Running around the same old block every day will leave you feeling bored and tired even before taking your journey down the road. If you have been looking for ways to get more active, and love running, then the benefits of trail running might just appeal to you. Who doesn’t love a challenge with fitness? It’s a great way to stay motivated with weight loss, and you will only have yourself and your determination to thank.
Running trails will make you sweat, gasp for air, and it will give results. Because that’s what fitness is all about, to feel good and look good. And you’re not going to get there without breaking a sweat. Technical trail running is the next level of your fitness goals, physical activity, and you will love it.
It sounds brutal, but what type of exercise isn’t it? Any fitness session should make you break out in a sweat, push you, and make you feel like you’re ten years younger. If you are a road runner, using the same old routes down the street or through your town, you should add some changes. Why not make it trail running? It’s a fun and adrenaline-fueled way to lose body fat and take you out into the wild. Read on for a few trail running tips if you want to mix up your running routine.
Health Benefits of Trail Running
Most other adventures don’t offer much in terms of weight loss benefits unless you see eating vegetables as an adventure. Enter trail running – an adventure that will see the extra pounds melt away in no time.
With all the benefits of trail running, the effort is the only difference. The actual activity is not that much different from road running. They even share some of the same benefits, such as improved aerobic fitness, cardiovascular performance, and increased muscular endurance. And guess what? It also improves your mental health! The health benefits of trail running even beat the physical benefits, which are already a sight to behold. Go and put on your trail running shoes today.
You probably know that running is healthy and is a great way to achieve your fitness goals, but it also lowers your risk of developing cardiovascular disease or cancer. This is not just true for women, but men as well, so why go alone? Grab your partner and go trail running; it might just save your life. In fact, taking up running, especially trail running, can add up to 3 years to your life.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
It doesn’t matter whether you are running, jogging, and running on one spot; you are moving more than just the muscles in your legs. Did you know that your heart is a muscle? With every move you make while running, your heart works hard at pumping blood to help support your workout. By working harder, your heart becomes stronger and more willing to hold up with your efforts. Teamwork!
With a stronger heart, you’re set for a successful fitness-fueled lifestyle. Trail running is a bit tougher and more challenging, which in the end is more challenging on your system. But it’s a good thing – just don’t overdo it. You’re not working to take part in the Olympics. Run to be healthy and to lose some of that unwanted fat.
Your heart is literally what keeps you going; give it more life. You both deserve it.
Improves Muscular Strength and Balance
Who doesn’t want improved strength and balance? Coaches swear by trail running as a great way to strengthen both your muscles and balance. Running is mostly seen as a cardio exercise, but it’s a great way to build lean muscle, leg strength, and improve overall strength.
When you take up trail running, you will immediately notice improvements in lower limb strength, balance, and neuromuscular benefits.
With the added health benefit of gaining strength, the picture is becoming clearer. Instead of running and going through other exercises afterward, you can now just put on your trail running shoes and get in some well-deserved cardio as well as build your muscle strength.
As with most cardio and running sessions, your joints take a pounding. However, trail running poses a smaller chance of injury as you’ll be running on a softer surface in varied terrain, but we’ll get to that in the next section.
May Reduce the Rate of Some Injuries
With trail running, you may be more at risk of tripping over rocks or other obstacles, but as long as you keep your eyes open, you will be running on a smooth surface from start to finish. Running on the road is hard on your joints, but injuries can be greatly reduced when you switch to trail running.
The Achilles tendon is not a mountain pass where you should go trail running; it’s a muscle that’s affected when we run. In a 2020 study, researchers compared road runners and trail runners with a focus on the impact it has on the Achilles Tendon. The researchers found that road runners put more strain on the tendon. This can result in the tendon changing its structure and cause future problems.
Boosts Mood and Mental Well-being
We all want to balance our mental health and be a in good mood (most of the time). Unless you’re the Grinch, then you shouldn’t even be worrying about the benefits of trail running. A study done by BMC Public Health in 2019 looked at whether road runners and trail runners experienced a difference in mood and mental health when swapping their routes around. The trail runners, within a couple of weeks, announced that they were feeling better, and had a better health score on the surveys.
Are you feeling lonely? Hitting the road for a run isn’t really the most exciting way of going out with girls. Trail running, on the other hand, will maybe even help to get rid of some pent-up frustration. Call your friends and go for a trial run in the mountains or forest. Just be safe and have a great time in nature!
Put on those trail running shoes and enjoy a run out in the wild; although it’s not as easy as just going out on the road, you can make a day of it. See it as an outing and go far and wide to beautiful open spaces.
As with most strenuous activities, you want a team to pep-talk you. If your friends don’t share your passion for the great outdoors, create or join a club. Bringing the community together (or just the group) can be a fun and meaningful twist to running. Besides, trail running (especially in far-out places) it’s not great to try solo unless you are experienced.
How to Reap the Benefits: Tips for Trail Running
Follow these trail running tips for the ultimate guide to how you can get started, and reap all the benefits that trail running has to offer. You can thank us later. If you are reading this article, you are probably new to trail running and have only recently gotten a taste of what the change could bring to your physical and mental health.
These tips will ensure that you stick to your transition into trail running, and make it a productive and exciting experience.
Invest in Trail Running Shoes
Shoes, sure, you have a closet full of them, but you’re not going out to the movies, the opera, or the club. You’re going out for a strenuous sweat session in the sun and gravel. You can’t skip over rocks and run through mud with your heels (unless you feel like that could be fun. Who knows?) But it’s not safe, and your feet won’t make it past 5 minutes.
Investing in a proper running shoe fit for a trail runner will only improve your outdoor running experience and will make you want to go out running every day.
Adjust Your Stride
Trail running is not about speed; pick up your feet and slow down your pace. With trail running, you will need to adjust to a whole other game. It’s rough, it’s dirty, and it’s slow over uneven terrain. It’s more about concentration and keeping your feet from tripping over whatever obstacles you’re facing. Remember to keep an eye out for tree roots!
There are a lot of obstacles in the mountain trails or forests that can knock you down if you are running as you would on the road. That’s why we say; pick up your feet. Pick them up, pick them up high!
See it as building up a shuffle. With road running, you’ve got the open road, your earphones, thoughts of what to make for dinner, what you need to do tomorrow, and a million other little things playing on the back of your mind. Leave all that behind and go shuffle in the wild. Change your movement and experience trail running for what it is – healthy and exciting.
Fuel and Hydrate Strategically
You will need nutrients and ”human fuel” for that journey into the wild. With all the benefits of trail running, you will need to put effort into the preparation as well, and that means a fuel and hydration strategy-no need to buy a map, just easy, strategic planning.
Trail running takes a lot of effort and time. Some of these more grueling events might take up to 4 hours, and for that, you will need proper fuel. This extreme run can cause dehydration, neuromuscular fatigue, inflammation, and exercise-induced muscle damage. Sure, we’re saying this to you at the end of this article. But think back at the health benefits. And take it slow, don’t push yourself too far.
Get carbohydrates and dehydrate. This will help you to delay fatigue and improve your overall performance.
Hit the Hills Running
Making the decision to swap your existing cardio for even more strenuous adventures in the outdoors is quite brave. However, soon you will be thanking yourself over and over again. By taking up trail running, you will be giving your knees a break while improving your overall fitness and burning fat. It’s relaxing yet adventurous, and sweaty and dirty, but that’s what makes it fun. Go out, go trail run!
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Reinette Robbertze is a highly qualified professional in the health and nutrition industry, having completed both Journalism and Nutrition diplomas. With a remarkable portfolio of health blogs and magazine articles to her name, Reinette’s writing is fueled by her genuine passion for healthy living. Drawing on her academic background, Reinette delivers authentic and insightful information to her readers. Her engaging writing style, blended with personal anecdotes, creates an immersive experience that keeps readers engaged and informed. Keep following her work for the latest updates and informative articles on health and nutrition.