece of gear when running outdoors is your shoes. You want to ensure they provide excellent cushioning, comfort, and support. You’ll also want to make sure that they have a good grip on the trails or sidewalks so you can avoid slipping. Plenty of good running shoes are available; make sure you find ones that fit comfortably and securely – your feet will thank you!
When running outdoors, it’s always a good idea to wear reflective clothing so drivers can see you. A reflective vest or hat should do the trick – put more lights on when in doubt!
If you’re running for longer than an hour, you’ll need to bring water with you. A hydration pack is the best way to stay hydrated while on the go – fill it up before your run and sip every few minutes as needed.
Having the right gear with you will make your outdoor run more enjoyable and safer! So stock up on some athletic shoes, reflective gear, and a hydration pack before taking off into the wild.
How to Find the Best Trails in Your Area
If you want to get out and explore the trails in your area, you should follow a few crucial tips. Finding the best trails doesn’t have to be a challenge; it just takes a bit of research.
Head out to run on a local trail and see how you like it. Don’t be afraid to ask other runners for suggestions about their favourite trails or if there are any upcoming organized running events that you can join.
Consider the scenery
Think about the type of scenery you would most enjoy running through and seek out trails that match it. Are you looking for a sandy beach trail or a lush green forest? Maybe a view of rolling hills is more up your alley? Whatever your preference, find an area with the abundant natural beauty around every corner!
Time of day matters
The best time to run on any given trail depends on where you live and the season. For example, some hikes are better at night when the sun isn’t too hot, while others may be better in the morning when it’s still cool outside. Keep this in mind while exploring your options!
By following these tips, you can rest assured that no matter what type of runner you are, you can find the perfect trail to explore and make running outdoors more enjoyable. And who knows, maybe even make some new friends along the way!
Staying Motivated During Long-Term Outdoor Running
Have you ever heard of the runner’s high? It’s a feeling of joy due to the release of endorphin hormones triggered during exercise. But the longer the exercise session, the harder it can be to stay motivated and keep going.
Luckily, running outdoors offers some unique advantages that make it easier to stay motivated during long-term exercise sessions:
The Change in Environment
By running outdoors, you physically and mentally change your scenery as you go. This helps prevent boredom and keeps variable levels of interest over time, which can help improve your motivation levels and make it easier to stick with a running schedule.
Access to Nature
There is something about being out in nature that can invigorate us, helping us feel relaxed and yet alert at the same time. This combination can positively affect our mental state when we are running outdoors, which will help give you extra motivation when your body gets tired from long-term running sessions.
Change Your Pace
Running outdoors gives you more pacing options than an indoor treadmill session. You might want to switch up your pace throughout a run or throw in some sprints from time to time which keeps things challenging and helps prevent boredom from setting in. For example, running on a trail with hills might be more fun (and complex) than running on flat concrete sidewalks or roads!
Doing something new such as trail running, can also help reignite your motivation if you find yourself in a rut with regular road runs or treadmill exercises. Outdoor workouts offer so much more than indoor ones
Running Outdoors: Good For the Heart, Body and Soul
Running outdoors is a fantastic way to get the best of both worlds – fitness and nature. It is suitable for the soul, not just the body. Not only is it healthier than using a treadmill, but it’s also far more enjoyable! From the beautiful views to the changing terrain, there’s much to explore when running in the wild.
So why not get outside and experience it for yourself? Whether a short run around the block or a long-distance trail run, outdoor running is a great way to clear your mind, boost your mood, and get some much-needed fresh air. Get out there and explore!